All America: We See Changemakers Everywhere!

Imagine a country where social problems don’t outrun solutions and where all Americans participate in social change, no matter who they are or where they’re from. This is what we’re working toward.

Our network of 3,000+ Ashoka Fellows stretches across 93 countries, including 200+ working here in the US. We are proud of the breadth and span of our Fellowship. But we realized through an internal analysis of our Fellows in the US, that the majority live and work in only four cities: Boston, NYC, Washington D.C. and the Bay Area and have similar demographic profiles. We acknowledge that as an organization we have struggled to incorporate the rich ethnic, racial, geographical and gender diversity America offers into our social change landscape.

We’re committed to changing this picture.

Read more about our insights in the Stanford Social Innovation Review article.

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US Social Innovation: Let's Redraw the Map

(The majority of Ashoka's 200+ Fellows come from only four cities in the US - NYC, Boston, Washington, DC and San Francisco - and have similar demographic profiles.) Let’s Redraw the Map Through a new initiative, Ashoka hopes to make the field of US social entrepreneurship more diverse...
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Ashoka Visits Atlanta

Recently, the Kauffman Foundation ranked Atlanta as a top 10 US city for entrepreneurial activity, Forbes named it one of the best cities for female founders (1/3 of businesses are owned by women) and PCWorld proclaimed it one of America’s most tech-friendly cities. And Invest Atlanta and Startup...
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Kentucky Entrepreneur Nate Morris Is Disrupting The World's Toughest Industry: Garbage

We hear endless talk about smart entrepreneurs in established innovation hubs like Silicon Valley and New York City, but some of the juiciest business solutions are cropping up in elsewhere U.S.A.—places in Middle America like…Kentucky. Join us for our All America series and meet powerfully...
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When Women Social Entrepreneurs Collaborate: Big Problems Get Solved

The Setting: A fancy restaurant in midtown Manhattan The Timing: A brisk early evening in April at the Women in the World Summit The Players: 1) Ting Shih, social innovator and founder of ClickMedix 2) Lauren Shweder Biel, social innovator and founder of DC Greens The Instigators: A couple of...
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Why Voting, And The Voting Rights Act, Should Matter To Changemakers

On this blog, we seldom wade into the mire of politics. Social entrepreneurship is not a partisan issue. But changemaking—seeking to effect a positive change in a community—is inevitably a political act, influencing the way that individuals in society conduct themselves and interact. Democracy may...
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Gender Trends

While the crucial role of women as agents of change in developing communities is well acknowledged, the role of women as change-makers in the US social sector is less well explored. Nick Kristof’s great piece in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine shines a spotlight on the latter. The article, “D...
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How kids in Omaha transformed lives by playing Secret Kindness Agents

One evening, a grandfather told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride...
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How I, A Woman, Learned To Break The Rules And Do My Part To Help Better The World

Why is it that so few women have changed the world on a massive scale in the same way that men have? Where are the female Henry Fords, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates? Where are the women who have not only started companies but launched entirely new industries disrupting the way the world works? As a...
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Salesforce Takes on LGBTQ Rights: Would the World Change if All Companies Got Behind a Social Issue?

What role should businesses play in social change? In political advocacy? Is it okay for corporations to take a public stand, as Salesforce has and does, on issues like equal pay for women or LGBTQ rights? What do these actions signal about the future of CSR and corporate giving? To get some...
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This Colorado Company Is Owned 100% By Its Employees

Kim Jordan is Co-founder of New Belgium Brewing, one of America’s pioneers in craft brewing and an industry shaper known for its forward-thinking environmental practices and employee engagement. In 2013, Kim sold the company to her co-workers, making it 100% employee owned at a moment of growth and...
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The Women Saving Higher Education

Higher education may be notoriously resistant to change, but at this point, the writing's on the whiteboard, so to speak. Change is inevitable. Some of our most ambitious entrepreneurs and deep thinkers are taking aim--challenging the entire financial model, delivery system and value proposition of...
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