Once a young person has had a dream, built a team, and changed his or her world, he or she has the power to express love and respect in action–the heart of what brings health, longevity, and happiness. He or she will be a changemaker for life. . . a real contributor in a world where value increasingly comes from changemaking and not, as it has for millennia, from efficiency in repetition.
– Bill Drayton, Founder and CEO, Ashoka
The rate of change is accelerating exponentially. The new game is change. But young people are not being equipped with the tools to thrive in disruptive change. They continue on an assembly line designed to get them to adopt vocations which are now phasing out- a vestige of the past. Today’s society needs for everyone to be a changemaker. It needs every young person, parent, and educator to grasp that a new learning framework is needed for navigating the changemaker world successfully. They need a new set of competencies: empathy, co-creative teamwork, a new leadership style where everyone is empowered to lead, and changemaking for the good of all. To master these competencies takes practice from a young age.
The collection of stories below shine a light on great changemakers who have led young and practiced early changemaking. The stories demonstrate the factors --guidance from parents, teachers, peers and others-- that helped them begin their changemaking journey as a teen and how the #LeadYoung experience set them up for success in the new paradigm of an everyone a changemaker world. Learn more about how to get involved in LeadYoung.
Ashoka is a team of people working together to advance a world in which everyone is a changemaker. Our relentless, committed, and global team is also a community of changemakers, each with our own ever-evolving changemaking journey.