Venture: Selecting our Ashoka Fellows
Ashoka searches the world for leading social entrepreneurs through an intensive, human-centered process, selecting them into our global, trust-based fellowship of peers.
In 2008, I became an Ashoka Fellow. I was thrilled by this opportunity to meet amazing people, go to fantastic places, and learn about innovative and new ideas. But what I could never have known then and am only beginning to grasp now . . . is the amount of growth I would experience as a person, leader, and changemaker. Ashoka’s commitment to and...Molly BarkerGirls on the Run, USA. Ashoka Fellow since 2008
Ashoka’s objective, strategic, and critical analysis of our work and potential development paths have already fundamentally altered our plans for growth. Indeed, thanks to Ashoka the bar has been significantly raised: our aspirations are now global rather than local, and we’re aiming—and making good progress—towards an impact that is many hundreds...Al HarrisBlue Ventures, UK and Madagascar. Ashoka Fellow since 2007
Alessandro is a Senior Change leader with a track record of innovation within and beyond Ashoka. He is the founder of Ashoka in Italy as well as the Co-Founder of the Impact and Evidence team at Ashoka. He's also played key roles in the Europe diamond as a member of the Europe Forum as well as a leader of the European Transition Process. Outside of Ashoka, he's been an active player in the human rights field, with personal and political victories in his struggle for equality for LGBT people in Italy and beyond. He's a founder of several start-ups and member of a cooperative in Italy focused on educational board games. He's fluent in Spanish, Italian and English. After 8 years working for Ashoka in Europe, he has recently moved to the Global office in DC to join the Venture and E2 teams.
Kelsey joined Ashoka in 2017, with a passion for examining how economic development can be sustainable and locally relevant. As Global Venture Coordinator, she supports country offices with the Ashoka Fellowship selection process and builds a larger development strategy for the global program. Prior to Ashoka, Kelsey spent two years working in rural communities in Yunnan, China as a Teach For China Fellow. She continues to explore her passion for language, food, and community here in DC.
My passion for social entrepreneurship began during my Master's studies in Global Innovation Management at the University of Turku, Finland, my alma mater. Currently, I am pursuing a Ph.D. degree in International Business, and in my doctoral project, I investigate how international NGOs catalyze change in the society-business interface. Recently I have been contributing within the Nordic Team to consolidate Ashoka in the region.
Ovidiu has been part of Ashoka for 5 years, currently being a community builder for international programmes. Previously, he organized events for the Ashoka Community in Romania (both online and in person), championed candidates for the Ashoka Fellowship, coordinated an Ashoka Central and Eastern Europe program on energy poverty and other local capacity-building processes, supported the Ashoka Europe DEI efforts and organised LGBTQIA+ events Ashoka-wide. He has a background in Economics, graduating Faculty of Finance and Banking. However, driven by an authentic need for alternative learning he was part of the Economics Students Association in Romania, and studied and worked for The Alternative University and Restart in Education Community. Ovidiu is passionate about dancing, sports for social good and DEI.
Fernanda has joined the Global Venture and Fellowship team to manage the finances and support operations development
Before moving to DC, Fer lived in Colorado where she earned her Global Social & Sustainable Enterprise MBA that helped her better understand social entrepreneurship and realize how she could contribute to the world-wide movement. Originally from Mexico, Fer worked in the construction industry where she created a revolving credit line that helped build low income housing. In her spare time she is an active ocean conservationist focused on sharks. Fernanda holds a PADI Instructor license and constantly seeks new ways to get involved in preserving our natural ecosystem, locally as well as globally.
Fer enjoys hiking, camping, diving and spending time with her dog, Fibonacci.
Rob moved to DC from San Francisco, California four years ago. He earned an MBA in Finance from Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles where he also received an International Business Certificate and studied abroad in London. He’s an entrepreneur that’s held leadership roles involving budgeting & financial modeling. He cares most deeply about the environment & fighting global poverty. His volunteer work has included preparing meals for the homeless, tutoring students at San Francisco’s George Washington Carver Elementary School, & cleaning beaches with the Surfrider Foundation. In his spare time, he enjoys gardening & the occasional dance marathon with his wife, two children and Labradoodle (Dash).
Enrica joined Ashoka in 2014, during its launch phase in Italy. She supported the Venture Program at a local and European level and she recently joined the Global Venture Team. She has a degree in Political Science and International Studies and a Master's degree in Communication. Enrica has a strong background in the social field, as she has volunteered with disabled people since she was a teenager. Former board member for an NGO called International Civil Service, she implemented educational programs for children and young adults in former Yugoslavia in the post-war phase. She is a co-founder of a social cooperative with which she has developed educational projects based on empathy to address intercultural issues for students and teachers.