What makes Ashoka’s selection process so unique and effective? In The Art of Finding Social Changemakers, Ashoka Europe’s Search and Selection team analyze some of the keys to success, and areas where innovation is happening when selecting Ashoka Fellows.

These are the same principles and keys that drive our global efforts to select and support changemakers in all areas of life and strive for a world where Everyone is a Changemaker.

For funders and leaders in organizations seeking to find and support changemakers, or for individuals on their changemaking journey, this paper sheds light on strategies to find the best talent and encourage people on their changemaking journey. Read the report, and if you think of people that should be considered in our process, nominate them below! 

Learn more about Ashoka Fellows | Find Ashoka Fellows worldwide

Venture Insights 2023 Report

The Art of Finding Changemakers ✨

To learn more about the Fellows we select,

download out our 2023 Leading Social Entrepreneurs book

For more about the impact of our Fellows globally,

read our 2022 Unlonely Planet Report.


#1 Creating engaged nominator networks

We rely on a curated network of nominators who are familiar with our criteria and are regularly engaged by teams to cultivate mutually beneficial relationships.

These nominators include ecosystem partners from diverse stakeholder groups (researchers, media, corporate leaders, etc.), Ashoka Fellows,  members of the Ashoka Support Network, etc.

We work regularly with them to build a foundation for aligned nominations.

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#2 Building trust with candidates

Ashoka’s process has proven to be effective at selecting systemic social entrepreneurs that are changing the world’s systems for the good of all.

Our process and practice are designed to build trust with candidates from the very start.

In our work with leading social entrepreneurs, we care about the whole person and their changemaking journey, not just their fit with specific criteria.

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#3 A well-designed, multi-stage selection process

This tailored framing, and the peer-to-peer dynamics that result, help to set aside the power relationship that so many of our candidates experience when talking with potential funders or partners.

It also reinforces our commitment to learning from and celebrating every changemaker’s work.

The five selection stages – Nomination, 1st Opinion, 2nd Opinion, Panel, and Board review – create multiple opportunities for new perspectives on the candidates’ work.

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Examples of fellows selected in Europe

Bach Kim Nguyen

Bach Kim Nguyen

Belgium |  Beeodiversity

Kim is changing the way we see bees by promoting them as a core and essential resource to the environment and to human beings. 

Carmen Gheorghe

Carmen Gheorghe

Romania | E-Romnja

Carmen founded E-Romnja, which builds and cultivates communities of Roma women where they have a voice and decision-making power.

Ewa Furgał

Ewa Furgał

Poland | Dziewczyna w spektrum

Ewa opens a spectrum of possibilities for diagnosis and full life for girls and LGBTIQA+ people on the autism spectrum. 

Temi Mwale

Temi Mwale

United Kingdom | The 4Front Project

Temi is transforming victims of violence and trauma caused by systemic racism into catalysts of positive change.

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The Venture Europe Championers team that inspired the report

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