Affordable housing. It’s hard to find a topic more complex, and yet more relevant, to the poverty alleviation puzzle. From homeowner financing to land rights, from new home construction to rehabilitation of dilapidated dwellings, to models that ensure sustainable, ethical and profitable development in coordination with low-income customers, affordable housing is confounding in its intricacies.
But above all of these seemingly intractable complexities, there’s one constant: Where we live is the most personal of economic subjects. It touches every other part of our financial lives: our livelihoods, our families and our communities.
Ashoka champions the world's most important new social change ideas and supports the social entrepreneurs behind them by helping them get started, grow, succeed, and collaborate. This last aspect, collaboration, is the focus of this article. In a world that is quickly becoming a global team of teams, each collaborative entrepreneurship undertaking is, in effect, the global team of the best entrepreneurs working on systems change in whatever field most needs it and where action is ripe. By establishing the model and initial framework for collaborative entrepreneurship, Ashoka is pioneering the next chapter for the field of social entrepreneurship. In this article, Bill Drayton describes this approach, including two current examples from Ashoka’s work regarding empathy and business/social hybrid value chains. In Bill’s words, "collaborative entrepreneurship is, we believe, well on the way to becoming the core way our field truly changes the world."
In 2006 Ashoka Fellows joined forces with prisoners’ rights advocates to create the Latin America Prison Observatory. Representing thirteen countries, they are poised to launch an unprecedented coordinated effort to demand that the governments of Central and South America respect the rights and dignity of their prisoners.
By Ashoka & Ashoka Fellow Jill Vialet
Mastering empathy is a necessity today for the leaders of tomorrow. For our children, learning this skills will be critical to build and inspire a generation of youth with the skills and passion to change the course of history.
An overview of Ashoka’s work and achievements from 2007 (in PDF).
By Noga Leviner, Leslie R. Crutchfield, and Diana Wells
Published in Research on Social Entrepreneurship: Understanding and Contributing to an Emerging Field, edited by Rachel Mosher-Williams, 2007 The article describes the development of Ashoka's Measuring Effectiveness program, its methodology, and its results.
By Arthur Wood, VP Social Financial Services (SFS) at Ashoka. Read more about the challenges of the current social financing market and the philosophy and three-tier strategy of Ashoka SFS. The mission of Ashoka SFS is to change the way philanthropy and the social capital market is funded.
By Susan Davis, Chair, Global Academy for Social Entrepreneurship
This article examines how to nurture and cultivate an entrepreneurial culture that promotes social and economic development.
By William Drayton, CEO and Founder of Ashoka, August 2000
With each social entrepreneur and idea that succeeds, many others are encouraged to care for society's wellbeing and to champion changes they feel are needed. The multiplication of such decentralized concern and effective action is, of course, the essence of the democratic revolution.
By Arthur Wood, Director SFS Ashoka
and Maximilian Martin, Global Head of Philanthropy Services for UBS’s 2006 Philanthropy Forum, July 2006
In order to address the most pressing social problems facing the world today, creative solutions such as creating mechanisms for market-based solutions need to be investigated and employed.