Meet the Top finalists for 2024's edition

Hanna Höijer

Hanna Höijer

Local Conference of the Youth (LCOY) Finland

"As Finland’s Youth Delegate for Climate, I organized the first-ever Local Conference of the Youth (LCOY) in Finland. In practice, I organized a massive Youth Climate Summit that brought together hundreds of young people and dozens of organizations from across Finland together to discuss, learn and get our voices heard."

As an LCOY, this Summit contributed to the global network of LCOYs that culminated in the global Conference of the Youth (COY), right before the COP Climate Negotiations. As such, the LCOY gathered youth’s views and demands that were amplified nationally and further spread globally through COY and the Global Youth Statement, composed of inputs from LCOYs.

Photo by Loviisa Etto 


Aaro Angerpuro

Co-founder, Giggeli

Aaro aims to promote genital positivity and empower acceptance of natural diversity through his venture, Giggeli. Sparked by his early struggles with genital anxiety and its mental health impacts, Aaro is raising awareness of this overlooked, taboo issue affecting well-being across genders. His creative approach uses eye-catching penis candles modeled from real people to bring genitals into the public dialogue, tackling stigma to prevent anxiety. By boldly addressing topics considered unspeakable, Aaro aims to create openness surrounding genitals to counter shame.

Ninni Norra Ashoka Nordic

Ninni Norra

Founder, Olea Think ry (Olea)

Olea Think is a think tank geared towards the youth, advocating a pro-market stance in addressing challenges related to economic, environmental, and social sustainability. The objective is to unite young experts and enable them to catalyze change by devising effective, free-market-driven solutions. This entails endorsing sustainability within established economic structures rather than advocating for a radical systemic overhaul.

Shahin Ahmad Ashoka Nordic

Shahin Ahmad

HangFlow ry

Shahin is on a mission to amplify marginalized youth voices and stir grassroots activism through HangFlow, the pioneering Turku-based youth organization he co-founded. Sparked by seeing youth potential go untapped at another organization, Shahin built HangFlow around youth-led initiatives and open dialogue to drive impactful change. By fostering inclusive environments where young people feel respected and able to guide real projects, HangFlow aims to impart critical skills while empowering youth to shape society. 2020’s “Pioneer Against Prejudice" prize and the 2023 Nordic Pioneer Award validate HangFlow’s effective model for uplifting youth voices.

Noemi Hueber Ashoka Nordic

Noémie Hueber

Radio Turku 

Noemie is harnessing the connective power of candid storytelling through her podcast, Radio Turku, to foster cultural integration and empower immigrant communities in Finland. Having directly experienced isolation as an outsider herself, Noemie built an accessible platform for organic intercultural dialogues that reveal common ground across diversity. By spotlighting unspoken divides through open exchanges between locals and immigrants, she aims to drive greater inclusion and social cohesion.

Niila-Juhán Valkeapää Ashoka Nordic

Niila-Juhán Valkeapää

Board member, Suoma Sámi Nuorat – Finnish Sámi Youth,

Driven by injustice against the Sami people, Niila-Juhántirelessly advocates for indigenous rights through volunteer activism, targeting both policy change and public awareness. He organized the pioneering first Pride event for the marginalized Sami LGBTQ+ community while serving on the board of a national Sami youth organization. Looking ahead, Niila-Juhán aims to secure legal protections for Samiautonomy and self-determination within two years. His strategic efforts promote dignity for Sami people to embrace their identities and collectively determine their future.

Adina Nivukoski Ashoka Nordic

Adina Nivukoski


Adina is on a mission to advocate for victims of sexual violence in Finland's complex justice system. Sparked by the country's high rates of domestic abuse and failures to support victims, she aims to provide legal aid, helping them navigate the lengthy 2-3 year process until case resolution.

By expediting trial timelines down to 1-1.5 years and offering specialized support services, Adina strives to empower more people to come forward despite the stigma. Her goal is to drive concrete policy changes alongside cultural shifts tackling overlooked gender inequality issues affecting women.







Isaac Kuva Ashoka Nordic

Isaac Jyväsjärvi

Co-founder, Giggeli

Sparked by struggles he and his partner shared regarding anxiety over genital appearance, Isaac tackles this overlooked yet pressing mental health issue by using design to foster acceptance of natural variation. Showcasing penis candles modeled. , Giggeli aims to counter stigma and empower self-love by bringing genitals into public dialogue, real people's body positivity across genders. The first goal was to start a conversation. And now Isaac sees it has become so much more. The concept has reached a lot of media attention, sparked conversation, and the large number of people that have reached out to talk to them on social media has been encouraging. Isaac’s goal is to spread the initiative broader in Europe.

Meet the Jury members of 2024 edition

Bo-Erik Ekstrom

Bo-Erik Ekström 

Board & Management Services Oy 

Member of Ashoka Nordic's advisory board in Finland, Bo-Erik has been conducting management consulting for more than 30 years in different Nordic countries such as Accenture, SIAR-Bossard, Gemini Consulting and A.T.Kearney. Bo-Erik has also been responsible for the establishment of several international consulting companies in Helsinki, also working with business owners, boards and senior management as a senior advisor.  

