What is a changemaker?
Creating change isn’t just the work of idealists or people starting companies. Our towns and cities, schools and workplace come alive thanks to people like you. Changemakers are people who care. People who see past the problems to the solutions. The fixers. The doers. The slightly restless.
At Ashoka, we define a changemaker as anyone who takes action to address a problem or create an opportunity, activate others, and work towards solutions for the good of all.
Why young changemakers?
The rate of change is accelerating exponentially. In this rapidly changing world, we all need a new set of competencies: empathy, co-creative teamwork, a new leadership style where everyone is empowered to lead, and changemaking for the good of all. To master these competencies takes practice from a young age.
At Ashoka, we believe that young people have the power. All they have to do is give themselves permission to solve the problems they see in their communities. But we are not just calling out to young people. To solve these problems, young people also need support from society--their parents, teachers, peers, and other adult allies.
LeadYoung is a storytelling initiative that shines a light on changemakers who have lead change from an early age. These stories help everyone see the new reality — that everything is changing, and this requires redefining what "growing up" means.
Through storytelling, we are activating young changemakers, inspiring others to lead, and changing the culture of our communities to believe in the power of young people,
What does this work look like in action?
We are partnering with leading social entrepreneurs (Ashoka Fellows) and major players in the education space in the from the United States to India to Brazil to produce and distribute stories of young changemakers. Together, we are bringing our changemaking message to new communities through storytelling.
How do I get involved?
1. We suggest getting started with our LeadYoung Storytelling Toolkits.
2. You can subscribe to the LeadYoung Stories Series (newsletter)
3. Read and share stories from our LeadYoung story collection. Get others inspired about the types of problems that young people have already started working to solve. You might even want to get involved with one of their projects!
What if I’m too old to lead young?
You can’t age out of changemaking. We encourage leading young because the earlier you find your power, the longer you have to build this new collection of skills—to learn how to collaborate and empower others to lead.
Anyone can be a changemaker. This campaign showcases young people specifically to demonstrate that age is no barrier to changemaking. Joshua Williams of Joshua’s Heart started changemaking at four and a half years old. But you’re never too old to become a changemaker—all it requires is taking a good hard look at the problems around and making the decision to solve one, building your team and changing your world. And every one of us, young and not so young, can make a critical impact in the world by helping all young people have the space and support to lead young.
I want to bring LeadYoung storytelling to my organization, school district, or campaign. How can I get in contact with the Ashoka LeadYoung team?
You can email us at [email protected].