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Inner Growth for Social Change

By: Catalina Cock Duque, Ashoka Fellow in Colombia

Building a peaceful, democratic and inclusive country is a long term challenge which requires systemic changes to face the roots of our problems. Such changes imply transformations in politics, power, relationships, attitudes and values. In order to achieve this, alliances between the public, private and social sectors are necessary, as well as between leaders with diverse approaches who can support alliances to adopt new ways of doing things.

Aled Edwards: Open Source Leads to Drug Discovery for Kids' Rare Diseases

Professor and Ashoka Fellow Aled Edwards was a traditional biologist and researcher working in academia. But he became increasingly frustrated by a biomedical and drug discovery system that does not deliver. For example, despite billions of dollars of investment in basic research, too little is known about the cause of Parkinson’s Disease, though it was first described in 1817.

Martin Aufmuth's One Dollar Glasses

Add up the cost of steel wire, polycarbonate lenses, heat shrink tubing, transportation, shipping, personnel management, and spare parts. For Martin Aufmuth’s Ein Dollar Brille (“One Dollar Glasses”), it equals less than $1 USD. This cost, however, is hardly reflective of the value someone suffering from myopia, short or farsightedness, gains with a perfectly fitted pair of glasses.

Bina Nepram: Her Path To & Through Exile

“Don’t ask any questions. You’ll be shot dead.” This is a common refrain in Manipur state in India, where Ashoka Fellow Binalakshmi (Bina) Nepram grew up. Yet Bina asked questions. And despite currently living in exile, she continues to ask with conviction.

Chethan Gowda: Decreasing Blood Shortages in a Populous Country

Struck by the absurdity of dying from a blood shortage in a country of 1.2B people, Chethan Gowda began connecting people around one of life's essential liquids.

Aled Edwards: Open Source Leads to Medicine Discovery for Kids' Rare Diseases

Professor and Ashoka Fellow Aled Edwards was a traditional biologist and researcher working in academia. But he became increasingly frustrated by a biomedical and drug discovery system that does not deliver. For example, despite billions of dollars of investment in basic research, too little is known about the cause of Parkinson’s Disease, though it was first described in 1817.