Konstanze is a member of the Leadership Group and leads Ashoka’s new global initiative on Tech & Humanity. She’s also the head of Ashoka in North America. A social anthropologist and journalist by background, she founded Ashoka in her native Germany in 2003 and co-led Ashoka’s emergence and growth in Western Europe, introducing the then radically new concept of social entrepreneurship to the continent. She also co-founded the Globalizer, an initiative re-defining what we mean by scale. She worked for CNN and FAZ and was a board member for GLS Bank, Germany’s leading ethical financial institution, before moving to the US in 2015. She is on the advisory board of CASE at Duke University.
Dear Jeff Bezos: Our Future Will Be Written By Long-Term Thinking
Interesting thought that perhaps your philanthropic strategy should be the opposite of business, focused on short term, "right now" goals!
I’d like to respectfully disagree—while direct service, as in feeding hungry stomachs, is needed and utterly important, philanthropy can go further.
Think of civil rights, the fall of the Berlin wall, the hospice movement, the modern standards of nursing, the Montessori methodology, the American library system . . . helping these ideas to fruition meant to believe in something more than short term results.
Whether or not ideas need philanthropic money does not correlate at all to how powerful they are in shaping the future. And not too seldom, philanthropic endeavors shape markets of tomorrow. Mobile banking was pioneered by a non-profit. Spearheaders of the sharing economy were non-profits.
If you look for systems-changing and mindset-shifting ideas, your dollars will have way more impact—in philanthropy as in business.
In response to your call for ideas, we've invited Ashoka Fellows to share their ideas in the coming days at #IdeasforJeff—enjoy!
Ashoka’s leader in North America