On April 18, 2010 Bill Drayton and Ashoka were awarded the Essl Social Prize in Vienna, Austria. The Essl Social Prize was founded in 2008 by Austrian business entrepreneur Martin Essl and his wife Gerda. It is the largest cash prize in the social sector, awarding EUR 1 million to one groundbreaking social entrepreneur each year. In 2009, Ashoka Fellow Erzsebet Szekeres of Hungary received the honor. This prize was given with the intention not only to reward the successes of thirty years of Ashoka and its more than 2,500 Fellows but also to push the entire community to take the next step - to go global. In addition to supporting the continued search and selection of Fellows, part of the prize money is going toward the launch of Ashoka's Globalizer initiative, a program that will systematically equip ready-to-go-global Ashoka Fellows with the support they need to scale up quickly and effectively and culminating in a series of intimate sessions with 25 global business entrepreneurs and members of Ashoka's Global Academy.
The 2010 Essl Social Prize and its recognition of Ashoka’s central contribution to creating and building the field of social entrepreneurship and a world in which everyone can be powerful changemakers is a great honor. Learn more below.
More about the Ashoka Globalizer Initiative >>
Announcement of the award:
Push to Globalize 25 Social Solutions—Bill Drayton and Ashoka Receive Largest Cash Prize in Social Sector
December 1, 2009
Washington, D.C./Vienna, Austria (December 2009) Which force in the world will find scaleable solutions to eradicating poverty, improving education, providing housing for all, ending discrimination, and preventing climate change? As governments struggle to reach consensus on the road to Copenhagen or achieve targets like the Millenium Development Goals, the world's social entrepreneurs have been given a vote of confidence for their potential as changemakers. Today, the Essl Social Prize committee announced its 2010 awardee, Bill Drayton, Chairman of Ashoka and father to the field of social entrepreneurship.
"This prize has been given by a true entrepreuneur to fellow entrepreneurs, with the intention not only to reward the successes of thirty years of Ashoka and 2,000 Ashoka Fellows but to push the entire community to take the next step - to go global" Bill Drayton said.
Ashoka will match the prize money and invest in a number of initiatives with partners in the field that all aim at bringing leading social innovations from national to global impact.
Most prominently, Ashoka announces the Ashoka Globalizer, a program that will identify 25 social entrepreneurs who are now ready to scale their innovations worldwide. The program will systematically equip these Ashoka Fellows with the support they need to scale up quickly and effectively, culminating in a series of intimate sessions with 25 global business entrepreneurs and members of Ashoka's Global Academy. These conversations will be held at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, April 18-19, 2010, and live streamed to a worldwide community of potential supporters and partners. Applications from all over the Ashoka community are already coming in.
Founded in 1980, Ashoka is the world’s working community of more than 2,000 leading social entrepreneurs. It champions the most important new social change ideas and supports the entrepreneurs behind them by helping them get started, grow, succeed, and collaborate. As Ashoka expands its capacity to integrate and connect social and business entrepreneurs around the world, it builds an entrepreneurial infrastructure comprised of a series of global initiatives that support the fast-growing needs of the citizen sector. Ashoka’s vision is to create change today, for an Everyone A Changemaker™ society to become the reality of tomorrow. For more information, visit www.ashoka.org.
About The Essl Social Prize
The Essl Social Prize was founded last year by Austrian business entrepreneur Martin Essl and his wife Gerda. It awards EUR 1 million to one groundbreaking social entrepreneur each year. In 2009, Ashoka Fellow Erzsebet Szekeres of Hungary received the honor.