Curated Story

Bill Drayton: Visionary social impact leader, social entrepreneur

This article originally appeared on Awakin Call

Considered one of America’s leading pioneers in the field of citizen-led service for humanity on a global scale, Bill Drayton is the behind-the-scenes lever of social entrepreneurship, having coined the term himself in 1972. The rise of social entrepreneurship reflects a growing sense that many of the most promising solutions to global problems don’t necessarily depend on action by large institutions, government aid, or foundation grants. They come from individuals at the grassroots level willing to bring entrepreneurial thinking to bear on some of our toughest social problems. Social entrepreneurs are "pragmatic visionaries" that share many characteristics of successful business entrepreneurs but seek social impact, not business profit.

Today, Drayton is the founder and CEO of Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, a world-famous organization he created in 1980 to help support, connect, and build up social entrepreneurs and their ideas. Many of the most innovative and successful social entrepreneurs of our time have received grants, fellowships, peer and other support through Ashoka. Ashoka is now active in more than 90 countries and supports the work of over 3,600 Fellows – assisting social entrepreneurs from the start-up phase onward as the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs.

Driving Drayton is the desire to help ordinary citizens and individuals realize their potentials as changemakers. Noting that old hierarchical systems are dying, Drayton wants us to adapt and "move into the new reality of an everything-changing world where everyone has to be a changemaker to be able to contribute. This is the underlying reality."

Join us in conversation with this world-transforming visionary and changemaker!

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