Why a Community of Faith-Inspired Changemakers?
Changing the world for the common good has always been central to faith traditions. Throughout history faith-inspired changemakers have brought fundamental innovations to our world, for the good of all, influencing sectors such as healthcare, hospice, and the food industry or fighting against human trafficking. And, faith-inspired changemakers are needed now more than ever.
We also know that making change happen can be tough, lonely work! We all need peers from whom we can receive love and learning and with whom we feel whole. Building a community with peers across faith traditions who share a grounding in the principles of changemaking and tap into Ashoka’s learning can bring new insights to those who share a deeply spiritual motivation for their work and want to help recommit the faith sector to the common good in new and exciting ways.
Who are faith-inspired changemakers?
Faith-Inspired Changemakers are:
- Spiritual Innovators creating new forms of spiritual community, new ways of being faithful
- Social Entrepreneurs or innovators led by their faith to build solutions to social issues for the good of all
- Institutional Intrapreneurs creating new approaches to living a faith-led life based in love and respect for everyone across the generations
They are from any faith tradition and exhibit entrepreneurial traits such as creativity, empathy, teamwork and leadership. They tackle pressing problems with a new service, product or approach while empowering other people.
Does this sound like you or someone you know?
What is the opportunity?
If you have heard about Ashoka, you probably know that we want to see everyone become a changemaker. For 40+ years, we have been supporting the world’s leading social entrepreneurs to do good, better and have mastered the science & art of creating impactful change.
Now, in partnership with Trinity Church Wall Street we are offering Faith-Inspired Changemakers like you a chance to grow your impact by joining our 4-Week Changemaking Masterclass (four 90-minute sessions). By joining this masterclass you will:
Increase the impact of your work by learning how the world’s top social entrepreneurs create & scale impactful solutions.
Master Ashoka’s Levels of Impact framework to elevate your impact & leadership in social justice.
Become a movement builder for leading much needed system & framework change in society.
Learn strategies for how to best engage & empower young people in your community to step into their changemaker power.
Join a community of selected faith-inspired changemakers already making an impact across the faith sector.
Get recognized as a Faith-Inspired Changemaker, as part of the wider Ashoka and Trinity Church Wall Street leadership communities.
Those who finish this 4-Week Changemaking Masterclass will become eligible to apply for the Faith-Inspired Changemakers Lab experience, a more in-depth 6 month peer group process with Ashoka in partnership with Trinity Church Wall Street.
What are the criteria to participate?
We are looking for changemakers who have either already started an initiative or organization or have an idea that they would like to develop. Participants should be innovative thinkers or open to innovative approaches, dedicated to think about strategy and impact as they develop their idea and have a desire to meet and interact with other innovators from different spiritual practices or faith traditions. The masterclass is designed to be useful for changemakers at all stages of their innovation across the generations. Participants will be able to apply for a more intensive peer learning lab experience later. For more on our criteria, see the Q&A below."
What are the challenges in faith today?
In today’s rapidly changing world faith communities and their leaders face enormous challenges – from shrinking participation, aging congregations and persistent loneliness, loss of engagement by young people and the continuing lack of diversity in many faith communities. Pervasive digital content and communications pose a major competition for people’s time and attention. Clergy & spiritual leaders are overwhelmed and social justice issues - a focus of much faith activism - require an entrepreneurial and movement leadership approach that is often outside the experience of the people who care most deeply about them. At the same time, broad access to media, alternative forms of community and a continued yearning for meaning and community create opportunities for new ways of gathering, worshiping, learning, serving, and having a positive impact on society. Many leaders, young people among them, are stepping up to point the way.
Faith-Inspired Changemakers are responding, and we want to create a space for Changemakers across faiths to learn from one another - as well to dive deeply into the impact lessons from Ashoka’s network of the world’s top social entrepreneurs.
What is your commitment?
