In the Nordic region, we have been working closely with youth advisory boards, conducting capacity trainings, providing Changemaking tools to youth and educators, as well as advocating for youth leadership towards inclusive and sustainable development over the last ten years.

In January 2021, the Young Changemaker of the year award was conducted for the first time in Finland. The purpose of this recognition is to empower, inspire and support youth in their journey towards launching and leading a positive impact in society. The winners of 2021’s first edition, Rens Original and the You Tell Me Collective were connected to three experienced mentors - each from Ashoka Nordic’s network - to gain support for developing their solutions further.

With this award, Ashoka has established a network of young Changemakers and an increased understanding of young leaders, their needs, interests and priorities in the Nordics. Meet the winners of 2022's edition: Salaado Qasim and Benjamin Pitkänen.

What do the winners get?

A mentoring programme conducted both in Finland and with international experts that supports youth to grow and develop their social initiatives, making their voices heard in wider professional networks. 

Mentoring, Visibility & Network Access

By inspiring and empowering the young Changemakers and gaining a closer relationship with each of the finalists, the Young Changemaker of the year is a journey filled with network connections, great engagement from Mentors, Jury Members and the Young Changemakers themselves as well as participations at events and Ashoka’s key community gatherings.

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Selection criteria

The Changemaker of the year was awarded to two young individuals based on the following criteria:

  • Ethical Fiber: recognizes empathy as a key attribute by respecting, listening and showing compassion to others.  
  • Entrepreneurialism: shows passion to create and lead initiatives that drive positive development in society.   
  • New idea: the candidate has identified and shed light on a societal challenge and has founded an initiative to tackle that challenge with a new idea.   
  • An innovative solution: the candidate has proven creative and critical thinking trough an innovative solution that aims to solve the identified challenge. The solution aims for long-term change.   
  • Cooperation: the candidate has mobilized a team or organization around the idea, and understands the gift to lead both themselves and others, in line with responsible leadership.  
  • Social Impact: the initiative has provided positive social impact and holds the potential for larger-scale and longer-lasting change, that not only benefits the current society but also future generations.   
  • Coaching: has implemented the idea through responsible practices and holds the potential and interest to further develop their skills.


Curious to know more about what we do?

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Meet the Jury members

Meet the Top finalists for 2022

Meet the mentorship experts

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