Study: 83% of Ashoka Fellows Changed the System at a National Level

April 6, 2010

Washington, DC (April 6, 2010) Over 80% of Ashoka Fellows have changed the rules that govern our societies and market systems according to a study conducted by Ashoka and the Corporate Executive Board.  Additionally, 72% of Ashoka Fellows are using a market based approach (earned revenue, for profit components or collaborating with businesses), blurring the line between sectors and creating Business Social Congruence.  Ashoka Fellows are leading social entrepreneurs who are recognized for the potential to change patterns across society.  172 Fellows from 32 countries participated in the study, which measured 5 types of systemic change ranging from market dynamics, to public policy.  

With the help of a robust global nominator network, consisting of partner organizations, businesses, and community leaders Ashoka Fellows are elected and provided with financial support to be able to pursue his or her vision full-time.  Candidates must present a new idea that has the potential to transform a whole field, rather than an isolated charitable project.  

Ashoka's unique approach invests in individuals and provides strategic support and stipends to remove the financial burdens that would otherwise restrict them from pursuing their ideas.  Additional findings from the Ashoka Impact Study show that 78% of Fellows considered this support "critical" in at least three important ways: unconditional acceptance, new perspectives, and increased impact.

Ashoka will release the full study at the organization's Future Forum on Tuesday, April 6, 2010.  The Forum will be held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The one-day event will bring together social innovators, business entrepreneurs, and government leaders to identify and study trends in social innovation globally and how to apply them in the US.

"The Ashoka Future Forum brings together leaders from many places because today, change comes from many sources," says Bill Drayton, Founder and CEO of Ashoka. "The world of the future is one where everyone is a changemaker, not just a tiny elite. You can see its principles at work in the world's most successful organizations and regions — be it the Jesuits or Silicon Valley."

The Forum is also celebrating a group of 23 leading social entrepreneurs form the US that have just became Ashoka Fellows: Amory Lovins, Ben Powell, Bernard Amadei, Bill Pace, Bruce Bloom, Chris Balme, Christa Gannon, Conchy Bretos, Connie Siskowski, Daniel Ben-Horin, David Castro, Elizabeth Hausler, Gary Slutkin. Herb Sturz, Jerry White, John Danner, Michael Turner, Nicholas Reville, Paul Rieckhoff, Rachel Lloyd, Sanjeev Arora, Sharon Terry and Tanya Tull. You can check their profiles online at http://usa.ashoka.org/welcome-new-fellows.

About Ashoka

Ashoka is leading a profound transformation in society. In the past three decades, the global citizen sector, led by social entrepreneurs, has grown exponentially. Just as the business sector experienced a tremendous spurt in productivity over the last, the citizen sector is experiencing a similar revolution, with the number and sophistication of citizen nominations increasing dramatically.  

Rather than leaving societal needs for the government or business sectors to address, social entrepreneurs are creating innovative solutions, delivering extraordinary results and improving the lives of millions of people.

It is this insight into the power of social entrepreneurs that led Bill Drayton to found Ashoka in 1980 and that continues to guide Ashoka today.

To learn more about Ashoka in the US, visit http://usa.ashoka.org.

Follow the Ashoka Future Forum live at http://usa.ashoka.org/live.