Aron Jakab

Ashoka Fellow
Budapest, Hungary
Fellow Since 2012

Citation

This profile was prepared when Aron Jakab was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2012.
The New Idea
Fruit of Care (FOC) was founded to address a growing crisis in Central and Eastern Europe: dependency of the severely disabled on state employment centers, reliance of state employment centers on government funding to function, and a stigma of work centers and the disabled clients they employ. Through FOC, Aron is building a previously non-existent relationship between the state work centers and full market access. Through his new system of transactions that exposes the work centers to the market forces in a cooperative way, Aron is changing the perception of the disabled. He is bringing attention to their similarities, not differences.

Aron begins with focusing on improving work center operations. Through this process of professionalizing the work centers and discovering new markets for the products the disabled create, he is enabling a perception shift of the disabled within and beyond the work center walls: the inclusion of the disabled into society as citizens. As a result of the historically state subsidized work centers that are sheltered and inauthentic in how they leverage the capacities of their employees, an unsustainable pattern of work in these centers exists that reinforces the non-dignity of the disabled. Aron values the importance of taking people seriously, seeing the disabled as equals, and designing a line of work and product that leverages their actual work aptitudes in the most practical way possible. His innovation shows how good design and management can shift reliance away from subsidy to earnings, with lowered costs and improved quality.

Aron has created a low touch way to impact hundreds of workers and buyers. Because of the way FOC plays with market forces, Aron is building a society in which the people producing professional products are integrated into both society and the market as full economic citizens.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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