ASHOKA IS A CATALYST FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
The world has always known change, but the change we see today is transforming the way we live, work, and interact at a rate and scale never seen before. Technologies have lowered barriers to participation so that everyone can contribute and act collectively more than ever before. As a result, we are living in a truly historic moment where anyone can create positive change.
Now is the moment to ensure that everyone knows they can change the world for the better, and does so. We want to live in a world where every young person grows up to become an adult changemaker, capable of taking creative action to solve a social problem; a world where the development of young changemakers and the practice of changemaking are the norm.
Our vision and understanding of the world comes from Ashoka’s experience in pioneering the field of social entrepreneurship over the last 35 years— finding, selecting, and supporting the world’s leading social entrepreneurs (Ashoka Fellows). The network of more than 3,500 Ashoka Fellows is implementing system-changing solutions to human and environmental problems in over 90 countries.
Our work with Ashoka Fellows helps us see patterns of social development across various fields, providing key levers and a new framework for living in the world as a changemaker. We help people see the world differently so they can do differently, fully participating in the new environment. For example, Ashoka is building and activating networks to create fundamental changes in the growing up experience of children and young people so that everyone can become a changemaker.
Ashoka was launched in Scandinavia in 2012. Since then, we have elected and supported 21 social innovators as Ashoka Fellows who have positively impacted the lives of thousands of people. We have been working with 8 Changemaker Schools and we have been supported by 17 business leaders as part of our Ashoka Support Network.
Norway, Denmark and Sweden are affiliated countries with Ashoka Scandinavia. For more information about our work, have a look at our latest impact report.
Here you can find Ashoka Scandinavia's previous publications.
Ashoka Venture and Fellowship
4 LEVELS OF IMPACT
Ashoka is looking for leading social entrepreneurs who not only deliver direct services and provide immediate alleviation of needs but also work to change mindsets and systems in order to address root causes of a problem with a long-term perspective.
Work in populations needing services, food, and/or a direct benefit to their wellbeing. Direct service has a clear and concrete feedback loop - you see hungry people being fed; students gaining skills through mentorship; or the clients getting legal help.
Examples: Soup kitchens, small-scale mentoring programmes for students, legal services for community members.
SCALED DIRECT SERVICE
Models that unlock efficiency and impact through well- managed logistics of an intervention or solution. Scaled direct service benefits large numbers of individuals.
Examples: The Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, or large scale refugee resettlement programmes.
A new model that addresses the root cause of a problem. It often involves policy change, widespread adoption of the methodology by leading organisations in a sector, and new behaviours within existing markets or ecosystems.
Examples: Micro-credit is a fundamentally new innovation for women to lift themselves out of poverty. Wikipedia democratises the way information is shared online.
Change affecting individual mindsets at a large scale, which will ultimately change behaviours across society as a whole. Framework Change is not a specific field-level or country-level intervention, but compounds the work of many individual organisations to create a paradigm shift.
Examples: Universal Human Rights, Women’s Rights, Civil Rights, Democracy, or the idea of Social Entrepreneurship.
SELECTING AND SUPPORTING LEADING INNOVATORS
HOW DO WE IDENTIFY LEADERS CHANGING THE SYSTEMS?
Ashoka engages the world’s largest and most powerful network of social entrepreneurs by searching for and selecting the world’s leading social entrepreneurs: Ashoka Fellows. Ashoka pioneered the field of social entrepreneurship more than 35 years ago, and today it continues to build the largest global network of leading social entrepreneurs.
Ashoka searches the world for leading social entrepreneurs through an intensive, human-centered process, selecting them into our global, trust-based fellowship of peers. Across the globe, we use the following selection criteria and the process (Venture process) to elect Ashoka Fellows:
ENABLING ENTREPRENEURS TO CHANGE SYSTEMS AND LEAD US INTO A WORLD IN WHICH EVERYONE CAN BE A CHANGEMAKER
We make sure that the Ashoka brand, the engagements we curate and facilitate, and the connections we open are valuable to each Fellow. We invite Fellows to make the most of the network through interactions that will increase their chances for deepening their social impact.
Ashoka Scandinavia’s purpose is to help innovative social entrepreneurs make the world better for everyone by tackling the biggest social challenges. According to our 2016 impact evaluation, 8,4/10 of the Scandinavian Fellows are very satisfied by being a Fellow and 40% of them think that Ashoka has played a crucial role in increasing their impact.
