Youth in Charge
Ashoka realizes that its ultimate purpose—an ‘everyone a changemaker' world—is an unreachable fantasy unless the youth years become years of practicing being powerful and acquiring the required underlying skills: applied empathy, teamwork, and leadership.
– Bill Drayton, CEO of Ashoka
There are more than one billion young people in the world today. While this extraordinary number represents the largest youth demographic in human history, behind this number are opportunities to co-create a different kind of world where "everyone is a Changemaker.
Ashoka’s Youth Years programs are building networks to transform the experiences and systems that young people navigate because they will shape how young people lead and make an impact... how parents raise their children... how teachers and schools engage students... and how companies hire talent and support local communities.
Ashoka’s Youth Years programs focus on engaging young people as drivers of social change, rather than an audience to change. Youth Years teams believe that a young persons ability to create, lead, form a team and make impact is critical to society’s well-being and development.
How We Work
Youth Years programs work across the globe in diverse ways that extend from co-creating robust youth strategies with social entrepreneurs, companies, schools systems, and educators to facilitating opportunities that foster peer-to-peer learning, empathy, and youth-led social innovation and research.
We are building a global team of teams that includes our powerful global network of young changemakers, Ashoka Fellows, Changemaker Schools, and corporations, all working together to:
- Transform how young people grow up by co-creating opportunities for changemaking to flourish across households, schools, institutions, the media and companies
- Increase the number of young people who master empathy, self-identify as changemakers, and who will take initiative to spread a changemaker culture in their communities
- Advance experiences and opportunities where young people can innovate, lead, form teams and make impact, and where the systems that shape youth choices, actually support young people to step into their changemaker journeys and build a better world.
What does successful systems change look like? From a Youth Years perspective, this can be illustrated by a world where:
- Young people aspire to be Changemakers and take greater ownership in demanding an education and career experience that nurtures their changemaker journeys
- Parents actively engage with their kids in collaborative changemaking in the home environment
- Teachers and educators have greater opportunities to be leaders of systems change in education and integrate opportunities for students to have changemaker experiences in schools where young people master empathy, create collaboratively and make impact.
- Universities demand and support young people who master and demonstrate empathy, teamwork, leadership, and changemaking (creative thinking) targeted at creating social good
- Employers give priority to hiring young people who master changemaking, and companies organize themselves to encourage employees to exercise cognitive empathy, leadership, and team of teams culture.
We encourage you to explore the diverse ways that Ashoka’s Youth Years programs support changemaking in young people, adults, organizations, and companies. Engage with our dedicated programs today to help advance an “Everyone a Changemaker” world:
Youth Venture® designs holistic strategies and experiential youth engagements that insert changemaking into the cultures of companies, schools and universities, and youth organizations. Youth Venture works with young people and partners to co-create tools and programs that help young people self-identify as changemakers and master critical pathways for thriving as changemakers, such as: empathy, collaborative leadership, team-of-teams culture building, and changemaking (creative problem solving). Visit Youth Venture online and follow on us on Twitter: @Youth_Venture.
Ashoka Changemaker Schools enable all students to become changemakers: young people with the skills and confidence to change the world for the good of all. At Ashoka Changemaker Schools, students are learning the essential skills of empathy, creativity, thoughtfulness, leadership, and teamwork so that they can thrive in the modern world and find solutions to our most complex problems. We have adapted our methodology for selecting the world’s leading social entrepreneurs to identifying and selecting a global network of Changemaker Schools. Follow us on Twitter: @AshokaCMschools.
The Changemaker-Xchange is a global collaboration platform for young social entrepreneurs. It gathers some of the world’s most exciting changemakers at summits around the world to exchange and co-create ideas. The Changemaker-Xchange brings together young social entrepreneurs from 40 different countries in Europe and the Middle East, including Turkey, North Africa, and Asia.
Ashoka U works with colleges and universities to foster a campus-wide culture of social innovation. Ashoka U takes an institutional change approach to impact the education of millions of students. We collaborate with colleges and universities to break down barriers to institutional change and foster a campus-wide culture of social innovation. See below Ashoka U’s Theory of Change for tipping higher education. Follow us on Twitter: @AshokaU.
Changemakers is an Ashoka program that rapidly accelerates the impact of social innovators’ work on critical social issues by building and nurturing networks of these leading changemakers. Ashoka Changemakers empowers these networks to ignite sweeping change in their fields. Changemakers has built a global network of hundreds of partners and more than 30,000 solutions from innovators in 200 countries by hosting more than 100 online challenges during the past decade with partners such as GE, Google, the Rockefeller Foundation, and many other innovating organizations. Follow us on Twitter: @changemakers.