Our Culture & Values
As a proud division of an international community of changemakers, our culture around Search prioritizes the candidate to ensure the collectively best results that rely on us embracing our whole, authentic selves.
The fundamental ability to understand and positively respond to the feelings of others
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
The “everyone” in “Everyone a Changemaker”—the value of diversity and the deliberate commitment to creating that space where all are seen, respected, and included
Conversation in which everyone understands each other, feels free to express themselves, and accepts each other’s differences—conversation in which empathy, trust, and social listening are the norm
Data-, candidate-, and Ashokan-informed decision-making around the structure, practice, and policies of our hiring process
Risk-taking to benefit others, thereby fostering that positive social development
The whole, authentic self
That appreciation for our multitude of abilities and passions and brought perspectives that transcend any one particular role
Why Work at Ashoka?
As a “people first” organization, we offer a comprehensive package of benefits and perks and are invested in our staff’s career development and future
With offices in nearly 40 countries around the world, our benefits thus vary by location, but here is an introductory sample of the ones that are Ashoka-wide or under consideration to expand
As a conversation series with the express purpose of bringing into the light the most promising ideas and solutions for the future, Welcome Change is an invaluable opportunity for the rest of Ashoka to revisit the heart of our work: our Fellows’ social entrepreneurship. All Ashoka staff are invited to join these weekly presentations to meet the world’s best social entrepreneurs and get an insider look at what works and what’s next.
Each Welcome Change event brings together a diverse group of social entrepreneurs working on a specific thematic area. These themes have included education, social inclusion, racial healing, gender equity, climate change, and more. Our Fellows impart their wisdom, experiences, and solutions to both an in-person and an international online audience, and, in addition to the public conversation, each event is a chance for the innovators working on a shared thematic area to spend 24 hours immersed in a collaborative spirit.
Ashoka designed the Welcome Change series with the express purpose of bringing more visibility to the critical, diverse, and sometimes provocative ideas that will move the world to a more resilient, safe, and equitable place. Our Welcome Change conversations have provoked questions, elicited unexpected insights, celebrated wisdom and solutions, and sparked collaborations.
Too often, despite the incredible creativity and innovation in their work, the stories and impact of our Ashoka Fellows remain unfamiliar to many who can benefit from their innovations and be inspired by their leadership. This series is an opportunity to change that and to give the most promising solutions a chance to replicate and reach as many communities as possible.
As one Ashoka colleague, Shannon Dussman, had to say, “These global changemakers are the world’s future and, in many ways, the world’s hope, and it’s incredible to get to tune in to that most weeks. I always leave with an active mind and feeling both introspective and interconnected. I love that these talks bring in a multitude of different cultures, perspectives, and opinions. I’m so lucky to have a resource like this as an Ashoka employee!”
The Unlonely Planet
Every three years, Ashoka conducts a study to understand how its Fellows are driving a lasting social change. This 2022 report—presented to all Ashokans and under consideration for translations—presents 11 strategies Ashoka Fellows are using to build an “Everyone a Changemaker” world. This report provides compelling evidence that we can, and we are, building a world where everyone is a changemaker and, therefore, a world where everyone can thrive.
For forty years, Ashoka has been supporting social entrepreneurs, listening to their stories, and watching them drive social change. This report presented an opportunity to deeply reflect on Ashoka’s history, our evolution to our “Everyone a Changemaker” vision, and how this vision meets the very moment we are in.
As we asked where social entrepreneurship was headed, we paid close attention to the way in which Fellows worked. We saw quite simply, but with profound effect, that they were helping many others to become changemakers. Their inclusive approach to changemaking not only hastens the pace at which Fellows can shift entire systems, but it creates the groundswell needed for societal transformation for the good of all: our “Everyone a Changemaker” theory of change and EACH movement.
This report is not about systems-change nor is it about creating changemakers one at a time; it is about a shift in worldview. It is about a new reality that is unquestionably clear—namely, that the prosperity of society hinges on our ability to operate as a global community that builds better outcomes for all.
The JEDI Learning Communities
The Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion communities are groups of Ashokans who meet (virtually) to discuss, learn, and reflect upon the issues that relate to power and privilege, and the biases that help to perpetuate the inequities of our world. Each community chooses their topics and preferred formats (books, podcasts, movies, articles, etc.) to use as learning materials for each of their conversations. Also, each community self-organizes around the best gathering frequency and co-creates the materials to reflect upon. Some past and current topics include:
- Structural racism / Anti-racism (in specific geography)
- Microaggressions / Subtle acts of exclusion
- Unconscious bias / Implicit bias
- White privilege
Registration to join a learning community is open to all Ashokans.
Ashoka is partnering with LifeGuides™ to allow any U.S.-based Ashokan experiencing big or small Life Challenges free and confidential access to the support of trained Guides who have successfully navigated a very similar Life Challenge.
