Marc Kielburger

Ashoka Fellow
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Fellow Since 2005


This profile was prepared when Marc Kielburger was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2005.
The New Idea
Marc sees that building civic engagement into the existing curriculum of Canadian schools offers an opportunity to reach thousands of children with deep experiences of citizenship. He has created Volunteer Now to help students discover their gifts and talents and avoid the “bystander effect” of watching change happen around them. Marc’s effort, and the philosophy that guides it, encourages high-school students to begin to experiment with and pursue experiences of civic engagement that will hook them on social activity and community-building for their lives. Marc observes that Grade 10 students are particularly able to benefit from his offerings: having emerged from their first year of high school, these students have a year to absorb the experience and two remaining years to mentor and guide junior classes through their Grade 10 experience of volunteering. Marc teaches young people to realize and embrace the interconnectedness of our world, and to understand that each choice impacts, in some way, problems, solutions, and lives elsewhere on the planet.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person


We are thrilled to introduce ourselves as “WE,” which is both our movement and the new name of our organization. WE highlights the inclusivity at the heart of our philosophy, and encapsulates our mission to empower all people to lead change both at home and around the world. Our goal is to welcome millions more to join the WE movement and make a massive positive impact, together. Our charitable division, WE Charity, operates internationally based on principles of holistic and sustainable development, supporting communities to break the cycle of poverty. We do this through WE Villages, which focuses on five Pillars of Impact: Food, Water, Health, Education and Opportunity. We partner with communities across eight countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Domestically, WE Charity offers service learning curriculum and experiences to students through our WE Schools programming. Our mission is to empower young people by equipping them with the tools and resources they need to change the world.

Through our social enterprise ME to WE, we create socially conscious products and experiences for individuals, and for student, family, and corporate groups. ME to WE donates half of its profits to WE Charity and reinvests the other half into the social enterprise to help it grow. We are aligned with Ashoka in our belief that everyone can be a changemaker, and that together, we are powerful beyond measure. We understand that WE is a global community, and that the individual actions we take will create a tidal wave of impact. Above all, we believe in raising a generation that will lead with compassion and conviction. Together, WE can change the world. Visit to learn about all of the ways that you can get involved! 

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