Ashoka builds, connects and amplifies a global community that is leading the everyone a changemaker movement. We now live in an everything-changing world. This fact requires everyone to be able to contribute to and adapt to change, i.e., to be a changemaker, to be able to participate in and contribute. Based on the insights from our work with more than 3,500 of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs in more than 93 countries, Ashoka has an experience-based framework of empathy, teamwork, new leadership and changemaking that is the new foundation for living and working together.

Ashoka uses a rigorous, highly-refined, five-step process to identify the most important emerging social change ideas and the entrepreneurs behind them who, together, will redefine their fields, be it human rights or the environment or any other area of human need.

Once Fellows are elected, Ashoka makes sure that they have the supports and full freedom—including the ability to work full-time—they need to launch their visions and succeed. This includes providing a launch stipend to the degree it is needed for an average of three years, organizing a wide range of high-leverage supports, and—most importantly—engaging them in a local-to-global collaborative fellowship of their peers.

By continuing to develop our extensive network of Fellows, Ashoka works to share the wisdom of these leading social entrepreneurs with a global audience. Our Fellows’ work exposes the world’s most urgent and critical needs. Ashoka looks for patterns in these fields, investigates them to gain new insights, and then mobilizes social entrepreneurs to collaborate and expand in the needed areas.

LSE 2018

 

Full versions of the stories below appear in the 2018 edition of "Leading Social Entrepreneurs" (LSE) which features a selection of just a few of the Ashoka Fellows recently brought into the largest global network of social entrepreneurs. The LSE presents some of the newest innovations by leading social entrepreneurs whose ideas are changing the way things are done all over the world.

We invite you to support Ashoka by sharing these stories and helping us continue to find and invest in the next generation of systems-changing social entrepreneurs.

Stories


Rita Melifonwu - Stroke Action Nigeria

After her aunt suffered a stroke in Nigeria and had few options for treatment and rehabilitation, After her aunt suffered a stroke in Nigeria and had few options for treatment and rehabilitation, Rita Melifonwu used her nursing experience and tenacity to launch Stroke Action Nigeria (SAN) to change the trajectory and outcomes for people in a region with one of the highest stroke rates in the world.

Tracey Chambers - The Clothing Bank

Building on her initial idea of channeling excess amounts of retail stock to unemployed women in townships so they can start their own businesses, Tracey Chambers created “upskilling and business launch hubs” in the three largest metro areas in South Africa—Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. With a growing number of business models for unemployed women and men, she continues to expand the reach of her hub network in other cities.

Sebastian Groh - ME SOLshare

Sebastian Groh is bringing electricity to rural villages in Bangladesh, giving households the ability to buy and sell electricity through his game-changing, peer-to-peer energy trading platform. His digital, decentralized, and decarbonized solution empowers people to take their energy needs into their own hands.

Gaël Musquet - Hackers Against Natural Disasters

Surviving Hurricane Hugo as a child eventually drove Gaël Musquet to create a citizen-led approach to disaster management. Gaël combines local citizens, authorities, and “hacktivists”—experts who use computers to solve problems for social good—to better coordinate communities before, during, and after a natural disaster.

Wala Kasmi - YouthDecides

Wala Kasmi has helped open the political system for young Tunisians. She is also enabling them to turn their skills as digital natives into jobs and prosperity. Both strengthen democracy in Tunisia—rare in the region—and lessen radicalization.

Martin Aufmuth - OneDollarGlasses

Teacher Martin Aufmuth invented a machine in his laundry room that can make a complete pair of eyeglasses in twelve minutes. His organization, OneDollarGlasses (ODG), uses this “portable optician’s workshop” to train communities to produce customizable eyeglasses, circumventing the traditional provider-patient model and affordability challenges that keeps glasses out of reach for so many people around the world.