We have carefully crafted a powerful experience for you while keeping in mind your busy schedule & other priorities. When you apply and get selected, you will commit to:
Show up to the four live sessions. Please book your calendar from 12-1:30 pm EST on May 5, 12, 19 and 26, 2021.
Attendance to all sessions is required.
Commit to show up with presence & respect & contribute your love & wisdom to nurture the community.
Help guide the vision of this community together with Ashoka & Trinity Church Wall Street.
Applications accepted through Sunday, April 25th, 2021.
The Faith Inspired Changemaker Initiative is a partnership between Ashoka and Trinity Church Wall Street to build an interdenominational ecosystem supporting changemakers creating powerful solutions to the challenges facing the faith sector today, and sustaining leaders of these efforts whether they are clergy, lay people, individual innovators, academic players, or other institutional actors. We seek a highly diverse group of participants with a variety of faith-inspired changemaking initiatives and are open to all faith traditions and denominations.
We engage changemakers holistically in their varying roles in life, as an individual, as a family member, as a player in a variety of organizations, and as a member of a larger community.
Q What is the time commitment for this masterclass?
There will be four live online sessions, each lasting for 90 minutes.
Q Are the sessions going to be live or pre-recorded?
All sessions will be online and live.
Q How will the participants in the Lab process be selected?
At the end of the four weekly workshops, you may wish to apply for the Faith-Inspired Changemakers Lab, our more in-depth 6-month cohort experience. The Lab experience is designed for those highly committed to playing a leadership role in the movement to create more Faith-Inspired Changemakers via the initiatives they are building. People already functioning in teams may bring one team member into the process with them. The cohort experience will be demanding on your time – at least 4 hours every other week in sessions or session preparation in addition to at least 4 hours work outside of group sessions -- on the assumption that you are actively pursuing your initiative, either as part of your employment or on your own.
We will seek a highly diverse group of participants of any age with a variety of changemaking ideas and are open to all faith traditions and denominations. Ashoka will evaluate applications using four main criteria:
1. Innovativeness of the idea to address the particular challenge identified;
2. Soundness and feasibility of the strategy;
3. Impact sought and the degree to which the idea shows promise to empower and activate others (in your organization, community, target constituency group)
4. The applicant’s ability to work effectively in a team and commitment to the process of empowering others
- Innovative idea
- We seek individuals and teams that seek to address a barrier to a thriving faith sector with an innovative idea – i.e., a new approach or solution that has the potential to change an existing pattern or systemic issue that is a barrier to a thriving ecosystem for faith-inspired changemakers.
- The Initiative Needs To Have A Sound And Feasible Strategy To Achieve Its Impact. We’d Like To Hear About Your Medium-long Term Goals, Your Team, And How Your Strategy Will Help You Achieve Them. We Will Take Into Account The Potential For Systemic Change, I.E., The Potential For Changing Norms And Behaviors By Looking At The Root Causes Of The Problem.
- Impact Achieved
- We will consider the level and reach of impact sought–and what you’ve achieved to date if your initiative Is already underway. However, it is not a requirement that the initiative is already underway, but some concrete steps taken in that direction are a must.
- The Changemaker
- How has or will the person leading the initiative empowered other leaders? By “leaders” we don’t refer to an official capacity, but rather to individuals who may be exerting leadership from various roles or positions – whether lay people, individual innovators, clergy or people within institutions who are stepping up to lead.
Q What other opportunities might I have if I don’t get selected for the 6-month cohort experience?
Whether or not they become part of the cohort process, individuals participating in the Faith-Inspired Changemakers Masterclass will be able to join a peer-to-peer community providing access to additional learning opportunities and may be eligible for other webinars, training opportunities etc. offered by Trinity partners and/or Ashoka’s teams.
Q Can you help me find funding for my initiative?
While we cannot guarantee that participation will help you find funding we have found that what innovators often need most is the connections that will help them link to various players and partners who can support them in myriad ways (including funding.) We aim to help you build those connections.