The world is better than we think.

In pockets across the globe, humans are pioneering and implementing real-life solutions — answers to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Powered by Ashoka, Next Now identifies, supports and lifts up these examples, and the changemakers behind them. From a bird’s eye perspective, we see patterns and frontiers of innovation that show a way to a better future. We weave a community of innovators committed to building it and share our findings and insights with the world – helping people and institutions see and build a radically new future in the following purposes:

New Longevity

For the first time in history, there are more people above 65 years old than there are below five. There isn’t an aspect of our lives and economies that isn’t affected by this Big Shift. How can we maintain purposeful, healthy lives as we age? How do we reverse age segregation and address the loneliness epidemic affecting all generations? How do we reinvent retirement and the value of care work?

Tech for Humanity

More and more aspects of our lives are impacted by technology. How will humanity anticipate, mitigate, and manage the consequences of algorithms, artificial intelligence, robots, and more? How do we ensure tech works for the common good? And empowers everyone? 

Planet & Climate

Our planet is in crisis, and we are responsible for it. We have deluded ourselves into thinking that humans are separate from, and superior to, nature. How do we fundamentally rebalance that relationship? How can our economic systems prioritize creating shared wellbeing on a healthy planet? How can we bring unlikely allies and sceptics on board? 


For most of us, our gender still determines how we grow up, the kinds of jobs we have, who we can love, our health outcomes, and how much power and agency we hold. Yet, patriarchy seems to be on shaky grounds. What will we replace it with? How do we turn its gatekeepers into allies? How do we build a gender equal world, where everyone can be their authentic self? 

News Hour

The future is better than we think. Tap the deep knowledge and surprising insights of the world’s best social entrepreneurs *live* at partner events and every Wednesday via our Welcome Change series, broadcast on Zoom to all time zones. Browse topics and RSVP below.

Open to Network Members

Launching into a new age of Planet & Climate action

20 Apr 2021 - 17 Jun 2021
Public event

Mutualism and the Next Economy

United States
17 Mar 2021
Public event

Bringing the generations together

27 Jan 2021


How does nature-based education change the way we live?

Our ability to thrive as humans depends on understanding who we are: We are not separate from or superior to nature—we are in fact nature. But it’s not always obvious how that translates into our lives. For Ashoka Fellow Luis Camargo , founder of Bogota-based OpEPA , it starts with changing the way...
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Brazil's Indigenous Leaders Stand Up As Land Protectors

Indigenous groups and their allies across Brazil have been mobilizing amidst the Bolsonaro government’s latest brazen attempt to roll back indigenous rights and bolster the economic interests of powerful agribusinesses. Brazil’s Supreme Court is currently debating a case referred to as Marco...
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When the rules of the game lead to climate change, change the rules

With COP26 just around the corner, we’re seeing a huge number of companies committing to reducing their carbon emissions to ‘net zero.’ This is encouraging and relatively new territory without many blueprints to follow. Yet, there are still few incentives or enforcement mechanisms to keep well...
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Memory loss matters for all of us

DY Suharya is building a cross-generation movement in Indonesia for those with dementia and their caregivers. For World’s Alzheimer’s Month, we caught up with DY to hear about how she is creating the first generation of institutions, practices, and values that are shaping Indonesia’s public-health...
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How we build welcoming communities as borders re-open (for some)

Ashoka Fellows David Lubell and Clara Jiménez Cruz bust myths on immigration and show why belonging begins with us.

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Trust Young People to Lead

What if our schools were designed to let young people drive positive change around them? This question has been animating Ashoka Fellow Ali Raza Khan for nearly 20 years.

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How Technology Is Re-Shaping Our Families

With single parent, same-sex and platonic co-parent households on the rise, it’s clear that the nuclear family is undergoing a rapid transformation. Debora Spar, Senior Associate Dean of Harvard Business School and a world expert on the interplay between gender and technology helps us understand...
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Nigeria’s Twitter ban and what it means for democracy

Ashoka’s Julia Kloiber spoke with Ashoka Fellow ‘Gbenga Sesan, founder of Paradigm HQ about building civic power and defending digital rights & inclusion across the African continent.
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From Trans Visibility To Liberation – The Freedom To Be Our Authentic Selves

Dr. Akkai Padmashali tells us about her approach to building a world that works for all of us. Co-founder of Ondede, she has been trailblazing new paths for India’s sexual minorities to lead change and build political power, in coalition with allied movements, such as those advancing the rights of...
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Why children need empathy, especially now

Mary Gordon on empathy in the pandemic, what young children are feeling right now (by their accounts), and the pandemic’s enduring effects on families and children.

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Building a Bangladesh free of child marriage

Globally 23 girls under the age of 18 are married every minute, and the numbers are rising amidst the pandemic. On June 2, we spoke with Dola, a young changemaker from Bangladesh, who is mobilizing teenagers like herself to build a Bangladesh free of child marriage. In the last two years, Dola and...
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Social entrepreneurs respond to India’s deepening Covid crisis

Why decentralized approaches, long-term thinking and tough questions have been key to responding to the Spring 2021 COVID crisis in India.

