Taxonomy Image: 

Combining Passion and Purpose: A Conversation with Western Union and Agora Partnerships

Declan Daly reflected on what the Executive in Residence program means to Western Union and what he brought back from his placement, including his experience working with Agora-supported entrepreneurs at CO2 Bambu, a provider of environmentally friendly materials for long-term housing in Nicaragua. Agora Chief Strategy Officer, Dorrit Lowsen, also shared what Declan’s placement meant for Agora Partnerships.

The People Want Business with a Purpose (Will Social Intrapreneurs Deliver?)

More U.S. consumers now believe that individuals, not the government, are responsible for tackling society's problems, according to the global 2012 Edelman goodpurpose® Study. It's the the first time in the study's five-year history that a country's respondents have looked to everyday innovators over Big Brother for leadership.

Is Business the Place where Social Impact Happens Most? Ashoka Fellow Ben Powell Thinks So

My interest in entrepreneurship as a tool for development began after I started a miniature golf business in Puebla Mexico. I learned a lot about business by launching that venture, but what surprised me most about the experience was how much I learned about the impact of business—about how it can improve lives.

As I was growing up, I never thought much about business as a place where social impact happened. But that is precisely where it happens most.

Q&A with IBM’s Tony Tenicela: Empathy, Diversity, and the Keys to Corporate Turnaround

We put a lot of energy into building camaraderie among employees and management alike, which is absolutely critical to maintaining empathy and mutual respect. We’ve developed a strong virtual community, so that employees get to know each other across team and managerial lines. It doesn’t replace face-to-face, but it absolutely enhances the employee experience.

“Each of us can be a part of change.”

In Ireland, Change Nation was officially launched by An Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny and a buzzing community of excited supporters and young people.

Change Nation is inviting creative solutions to address social challenges on the Emerald Isle.

Paul O’Hara, Ashoka Europe director and founder of Change Nation explained, “What Change Nation aims to do is bring 50 of the world’s top social innovators to Ireland to work on a selection of our biggest challenges. We want to create demand and strategy for as many of the innovations as we can.

Shifting a Paradigm in Europe: From Subsidies to Investment

Never before have financial indicators dominated news like today, but perhaps the most important indicator for competitiveness of our societies remains human: How many changemakers are there?

At Ashoka, we talk about making a world where Everyone is a Changemaker—empowering people to engineer social change in a way that no one has thought of before. From 30 years of experience searching for leading social entrepreneurs, we know two things:

How Fluid Teams Create Good Business

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected and the rate of change accelerates, new organizational models are fundamental to an organization’s ability to remain competitive and relevant. When organizations empower fluid and open teams with distributed accountability and decision-making, the effect is twofold: They infuse passion and purpose among their workforce and they set themselves up to solve problems nimbly and quickly.

Interview: From Crowdsourcing to CouchSurfing

This is the third and final in a series of interviews where we speak with leading innovators who are appropriating lessons from open source thinking—once purely the domain of the software engineer—for social change.

Casey Fenton is co-founder of CouchSurfing and an Ashoka Fellow in the United States.

Roshan Paul: I imagine that when many people think of CouchSurfing, they don’t immediately see the underlying social mission. Can you describe that mission?

How to Scale community impact with a Market-Based Approach

“In a social business, community impact comes first,” was one of the fundamental insights in the first Community Impact Development Group (CIDG) meeting hosted by Ashoka and the Siemens Stiftung in October 2010, and one of the essential claims that members of this group wanted to voice within the impact investment landscape.