Cynthia Ong - Forever Sabah

Cynthia Ong is creating an equitable, diversified, and circular economy in Sabah on the island of Borneo—one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth. She does this by using a new leadership style, where all voices have equal power to co-create solutions to regional problems, as competing interests of profit and conservation contend for the same pool of resources.

Fagan Harris - Baltimore Corps

Fagan Harris is reimagining the changemaker talent pipeline for Baltimore and similar post-industrial cities struggling to recruit and retain top talent to solve pressing and increasing complex social problems.

Mehmet Atakan Foça - Teyit

Turkish journalist Atakan Foça is redefining the public’s relationship with the media, turning passive consumers of information into active contributors and fact checkers. Through his organization, Teyit, he is creating the tools, spaces, and infrastructure for citizens to hold media institutions accountable to the verifiable truth.

Jessica Sager - All Our Kin

Jessica Sager is closing the opportunity gap that denies many children nurturing, quality care early in life. By professionalizing the field of home-based child care, she is changing how society values early child care, transforming it into a respected profession, with better-paid providers and broader access to affordable, quality care for parents and children.

Kenji Hayashi - FoundingBase

Kenji Hayashi is rejuvenating depopulated rural areas in Japan by creating pathways for emerging urban professionals to build their careers—and lives—in rural municipalities.

Carlo Stasolla - Associazione 21 Luglio

Battling the traditional approach that treats the Roma as a separate ethnic group, Carlo Stasolla works at the institutional, community and civil society levels to show that Europe’s most marginalized population is worthy of basic human rights, social services, and respect.

Bjorn Low - Edible Garden City

Bjorn Low is leading a grow-your-own-food movement that shows Singaporeans how urban farming results in self-sufficiency, better food waste management, and closer communities.

Amgad Morgan - Nabd El Hayat Foundation

To address the urgent lack of blood donations and wide-scale undiagnosed and untreated blood diseases in Egypt, software engineer Amgad Morgan built an online platform and a nationwide movement to mobilize blood donors, connect them to people needing blood, and systematically identify and treat individuals with blood diseases.

Lauren McNamara - The Recess Project

Lauren McNamara, armed with new measures and data she developed, is persuading and helping elementary schools replace harmful recess patterns with new approaches that help children grow socially and emotionally, not least by helping one another grow.

Tom Ravenscroft - Enabling Enterprise

As a new teacher in London, Tom Ravenscroft became increasingly alarmed at the gap between what his students were learning and the skills required for a 21st century workforce. He designed a modern curriculum at his kitchen table and eventually launched Enabling Enterprise, an organization that proves “soft” skills are as relevant as literacy and math in preparing today’s students for the workforce and beyond.

Shreen Saroor - Women’s Action Network (WAN)

Recognizing that the women’s movement in Sri Lanka needs a new generation of leaders after its deadly civil war, Shreen Saroor is creating a cadre of young women who are bringing new solutions to overcome the socio-cultural inequalities that have long prevented women from exercising full citizenship in the country.

Mabel Torres - BIOINNOVA

Microbiologist Mabel Torres grew up in one of Colombia’s poorest regions and returned to combine science and entrepreneurship and launch a growing ecosystem of economically and environmentally successful businesses.

Mabel's New Idea:

Sachin Jain - Vikas Samvad Samiti

By producing and disseminating robust human rights and evidence-based research, Sachin Jain is persuading journalists in India to go beyond chasing salacious headlines and web page views and produce investigative journalism that impacts major social problems. By strengthening relationships between civil society and the media, he encourages journalists to go to citizen sector organizations (CSOs) when looking for story ideas instead of stalking Bollywood or the business beat.

José Shabot Cherem - Construyendo y Creciendo (Building and Growing)

José Shabot Cherem breaks the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and displacement that affects construction workers in Mexico by bringing education, vocational training, and personal development opportunities to construction sites.

Mariana Niembro - Borde Político

Mariana Niembro is creating a new culture in Mexican politics by harnessing innovative digital tools to increase transparency, strengthen democracy and bring politicians closer to the people they represent.

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