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Caring Is Our Super Power—Let’s Lead With It

It's the second Mother's Day we celebrate since the pandemic started, and it's certainly helping us see motherhood in a new light. In this interview Riccarda Zezza, CEO of Lifeed, reflects on parenting as the highest form of leadership and care as a superpower.
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Make Algorithmic Audits As Ubiquitous As Seatbelts

Gemma Galdon is a leading voice on tech ethics and algorithmic accountability. In our conversation, she explains the pitfalls of algorithms, the dangers of an “I’m just the tech guy” attitude, and how to help technologists overcome bias.
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Thinking differently – ideas for action on planet & climate

Ashoka Fellows around the world are working in the field of Planet & Climate, distilling decades of experience and spotting patterns between their diverse approaches

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From rights to jobs: LGBTQ+ liberation in the Arab World

Before the Beirut Port blast last August that killed hundreds and destroyed entire neighborhoods, Lebanon’s economy was already under enormous pressure due to long-standing political challenges and the Covid pandemic. Amid all of this, Lebanon’s LGBTQ+ community has been particularly hard hit...
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We’re Living Through A Carbon Bubble—Here’s What We Can Do About It

As part of Ashoka’s Welcome Change series, Pip Wheaton spoke with Ashoka Fellow Mark Campanale (U.K.) about how climate change impacts financial markets, and how investors can support a sustainable future. Mark started the Carbon Tracker Initiative in 2009 that ended up placing terms like “carbon...
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Mutualism: Building the Next Economy from the Ground Up

A way to build our next safety net in America through local organizations we know and trust

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From Patriarchy to Inclusion: When Outrage Leads to Power Sharing

Alaa Murabit is an award-winning medical doctor, global health and inclusive security strategist, social entrepreneur, and UN High Commissioner for Health, Employment, and Economic Growth. Ashoka’s Zeynep Meydanoglu spoke with her at the end of 2020 about what this pandemic year is teaching us about...
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Defending privacy in the age of surveillance

Albert Fox Cahn on why we need to update the social contract for the digital age

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Why We Need Data For Black Lives

Algorithms may be hidden from most of us but they’re shaping many aspects of our lives. Who’s creating them, and what background and biases do they bring? Entrepreneur and data scientist Yeshimabeit Milner is sparking a movement of technologists, mathematicians, and community changemakers who want...
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This Is What We Did—When Climate Action Is Our Legacy

The climate movement has been strengthened in recent years thanks to the leadership of our youth. Yet, for the first time in our history there are more people over the age of 65 than below 5. How can we bring our elders into this movement? Meet Ashoka Fellow Jim Thompson who he is dedicating his...

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Who Cares? Putting Careers On The Global Agenda

All people are carers, in some way or for some time. Routine caring is innate—we raise children, tend to sick relatives, look after aging parents, form bonds of love and friendship that hold caring as implicit. However, among us—we, the general carers—is a critical population of more specialized...
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When Police Brutality And Digital Rights Collide – Lessons From Nigeria

Gbenga Sesan, founder of Paradigm Initiative, warns there's an upsurge of online censorship and digital clampdowns, following the #EndSARS protests in Nigeria

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AI, Solidarity and the Future of Humanity

A conversation about why outsourcing the moral responsibilities of AI is not an option. Miguel Luengo, AI expert, entrepreneur and chief scientist at UN Global Pulse, speaks with Konstanze Frischen, Ashoka’s global leader on Tech & Humanity. "I argue that we need to move to a humanity centric AI. If...
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We Can Partner With Nature To Feed Everybody

Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin is transforming the food system from the ground up by introducing poultry-powered, planet-cooling, regenerative agriculture. He talks about the need to rebalance humanity’s relationship with nature with Pip Wheaton, Ashoka’s co-lead of Planet & Climate.
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A New Economy Out at Sea

Ashoka Fellow Bren Smith: "I grew up as a commercial fisherman, chasing fish around the globe — sort of a pillager. And at a certain point, ˆ decided that I wanted to collaborate with the ocean. I turned myself into a farmer and began asking the question, 'What's unique about the ocean as an...
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Training Bystanders: The Pap Smear For Street Harassment

Emily May co-founded Hollaback! in 2005 to end gender-based street harassment, making it as culturally unacceptable as sexual harassment in the workplace. She has since expanded her work to tackle all forms of harassment, reminding us that for the feminist movement to be intersectional with...
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AI, Health & the Future of Human Agency

As part of a Forbes Series about the future of Tech & Humanity, Ashoka Fellow Stephen Friend spoke to Konstanze Frischen about the opportunities and challenges of AI-backed medicine, and who makes decisions about our lives. "What does it take to ensure that everyone has agency? In the new era, how...
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The Erosion of Privacy, And Why We Need a New Social Contract

Ashoka Fellow Sascha Meinrath explains how government and business are spying on us, and why we need to update our understanding of what is right and wrong in the digital age. "We need a mindset shift. We need to work together towards a renewed, 21st Century, social contract – a fresh understanding...
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Forget Memory, Try Imagination: A Social Innovator Takes On Dementia

Are you creative? Of course you are, says social entrepreneur Anne Basting, who for three decades has unleashed innate creativity in seniors, their families and caregivers, and nursing home staff. When memory fades, what survives is imagination, a creative force so powerful that it can break...
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The Smart Way To Protect Our Planet: Include Everyone

"Social inclusion is the biggest gap the climate movement is not addressing," says Ashoka Fellow Wietse van der Werf in our inaugural articles of our Planet & Climate series on .
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The New Longevity: Brazil's Gig Economy For Seniors

Sérgio Serapião was in his thirties when he began inviting Brazilian seniors out for a cup of coffee. A decade later, Brazilians over 60 still convene the Café com Vida, or “coffee with life” in cities throughout the country. These gatherings offer seniors a public forum to re-engage in community...
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Table for Ten: Social entrepreneurs take on longevity and aging

How 10 Ashoka Fellows are redefining the experience of aging in countries around the world

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How we bring generations together

Ashoka Fellow Marc Freedman wants to see younger and older people work together

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The Right To Relate: Cycling Without Age

In 2012, Ole Kassow started giving free trishaw rides to elderly residents of a nearby nursing home. Today, over 1.5 million people have taken a ride with members of Ole’s global Cycling Without Age network. It turns out that slowing down, taking in the scenery, and enjoying light conversation...
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Our Team