Rick Aubry

Ashoka Fellow
United States,
Fellow Since 2008
Rubicon National Social Innovations


This profile was prepared when Rick Aubry was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2008.
The New Idea
Rick has developed a unique business model to provide the homeless, disabled, mentally ill, ex-offenders, and other marginalized groups with the support services and job skills they need to secure a career and ultimately independence. Recognizing that vulnerable and disadvantaged populations need a comprehensive solution that addresses a wide spectrum of needs, Rick transformed a small-scale job training program for the homeless into a collection of services that take into account everything from mental health counseling to adequate housing to help with bill-paying. In so doing, he became the first to integrate and streamline the large number of previously disjointed programs offered by a tangled web of public and private service providers. In addition, to provide his clients with hands-on job training and a stable income, Rick went on to build a number of thriving businesses that now operate across the country, pioneering a model for sustainable social enterprise.

Through his organization, Rubicon Programs, Rick has helped to transform the lives of more than 40,000 people across the U.S. He is now developing an incubator for similar social business efforts around the country, and aims to create a powerful blueprint for a new kind of nationally scalable social business with the potential to dramatically deepen the impact of the citizen sector. Thanks to these innovations, Rubicon Programs continues to serve as a powerful example for other citizen organizations (COs) around the world looking to design sustainable social enterprises.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

More For You