Curated Story
Diana Wells
Source: Ashoka

What Could Be: Championing Local Communities Through Social Entrepreneurship

This article originally appeared on Fulbright Program

Often referred to as a “social innovation champion,” Dr. Diana Wells, President Emerita of, has used her many international experiences to positively impact under-resourced communities by fostering social entrepreneurship and changemaking.

Dr. Wells’ first global experience—which she calls her “first Fulbright” — was when she accompanied her father, Ronald A. Wells, to Finland for his Fulbright to teach at the University of Oulu in 1968. “For a child that was just learning to recognize and speak language,” Dr. Wells notes, “that year 90 miles from the Arctic Circle offered me new sounds and sights.” Upon returning to the United States, Dr. Wells’ father continued to stay connected with the Fulbright community and established an alumni association chapter in Connecticut.

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Ashoka insight

As President Emerita at Ashoka, Dr. Wells has this advice for those looking to make a difference: “The biggest barrier for changemaking is that people don’t give themselves permission to begin. Every day I [encounter] people who are enacting [change] again and again…our strategy is to come against the perception that change is not possible and ensure more young people have the ability and skills to do so effectively.”