ASHOKA SCANDINAVIA IS DELIVERING VALUE FOR OUR FELLOWS IN ACROSS 5 KEY AREAS:
ASHOKA SCANDINAVIA'S YOUNG CHANGEMAKERS PROGRAM
Imagine if everyone in society took the initiative to address problems and lead positive change. The greatest contribution that Ashoka can make is to increase the number of changemakers in the world who develop new solutions to issues, mobilize others, and improve society. We believe that the key factor for success for every community – be it a company, a city or a country – is the proportion of its population who are changemakers. We also believe that the skills and mindset of a changemaker will be central to the success of every individual, in particular in an economy and society that are defined by change.
Through Ashoka Scandinavia’s Young Changemakers program, we are working with leading young changemakers to help them master the core skills of empathy, creativity, leadership and teamwork as well as supporting those with an entrepreneurial mind-set to develop and strengthen their ideas on driving social change.
It is crucial to nurture ecosystems in which young social entrepreneurs can come together and creatively collaborate on finding innovative solutions to emerging social problems. Similarly, the youth should be encouraged to respond quickly and effectively to these problems in ways that their adult counterparts cannot.
Ashoka Changemaker Schools
Ashoka aims to foster a world where every young person is empowered to bring about lasting positive change in their communities, organizations, lives and society. We seek to enable more young people to become changemakers; ready and able to address social challenges, drive change and thrive in a rapidly changing world now and in the future.
To reach this goal, we collaborate with schools who focus on fostering changemaker skills of empathy, creativity, leadership and teamwork – schools that are providing pupils with opportunities to create and lead from a young age and to develop skills that unleash the full potential in themselves and in others.
Ashoka Changemaker Schools is a global network launched to identify, connect and support innovative schools around the world. Once selected, the Ashoka Changemaker Schools are connected with each other and with Ashoka’s community of social entrepreneurs and supporters from different sectors with the aim of reshaping the traditional education system.
To achieve a fundamental transformation within the eld of education, where changemaker skills become essential in teaching and learning, we support and disseminate the ideas and practices of these exceptional schools.
In 2012, Ashoka launched the Changemaker Schools programme globally and has since selected and supported over 260 schools from across the U.S., Africa, Asia and Europe. Ashoka Scandinavia initiated the programme in the region in 2014 and so far has selected 5 schools.
Learn more about Ashoka Changemaker Schools in Scandinavia here.
Ashoka Support Network
A GLOBAL NETWORK OF BUSINESS LEADERS FOR SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION
The Ashoka Support Network (ASN) is a global community of successful, innovative leaders from a variety of fields who connect with the world’s leading social entrepreneurs to accelerate positive social change. They support Ashoka financially as well as strategically, offering their time, networks and expertise.
The ASN is made up of 350 business leaders across 22 countries. Network members are business entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, top executives and consultants. There are currently 17 members in Scandinavia, each with engagements that suit their particular skills, interests and availability.
JOINING ASHOKA SUPPORT NETWORK
Ashoka Support Network members are deeply committed to making change happen through their efforts. They recognize, as with any major undertaking, that social change doesn’t happen over night. As such, ASN members commit to a minimum of three years when joining the Network. ASN members deeply value the role Ashoka plays in sourcing, selecting and supporting the world’s leading social entrepreneurs as Ashoka Fellows, and therefore, commit to an annual standard financial contribution in order to help sustain Ashoka’s efforts.
Emma holds a Master’s Degree in International Business and Politics from the Copenhagen Business School. Her passion for driving social change has led her to engage in several initiatives focusing on sustainable development and social change. Prior to joining Ashoka, Emma was part of establishing a sustainability-consulting firm in Stockholm, where she spent most of her time managing a business network which gathered business leaders to learn and act around climate change. In 2014 she led Sweden’s largest sustainability initiative for youth, empowering over 10.000 high-school students to act as changemakers in their local communities. During her studies Emma co-founded a student driven consulting organization supporting NGO’s and social enterprises to improve their social impact. Besides Sweden and Denmark, she has lived and worked in the UK, France and Ecuador.
Christina joined Ashoka in April 2013 as the first Operations Manager in the Scandinavian office. She has since then constructed the regions Operations including building the team and structuring the legal framework and financial routines for the region. Christina’s main area of expertise are within HR and operations and since 2016 she splits her time leading HR, and finance in Scandinavia with two global roles as co-integrator and Search Liason for Europe. Christina has a long history working with NGO’s both as a volunteer, board member and an employee including The Swedish Red Cross, Friends and Doctors of the World. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in global studies and international development with a special focus on Post-colonialism. You can contact Christina at [email protected]
Our Ashoka Scandinavia team partners with the following organizations to increase our impact throughout our region: