The Ashoka-Lemelson Foundation Partnership
The Ashoka-Lemelson Foundation Partnership:
In 2006, The Lemelson Foundation and Ashoka launched a partnership to advance invention for social good. Together, we identified and invested in 100+ leading invention entrepreneurs from developing countries and convened four international meetings to accelerate learning in the field of invention for good.
This engagement was followed by an initiative to support young teams of changemakers using technology for good, the collaboration of Ashoka Fellows in the AshokaHub technology platform, and the Accelerator program to scale existing technology-based ventures of Ashoka-Lemelson Fellows.
The Lemelson Foundation seeks to create environments that support empathetic, user-centered design for inventions. Many Ashoka Fellows have had empathetic experiences leading them to invent important technology for good and Ashoka is spearheading a global movement around empathy.
Together, Ashoka and the Lemelson Foundation seek to transform the entrepreneurship environment to help innovators create technologies for good and ultimately improve lives.
Photos by Noah Friedman-Rudovsky
Ashoka-Lemelson Fellows are pioneers on the cutting edge of innovation in solar energy, clean water, mobile technology, science education, and healthcare -- bringing powerful and affordable solutions to many millions of the world’s poorest people and inspiring inventors around the world to be changemakers.
In 2010 Ashoka and Lemelson hosted convenings in in Kenya, Singapore, Brazil and India with the Ashoka-Lemelson Fellows and leading business entrepreneurs. This is what we learned:
The Ashoka-Lemelson partnership helped a cohort of invention entrepreneurs grow their work. In addition to building a stronger network of innovators, Fellows and practitioners, Ashoka and the Lemelson Foundation built a vehicle for sharing ideas around innovation and technology in the form of a blog. AshokaTECH was a two-year blog series about technology and invention within the realm of social entrepreneurship.
Over 400 blog posts were written on a variety of "technology-for-change" topics – demonstrating innovative technological approaches to a variety of problems in fields such as alternative energy, rural development, technology transfer, mobile applications, water/sanitation, agriculture and health care (to name a few). Follow the links below for samples from the top 100 posts from the series that ran from 2009-2011.
Below are the highlights from the AshokaTECH blog and additional resources that were produced as a result of Ashoka's partnership with the Lemelson Foundation.