Next Now is piloting a new type of collective action around four pressing global challenges: Aging, Gender, Planet & Climate, and Tech & Humanity.

The Story of Next Now

Ashoka is the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs. For nearly 40 years Ashoka has believed that the most powerful lever for social progress is an innovative idea in the hands of a leading social entrepreneur–Ashoka Fellows. We have bet on the optimists and the adventurous among us who see the world not as it is, but build it as it should be. We are supporting more than 3,600 Ashoka Fellows across 90 countries, guiding them to grow unexpected ideas into transformative social progress. Aided by Ashoka, 74% of our Fellows have changed national legislations or influenced public policy, while 93% of them have achieved change in market systems.

As the saying goes, Ashoka Fellows do not simply give a woman a fish, or even teach her how to fish, they revolutionize the fishing industry. In such a revolutionized fishing industry, this woman and thousands like her gain food & sustenance, while also embracing their new role as environmental stewards. Along with addressing society’s most urgent problems, they shape an Everyone a Changemaker world. 

Now imagine what could happen if this Ashoka Fellow’s insights were woven together with that of countless other outstanding changemakers working as teams across  geographies and sectors towards audacious common goals – say ensuring citizens, companies and governments alike have the information and decision-making power needed to become effective climate changemakers. 

This is the type of collective changemaking Ashoka seeks to catalyze over the next five years, starting with four pressing global challenges: Aging, Gender, Planet & Climate, and Tech & Humanity.

Our Path to the Future

Our path to success depends on our ability to:

Invest in new social innovators shaping each field   

Social entrepreneurs don't just solve pressing social problems at scale, as an aggregate they also signal the patterns emerging in their fields. They are our best trendspotting engine and their insights are essential in determining Next Now’s most strategic interventions.

Set audacious collective goals with visionary changemakers 

Next Now is assembling a carefully selected team of co-creators that will shape audacious collective goals for each field. These visionary changemakers are entrepreneurial experts in their fields and represent a variety of sectors (business, academia, social entrepreneurship, etc.).  

Team up across sectors to achieve these goals (teampreneurship) 

In a fast-changing, interconnected world, the old formula of advancing change in large institutional siloes is no longer viable. This is why Next Now is prototyping new, fluid and open ways of organising outstanding changemakers around global collective goals. We believe “teampreneurship” is the way of the future and we are poised to demonstrate it. 

Amplify insights & lessons learned to inform the next set of audacious goals 

Next Now’s goal is not simply to shape the future of the four pilot fields we have chosen, it is also to test and demonstrate the effectiveness of a “teampreneurship” approach. We are embarking on a learning journey and wish to openly share the lessons we learn to inspire others to join us.  

By channelling the energies of Ashoka’s growing network around collective goals, we believe we have a unique opportunity to reimagine the future.

What comes Next –our most desirable future– must start Now.

Insights

The Smart Way To Protect Our Planet: Include Everyone

"Social inclusion is the biggest gap the climate movement is not addressing," says Ashoka Fellow Wietse van der Werf in our inaugural articles of our Planet & Climate series on Forbes.com.
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AI, Solidarity and the Future of Humanity

A conversation about why outsourcing the moral responsibilities of AI is not an option. Miguel Luengo, AI expert, entrepreneur and chief scientist at UN Global Pulse, speaks with Konstanze Frischen, Ashoka’s global leader on Tech & Humanity. "I argue that we need to move to a humanity centric AI. If...
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What are Ashoka Fellows teaching us about Climate Change mitigation?

To mitigate climate change, it is becoming clear that the work has to move beyond the science to policy and individual action. Ashoka Fellows are leading the way to show how cross-border collaborations and new consumer demands can address an issue that is bigger than all of us. In the face of...
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The Erosion of Privacy, And Why We Need a New Social Contract

Ashoka Fellow Sascha Meinrath explains how government and business are spying on us, and why we need to update our understanding of what is right and wrong in the digital age. "We need a mindset shift. We need to work together towards a renewed, 21st Century, social contract – a fresh understanding...
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Exploring the Link between Unemployment & Climate Change

In his article for MIT Press's Innovations Journal, Bill Drayton explains the connection between unemployment and climate change. Entitled “Engage People, Retire Things,” Drayton’s essay explains the profound connection between combating the employment crisis and fighting climate change: labor and...
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AI, Health & the Future of Human Agency

As part of a Forbes Series about the future of Tech & Humanity, Ashoka Fellow Stephen Friend spoke to Konstanze Frischen about the opportunities and challenges of AI-backed medicine, and who makes decisions about our lives. "What does it take to ensure that everyone has agency? In the new era, how...
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Our Team