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Ashoka Changemaker Schools enable all students to become changemakers—young people who have the skills and confidence to change the world for the good of all.

For 35 years, Ashoka has pioneered the field of social entrepreneurship—finding, selecting, and supporting some of the world's leading social entrepreneurs. Our network of more than 3,000 Ashoka Fellows is successfully implementing system-changing solutions to human and environmental problems in almost every area of need, in 85 countries.

Students are learning the essential skills of empathy, creativity, leadership, and teamwork at Ashoka Changemaker Schools 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 identify and select a global network of Changemaker Schools.

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Ashoka Fellows are extraordinary changemakers. But we believe that everyone needs to become a changemaker.

We believe that everyone should be:

  • equipped with the qualities that best define a social entrepreneur.
  • given the opportunity to become the kind of human being who is fully equipped and inclined to change the world for the better.
  • able to thrive and help us all thrive in the modern world. And that the modern world demands this urgently.

To help everyone become a changemaker, we need to make big changes in the way young people experience education.

We have more than 1,300 education Ashoka Fellows globally and have supported more than 375,000 young people who are practice changemaking in 50 countries. Building on our extensive experience with social entrepreneurs and young people, we are now working to trigger fundamental changes in the educational experience of young people so that everyone can become a changemaker.

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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.


The process of identifying and selecting Changemaker Schools is extremely rigorous—involving Ashoka staff, other Changemaker Schools, and independent advisors.

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Ashoka Changemaker Schools in United States

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The Changemakers Schools Program is called Start Empathy in the US.

Start Empathy is an initiative of Ashoka U.S. that launched in 2012 as a community of individuals and institutions dedicated to building a future in which every child masters empathy.

Despite how fast the world is changing, most of our educational priorities have remained the same. Only a handful of children are consistently provided with the learning environments and opportunities to develop into empathetic changemakers. We must shift this pattern. Ashoka’s Start Empathy Initiative expands and leverages Ashoka’s network of social entrepreneurs to drive a movement that makes empathy a priority skill for all children. We seek to accelerate society to a tipping point where this idea becomes inevitable because a new framework has taken hold.

A key strategy for doing so is working with our growing network of Changemaker Schools across the country. These schools are living models of transformative approaches to education and showcase an incredible range of how-tos that any educator can learn from in her efforts to bring empathy and changemaking more fully inside school walls. With them we are moving closer to a world where all young people have the skills and confidence to change the world for the good of all.

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