This profile was prepared when Krzysztof Stanowski was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1999.
The New Idea
Krzysztof believes that strengthening local efforts and facilitating the emergence of NGOs is key to effecting large-scale democratic change in Poland and in neighboring nations. As the success and expansion of his program demonstrates, he is committed to establishing strong community-based groups which share information and strategies for implementing social change. These small groups, comprising volunteer educators and emerging community leaders, collaborate to solve local problems, restore civic awareness and participation, and implement training efforts to bolster basic citizen skills. From its inception in 1989, the program has grown to include over 11,000 participants and now reaches to many regions outside Poland. Through his community-focused efforts, Krzysztof is providing a framework for functional democratic societies by establishing lasting patterns of cross-cultural cooperation and tolerance.