Bill Drayton is a social entrepreneur with a long record of founding organizations and public service. As a student, he founded organizations ranging from Yale Legislative Services to Harvard’s Ashoka Table, an inter-disciplinary weekly forum in the social sciences. After graduation from Harvard, he received an M.A. from Balliol College in Oxford University. In 1970, he graduated from Yale Law School. After working at McKinsey & Company, he taught at Stanford Law School and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. From 1977 to 1981, while serving the Carter Administration as Assistant Administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency, he launched emissions trading (the basis of Kyoto) among other reforms. He launched Ashoka in 1981. He used the stipend received when elected a MacArthur Fellow in 1984 to devote himself fully to Ashoka. Bill is Ashoka’s Chair and Chief Executive Officer. He is also chair of three other organizations; Youth Venture, Community Greens, and Get America Working! Bill has won numerous awards and honors throughout his career. In 2005, he was selected one of America’s Best Leaders by US News & World Report and Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership. Other awards include the Yale Law School’s highest alumni honor, the National Wildlife Federation’s Conservation Achievement Award International; and the National Academy of Public Administration National Public Service Award. As one of three members of the Leadership Team, his special responsibilities are leadership of the new group entrepreneurship and social financial services programs as well as staff search and marketing functions.
Let's seize this historic turning point
Major turning points always catch societies by surprise. They change the most basic structures of society.
They have the potential to lead to a wonderful place. An “everyone a changemaker” world is one:
- Where problems cannot outrun solutions.
- That is structurally far more equal because everyone is powerful.
- Where everyone, not just the fortunate elites, can express love and respect in action – the root cause of happiness and health.
The alternative is a deeply divided, angry world.
The challenge for leaders – and all of us – is to recognize and welcome the fact that we are at a turning point – and now change everything from growing up to how we lead.
Ashoka has been learning by actually catalyzing framework shifting for decades. Its 3,600 of the world’s best social (for the good of all) entrepreneurs in every field and from every society – the Ashoka Fellows – enable it to see the patterns of the future. And these same Ashoka Fellows love and are really good at working with one another and Ashoka in engineering these maximum leverage framework changes. (Three-quarters of the Ashoka Fellows change the patterns in their fields at the national level within five years of launch.)
Ashoka is uniquely positioned to change the framework of how society sees the world but we cannot do it alone.
By giving a gift to Ashoka this holiday season, you enable us to increase the number of Fellows we elect next year. And help us to help society see and seize the historic turning point now before us. With great appreciation and the warmest of wishes for a brilliant 2017!