Announcing the Three Big Winners of the Activating Empathy Competition

Story bubbles on world map
Source: Ashoka

It's official: we've got our winners!

After careful deliberation from our expert panel of judges and your votes on, three solutions have been chosen from a pool of 14 finalists as the top winners in the “Activating Empathy: Transforming Schools to Teach What Matters” competition.

Judges' Awards

The “Activating Empathy” judges — Greater Good Science Center's Dacher Keltner, Design for Change's Kiran Bir Sethi, GOOD's Liz Dwyer, RandomKid CEO Talia Leman, and Escuela Nueva's Vicky Colbert — selected the two entries they believed were the best solutions for advancing empathy in education around the world:

Literacy and Cultural Connections (Changing Worlds) is a Chicago-based nonprofit that uses personal storytelling and the arts to build inclusive communities and enhance cross-cultural understanding. Changing Worlds encourages empathy to students, parents, and teachers through a combination of in-school and after-school partnership programs, professional development workshops for teachers, community outreach programs, and traveling exhibitions. Student participants are free to express themselves in a more tolerant, imaginative environment, and have been shown to outperform their peers in writing, fine arts, and cultural and personal awareness, and have even demonstrated greater academic outcomes on standardized tests.

How can we stop bullying through student empathy? (No Bully), partners with California schools to develop non-punitive responses to physical and verbal aggression, both in-person and online. No Bully trains educators to develop a Solution Team®. These teams, made up of students, victims, and bullies alike, work together to resolve issues of harassment and violence as they arise. Teachers who have led No Bully programming report a change in school culture; parents, students, and the school community become allies in creating an empathetic, bully-free culture.

People's Choice Award

The people — the Changemakers online community — have spoken. The People's Choice Award winner is Sports for Sharing (United Nations Youth Association, Mexico). Sports for Sharing was created by the Canadian Association for the United Nations in 2005, but has since been adapted to integrate civic education in children's lives in Mexico through games and sporting activities. The semester-long program introduces children to social challenges and potential solutions in fun, practical simulations. To date, nearly 45,000 students and their teachers and parents have contributed to the empathy movement, acting as patient, compassionate global citizens to tackle issues like apathy, bullying, and gender exclusion.

Congratulations to the “Activating Empathy” winners, who will each take home a cash prize of US $5,000 to scale-up their solution!

Also, a shout-out to the 15 finalists. Find out how they're empowering young people to succeed here.

Inspired by these initiatives? Want to share your own innovation? Create a changeshop to showcase and grow your impact.