Alice Jury Member

Alice Mutoni

Cultural Producer; Founding member, Ubuntu Film Club and young changemaker  

Alice Mutoni (She/her) is a Helsinki based cultural producer, tastemaker and founding member of Ubuntu film Club, a film club dedicated to celebrating and championing black cinema through various screenings. 
In addition to Ubuntu film club, together with friends, Alice founded Kickbackhelsinki, an event that caters to music and fashion lovers. With a keen interest in moving images, Alice began experimenting with music videos, leading her to assist in producing for artists like Yeboyah, MadboiAli, Pike and Robin Packalen.

In 2020, She was chosen amongst Ashoka’s young changemakers of the year. 


Jury memeber

Sebastian Lindberg

Director of the Ehrnrooth Foundations 

Sebastian Lindberg is a historian and the director of the Ehrnrooth Foundations that support scientific research and societal projects with around 7 million euros annually. 

Markus Raivio

Markus Raivio 

Co-founder of Kukunori and Ashoka Fellow 

Markus Raivio is a leading social entrepreneur who co-founded Kukunori in 2012 to design an entirely new way of working with mental health clients through culture. Through his organization, Kukunori, Markus is championing social welfare through an approach centered on promoting human and civil rights. 

Kukunori ultimately aims to develop new and innovative solutions to challenges in the mental health and cultural sectors. In addition, Markus is taking the unique Guided Functional Peer Support model (GFP)that he developed to 43 organizations across the health sector. 

🔥 Selection Criteria

The Changemaker of the Year 2024 is awarded to two young individuals based on the following criteria:

✨ The Person

Indicated inner motivation for societal change, and showcasing one or more changemaker skills (empathy, leadership, critical and creative thinking and collaboration).  

💡 The Idea

How the idea/initiative is rooted in contemporary societal challenges, and in what stage the idea/initiative is at (early, middle or mature stage). 

✊🏾 Collaboration

Has the individual showcased the ability to mobilize peers of other people around his/her initiative, inspire others and/or engage other stakeholders.

💜 Social Impact

The potential impact of the idea/initiative, potential for scaling and acceleration of impact. 

🧩 Coaching

The need for strategic coaching for the individual and/or the initiative/idea. 


Do these ✨ changemaking ✨ qualities resonate with you?

Changemakers are united through:

  • Empathy
  • Creativity 
  • The ability to lead oneself as well as inspire and lead others 
  • Critical thinking  
  • The ability to identify societal challenges and desire to find a solution to them!
  • The changemakers actively engage in societal challenges and believe we all have the opportunity and ability to influence on questions that are important.

Are you the next Young Changemaker of the Year? In this program, we looked for youth who are:

  • Between the ages of 18-25 years old based in Finland;
  • A changemaker who has established, alone or together with a team, a social initiative that enhances equality, promotes sustainable development and climate solutions, or otherwise strengthens the social participation of young people;
  • Young changemakers who have already rolled up their sleeves and taken action. We are interested in solutions whose implementation has begun and around which there is a team taking the implementation forward.

What do the winners get?

Mentoring & Tools for development

The winners will be matched with experienced mentors who can guide them and help them develop their initiatives further.

Access to Ashoka's international network

We connect the Young Changemakers of the Year to Ashoka's global network of leading social entrepreneurs and young changemakers.

Ashoka supports over 3800 leading social entrepreneurs in more than 90 countries that have succeeded in scaling their innovative solutions internationally.


By inspiring and empowering the young changemakers and gaining a closer relationship with each of the finalists, the Young Changemaker of the Year award is a journey filled with network connections, great engagement from mentors and jury members as well as visibility and media outreach through Ashoka’s digital channels, and the participation at events both in the Nordics and globally. 

Read more

What are the phases of this program?

Strategic coaching and mentoring

The two recipients of this award will receive strategic coaching and mentoring from Ashoka’s network of experts for developing their ideas and accelerating their impact. The coaching will take place on agreed dates  between February and June 2023.

Network support

In addition to the tailor-made coaching and mentoring, the young awardees will receive network support from Ashoka for connecting with a Nordic and international community of likeminded youth through events, summits and other global opportunities such as online forums within the social entrepreneurship field.

Learn more about young people who are creating an Everyone a Changemaker world.

Inspiring workshops

A half-day workshop will be designated to map and outline the specific needs of the Changemakers and the areas of expertise the mentors will be contributing. 

Furthermore, during the program period, the awardees will also participate in strategic workshops on team-work and finance, as well as an on-site visit with leading social entrepreneurs whose social innovations are solving some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

In the Nordic region, we have advocated 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.

With this award, Ashoka has established a network of young Changemakers and an increased understanding of the support needed for young leaders in the Nordics and internationally.

Application period is currently closed

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Ashoka is the world's largest network of social entrepreneurs and changemakers,with over 3,800 so-called Ashoka Fellows in 94 countries. These include Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, and Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and Nobel Peace Prize winner. Ashoka supports members of its network to develop social innovations and create positive societal change.

Louise&Göran Ehrnrooth foundation logo in cream color

Louise och Göran Ehrnrooths stiftelse

The Louise and Göran Ehrnrooth Foundation supports long-term projects in education, research, environmental protection, culture and societal activities in Finland. The foundation has partnered with Ashoka to support Young Changemakers and their solutions to societal challenges.