Ashoka showed me who I was and had always been: I am a social entrepreneur. I start things, I need to change things. And at almost 45, I am a lifer. Beyond the young girl with passion and vision, I grew into a woman who never lost that drive, maybe because I found my global tribe.
For many years the people around me said I would grow out of it, that I would loose my idealist tendencies. It just didn’t happen and thankfully Ashoka showed me a global movement of people who made a career and a full life out of making change, no matter in what sector they worked.
There is something powerful inside change agents, it simply is, we just can’t help the drive to want the world to be more and it is powerful to find so many others all over the world working away and no longer alone. Ashoka taught me more deeply how to be who I am; language matters, it taught me a vocabulary that lifts me.
My new social venture First Power has an ambitious agenda to kick out diesel generators and replace them with 100% renewable micro grids. And typical of an Ashoka Fellow there is more, the projects will also be catalysts for capacity-building, job creating, economic and community development with equity for impoverished communities.
Ashoka has meant the world to me and my work. It taught me how to value what I do and see the space we all occupy with so much more clarity. And so many of the people have been gifts in my life. There is something very sane, constructive, visionary and deeply caring in the culture that is Ashoka. Beyond the brilliant Bill Drayton, and he is the loveliest man himself, the organization has a culture that lifts me with every contact.
Gratitude for all of your work in the world and the support it brings to all of us and in fact the world.
This story was submitted to the Ashoka 30th Birthday Card