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Youth Years

Rebooting Our Politics and Schools to Engage Young People

Students going back to school rejoin an educational assembly line designed to get them to adopt vocations which are now phasing out. It’s estimated 65% of children entering primary school will someday have jobs that don’t yet exist.  We’ll need to prepare young people very differently to handle the coming changes.

Growing Great Ideas: a STEM Story

In the spring of 2009, I set out on a quest to expose students in metro Atlanta schools to a fun and engaging experience in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. I love these subjects and believe in the skills and perspective that they give to students.

I had first shown students the power of an engaging STEM education as a sophomore in mechanical engineering at MIT, when I coached a team of local high school students in a robotics competition. As an adult, with children of my own, I set out to work with students on STEM education once again.

Ashoka’s Youth Venture and Best Buy Present Winners of the ‘Technology for a Better World’ Campaign

Ashoka’s Youth Venture, a global organization supporting youth social entrepreneurs, and Best Buy Co., Inc. are proud to present the five winners of the Technology for a Better World Campaign. The winners were recognized for their innovative contributions to public and community service at the prestigious Jefferson Awards in Washington, D.C. in May 2011.

Matthias Scheffelmeier wins BMW Foundation Young Leaders Award

Matthias Scheffelmeier, program leader at Ashoka Youth Venture and coordinator of Ashoka Turkey, was awarded the prestigious BMW Foundation Young Leaders Award for his contributions to the “Changemaker City” Initiative. The annual Award recognizes Young Leaders who chart new paths and initiate, develop or support exemplary initiatives for the common good in their professional or private lives.

Bringing Education to Haiti: University of the People Begins Classes

Ashoka Israel Fellow Shai Reshef recently arrived in Haiti to welcome the first Haitian youth into his University of the People—the world's first tuition-free university. Over the next three years, UoPeople aims to educate 250 Haitian students, providing Haitian youth with the skills they need to rebuild their country. The first semester begins with 16 students, men and women ranging in age from 20 to 29.

TEDx Makes Learning Fun

How to describe TEDx? Inspiring. Educational. Fun. According to the New York Times, also “sexy”. A good example encompassing all these adjectives? Ashoka and Ashoka U TEDx events!

In late September, the New York Times wrote an article about the power of TEDx, and we are thrilled that Ashoka U’s past TEDx event was mentioned. We’re proud of the events’ success and its reflection of TED values.

Catalyzing Change in the Slums of Bombay

I can finally confirm that the Ad-line is true—India is incredible, and Mumbai, fondly called Bombay by its inhabitants, is incredibly intense. A vibrant city with incredibly long rush hours, its streets are filled with a never ending stream of people of every kind—so many I wonder how it can fit them all.

Fostering New Emergency Care Capacity in Mexico

It’s been a month since I get to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. San Miguel de Allende is a very beautiful colonial town surrounded by mountains and where the arid weather turns the landscape into a painting.

Eating the Elephant

“Do you know how to eat an elephant?” My father loves to ask me this question when he sees that I am totally overwhelmed. During my first month immersed in the engineering genius of EHAS (pronounced Aay-Ahs), I have had to keep reminding myself that the best way to get through something formidable, like eating an elephant, is one bite at time.  

The ‘nano’ Computer

The Indian Minister of Human Resource and Development, Mr. Kapil Sibal, released a $35 (Rs. 1500) tablet computer last week. The touch screen device has been designed and developed by experts from Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. The device was conceived 5 years ago as a response to XO, One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Foundation’s laptop, which is currently priced at $199. Is it another feather in the cap of the Indian innovators, who earlier produced a $2,200 car and $16 water purifier?