The world is changing at an accelerated pace…
1. Society and institutions have not kept up with these changes.
The “Digital Age” and radical global transformation demands new skills that did not exist two decades ago. Yet, many are still largely stuck in a 20th century industrial model that values hierarchical models, competition over collaboration, and compliance over creativity.
2. Current Solutions fail to address the need for a supportive ecosystem.
Many solutions to societal problems don’t consider the complexity of the problems, don’t engage all the key players, and fail to integrate the perspectives of multiple stakeholders at the same time. The result: narrow solutions for a narrow selection of stakeholders. Often those most affected are not consulted or engaged in solutions.
3. Lack of wellbeing is increasingly a big challenge.
Social inequality is increasing. Lack of mobility and access to resources can cause both physical and mental stress for individuals. Jobs are a major source of stress for American adults. A recent Yale study found 72% of high school students reported feeling stressed, bored and anxious in schools. We need to ensure that people have the skills and the opportunities to thrive in a fast-changing world.
4. Intentions and action don't necessarily lead to transformation.
The mission of most organizations assumes that social transformation will lead to personal transformation. But it’s not always clear how to get from one to the other, or it’s not clear what the mechanics of changing the world for good even is. And so, most organizations’ work has not always had the kind of impact that’s required for transformation.
Addressing challenges in today’s world requires Changemaking skills and a supportive ecosystem.
Today more than ever, we all face a world of constant change. Advances in technology are lowering the barriers to individual participation and action, enabling more of us to access information and contribute fully in every aspect of society. We carry in our pockets and purses, the tools that were once available to only a few. Personal networks, collaboration platforms, printing, and media distribution channels — all are now at our fingertips for immediate use to address any problem or amplify any opportunity. Top-down leadership that is available only to a few is in the past and is giving way to a new everyone-a-leader, “Everyone a Changemaker”, present.
This historical shift is affecting every segment and institution of society – from business and government to schools and parenting. The shift has perhaps most radically changed the complexion and complexity of the world our children must now learn to command.
We bring together diverse stakeholders in your community to participate in the Changemaker Journey. Together, we co-create ideas, best practices, and strategies to support the next generation of changemakers in your region.
What We Are
Changemaker Communities is a connected, citywide ecosystem created through intentional partnerships with influential institutions in a region to build support for the next generation of changemakers in their communities.
To thrive in a world increasingly defined by change, we need children, young people and adults to be changemakers – to discover their power to co-create their world. Through Changemaker Communities, we hope to empower the next generation to take the initiative to create positive change for the greater good.
Our Ashoka staff is here to help you learn the best practices of changemaking and use their expertise to guide your organization through this journey.
Ashoka identifies and supports the world's leading social entrepreneurs, learns from the patterns in their innovations, and mobilizes a global community that embraces these new frameworks to build an "Everyone a Changemaker world." Ashoka is the largest network of social entrepreneurs—more than 3,500 Ashoka Fellows in more than 90 countries—whose systems-changing ideas are solving society’s problems for the good of all.
The world is defined by change and requires a new mindset. Ashoka envisions a world in which “Everyone is a Changemaker”, a world where all citizens are powerful and contribute to change in positive ways.
What We Do
Equip Everyone to be a Changemaker
We inspire and enable changemaking in the public at large and work to give all citizens the confidence and tools to solve problems for the good of all. Specifically, we focus on preparing the next generation to navigate this rapidly-changing world by ensuring all young people have the critical skills they need.
Accelerate the “Everyone a Changemaker” movement
We mobilize a network of organizations to join us in shifting mindsets and reshaping how we learn, work, and live together to catalyze changemaking for the good of society. We partner with schools, universities, corporations, citizen sector organizations, media and other influencers to co-lead this movement with us.
Identify and Support the World's leading Social Entrepreneurs
We find and cultivate social entrepreneurs in every corner of the world, whose systems-changing innovations solve deep-rooted social problems. We invite them into the Ashoka Fellowship—providing early stage financial support and a lifetime membership into an expansive network of peers and partners—enabling them to achieve their vision and have even greater impact. We then draw on the insights and patterns of these Ashoka Fellows to understand what the future needs and how to create new solutions for building a better world.
The New Framework
Ashoka has identified the new framework needed for living and working together in this radically different world drawn from insights working with our global network of Ashoka Fellows, the world's leading social entrepreneurs. The four elements of the framework are empathy, teamwork, new leadership, and changemaking.
In a world where rules can’t keep pace with the speed and complexity of change, empathy is crucial. Empathy-based ethics is fast becoming the cornerstone for our everyday dealings.
Every player on the team needs to be an initiator. Each person must see the big picture and advance solutions that contribute to positive social outcomes.
We rely on everyone having the capacity to work in fluid, open “teams-of-teams” to see and seize the ever-changing opportunities in this new landscape.
This is the ability to freely and effectively innovate for the good of all.