Ashoka's Systems Change Crash Course is a video-led journey to help you find ways to think more innovatively about your approach to social change. 

This hands-on course is a pilot to help you add the “systems change approach” to your toolbox for tackling social problems. It is rooted in Ashoka’s three decades of experience in supporting social entrepreneurs who are passionate about systems change – tackling the root causes behind problems in a way that leads to lasting change.  

Using the videos and worksheets below, this course will take you through a step-by-step process that opens your eyes to a powerful way of thinking about social issues and innovation. 

We'd love to hear from you! Give us some feedback to improve the next iteration of our learning resources by contacting Odin Muehlenbein and Reem Rahman


1)  Have a Social Cause You Are Passionate About

2)  Find a Partner to Take the Virtual Course With

3)  Print the PDF Worksheets (Intro | Module 1 | Module 2 | Module 3)

4)  Play the Videos


Introduction: Why Systems Change Matters                                             Duration: 12 Minutes


Module 1: Identify a Systems Change You Can Focus On - Duration: 35 Minutes + 10 Worksheets


Module 2: Craft an Actionable Plan to Extend Your Impact      Duration: 31 Minutes + 6 Worksheets


Module 3: Bust the Lone Hero Myth, Develop New leadership Skills - 35 Minutes + 5 Worksheets


Who This Course is For

This course is for anyone that is passionate about tackling a social problem. Whether you are launching a new project or preparing to scale, either way this course is designed to help you.

How the Course Works

This course guides you to Practice Systems Thinking Tools via 3 Modules, with a single worksheet per module summarizing a takeaway of what you learned.  Module 1 leads you to "Identify a Systems Change You Can Focus On ," Module 2 leads you to "Craft an Actionable Plan for Extending Your Impact," and Module 3 leads you to "Develop New Leadership Skills and a Game Plan for Systems Change." Keep in mind that a partner is highly recommended while taking this course to ensure it leads to deeper reflection. 

What You'll Learn

Since Ashoka was founded 30 years ago, we have reviewed tens of thousands of proposals by people passionate about solving social problems. As a result, we have noticed a common skill set among the most successful changemakers – systems thinking. This hands-on course is designed to quickly introduce you to these skills, and to give you a chance to practice them. It helps you practice the type of analysis and habits needed to craft a stronger solution for social change. 

What You’ll Understand: 

This course will cover what systems change is and how it can accelerate/deepen impact, how to apply a number of tools for systems thinking, the role of inner transformation in being a systems entrepreneur, and the difference between scaling your impact and scaling your organization. 

About Ashoka's Globalizer Accelerator for Systems Change

The Globalizer program that this crash course is based upon challenges leading social entrepreneurs to further refine their social innovations, in order to adapt their strategies for accelerated global spread. Throughout this intense process, they are supported by experts from the Globalizer team, working alongside experienced advisors from partners consulting agencies and the Ashoka Support Network of business leaders committed to social change. Learn more at: ashoka.org/en-US/program/ashoka-globalizer 


Authored by Odin Mühlenbein, Nadine Freeman, Michela Fenech, Reem Rahman, and the Ashoka Globalizer Team. Made possible by the support of SDC-Hystra and Red Bull Amaphiko.  A special thanks to Raj Jayadev (A.C. Justice Project), Yasmine Arrington (ScholarCHIPS), and the ongoing, invaluable insights of Ashoka Fellows and partners.  This course format was inspired by the Stanford Design Thinking Crash Course.  Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.