This program provides a human-to-human network of experienced and quality-rated Guides to help U.S. Ashokans and their families through any Life Challenges.
How it Works
- First, you can easily activate your account online.
- Next, you can call the personal “Wellbeing Concierge” team for your annual wellbeing check-in or to simply ask questions. The Wellbeing Concierges will listen to your needs and match you with a Guide.
- Once you receive your match, you will meet with them confidentially as your Guide who has had firsthand experience with your Life Challenge.
- Finally, you can access personalized, expert-curated resources through the Intelligence Assistance™ Software.
Note: As a pilot program, LifeGuides will consider expanding this partnership to other Ashoka offices around the world depending on how the program itself grows and the first users’ feedback.
Ashokans Let’s Talk
Ashokans Let’s Talk is...
- A map of clear and enforced channels of communication and support available to our worldwide colleagues.
- An organizational commitment to create more spaces for conversations and feedback loops that increase our learning together.
- An invitation to cultivate a culture of courageous, vulnerable, empathetic, and constructive conversations, enabling us to co-create the solutions we need.
Why Is It Important?
We live in a rapidly changing world. This requires us to constantly reimagine how we lead, organize, and collaborate. At the center of this constant change-process is the need for constructive, authentic, and empathetic conversations and an organizational support system, and Ashokans Let’s Talk seeks to support and create the space for these conversations.
In addition to a fast-changing external environment, Ashoka is also going through a strategic and organizational shift. We have welcomed new hires in brand new roles, established new cross region and functional teams, and are continually establishing and exploring structures to help us ensure worldwide alignment and collaboration. As we are putting these structures in place, underlying challenges surface, and we see the need to create an open and empathetic environment that will enable us to create the purposeful solutions together.
Who Can You Talk To?
- The Ombudspeople (incl. Conflict Resolution, Mediation)
- The Director of Global Talent Operations
- The Director of Learning & Development (incl. Being Well & Wellbeing, Coaching, & New Leadership)
- The Global Legal Counsel
- The DEI Team
- The Safeguarding Team
Our Hiring Criteria
Joining our organization is as much about the mindset as it is about your skills and experience, and we consider our hiring criteria yet another benefit that Ashoka uniquely offers.
Ashoka is an international network of the inspired, endeavoring together to advance a world in which “everyone is a changemaker.” We hire the EACH evangelist who will not rest until that vision is fully realized, and who embodies our accompanying values.
We are impatient with the historic patterns of inequality and are aspiring to change them now. We have a deep respect for everyone as an equal contributor to society. We demonstrate love and respect in action. We see a new world emerging in which our “teams-of-teams” collaborate across all sectors for the good of all.
We are looking for those impressive EACH evangelists to help us accelerate our vision into reality by:
Identifying and supporting the entrepreneurs at the frontlines of our pressing social issues
Arming the next generation with the critical skills of empathy and changemaking
Shifting the paradigms of how society values and nurtures innovation
Building Ashoka as an institution to sustain this new, change-driven world
Our specific needs for help are continually changing, but Ashoka hires throughout the year based on a candidate’s fit with our criteria: creative and effective leaders who have a history of making their powerful ideas real
Entrepreneurship / Intrapreneurship
The candidate cannot come to rest until the new pattern for society that they have conceived and developed is the way that things are routinely done. This requires an incredibly long-term commitment—and with continual listening and adjusting—a relentless and realistic “how-to” thinking, and a passion for seeing their ideas come to life.
Understanding & Belief in “Everyone a Changemaker”
The candidate understands and believes, and at the gut level, the vision of “Everyone a Changemaker.” They have an expansive and inquisitive intellect and a thinking pattern that connects the dots between the historical trends and contemporary social context.
Social & Emotional Intelligence
The candidate has the ability to work efficiently and respectfully in teams. They understand how individuals, groups, and societies work and engage effectively in savvy, subtle, and honest ways.
The candidate embodies exceptionally strong ethical behavior. They are self-reflective and have a strong sense of empathy. They are trustworthy.
The candidate assumes that changing the world in big ways and, at a minimum, on a continental scale is what they will achieve in life. They naturally operate at this level and have developed the appropriate skills and ways of thinking. They aren’t interested in small scale roles.
Our “One Search” hiring process takes its form in the image of the “transformative and enlightening” experience required of our candidates for Fellows. Just as our applying Fellows embark on a graduating articulation of their narrative, our staff candidates engage in a series of conversations around their entrepreneurial inspiration, meeting with a selection of importantly diverse and similarly inspired Ashokans.
We have designed each conversation to expand upon the previous one(s), thus necessarily standing apart as an essential addition to the series. Paralleling our selection process for Fellows, the experience for our staff candidates operates, not as a means to an end, but rather as an empathetic intention in and of itself—an opportunity for a robust discussion, the sharpening of ideas, and the reward of personal growth.
Photo by tam wai on Unsplash