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From Standing Rock to Pine Ridge Reservation Community Sustainability: Ashoka Fellow NickTilsen

One of the Dakota Access Pipeline's most devoted protestors is making his strongest stand back in his hometown. On the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Nick Tilsen, a 34-year-old member of the Oglala Lakota Nation and founding executive director of the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, is breaking ground on nearly three dozen homes and other amenities on 34 acres of land.

Muhammad Yunus on How to Change the World: Do the Reverse

Muhammad Yunus is the founder of Grameen Bank, the pioneering Dhaka-based organization that spread microcredit and microfinance globally. Professor Yunus was awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for his transformative impact. Ashoka had a chance to catch up with him just before the 2016 World Economic Forum.

Nourishing Schools in India

Ashoka and Swiss Re Foundation are partnering with schools to enable children to improve their own nutrition and that of their communities in India. In 2011 Ashoka and the Swiss Re Foundation started their journey on exploring how to improve the health status in India.

'As you pursue your goals, obstacles become irrelevant' - Ashoka Fellow & Magsaysay Award Winner Anshu Gupta

Anshu K. Gupta, Ashoka Fellow and Founder of Goonj observed that two Indias exist side-by-side: the increasingly wealthy, urban India and the impoverished, neglected rural India. Anshu realized that the vast stocks of everyday necessities - from clothes to medicines - lying as idle surplus in the homes of the rich can be a substantial economic resource for the country if channeled efficiently to the rural poor. His organization, Goonj, is leading a massive transfer of goods spanning the country.

Sawa World crowdfunds its way empowering 10,000 East African youth

Daphne Nederhorst -- an Ashoka fellow, social entrepreneur, and real-world superhero -- has crowdfunded over $10,000 in advance of Sawa World Day 2015 with her globally leading social enterprise, Sawa World. Each dollar raised in the "I Am The Solution" campaign will help an African youth living in extreme poverty to acquire the skills to become employed and improve their livelihoods permanently.  Sawa World Day will be happening this year on March 22nd in Kampala, Uganda. 

Empathy Heroes: 5 People Who Used Empathy to Change the World

Ever heard of “empathy marketing”? It’s the latest business buzzword. The idea is that if companies can look through their clients’ eyes and understand their desires, they will be better able to tailor their offerings and gain a competitive advantage.

To me, this is stepping into someone else’s shoes just to sell them another pair.

I believe that the best use of empathy is not in the commercial world but in the social one, where it allows us to challenge prejudices and create political change.

Maurice Miller proves those in poverty are social solutions, not problems

Like many Ashoka Fellows, Maurice Miller’s journey to becoming a leading social innovator was influenced by his efforts to conquer adversity. He was the child of a poor, immigrant, single mother, and when his sister moved out with a boyfriend at age 16, his mother was devastated.

Miller’s mother dedicated her life to making sure he made it through college. But shortly after he graduated from UC Berkeley with an engineering degree, his mother fell very ill.

Hone Your Empathy Chops (by Playing a Game)

You don’t have to be in a classroom to improve your ability to be empathetic. Scientists, game-makers, and designers are creating new ways of measuring, cultivating, and boosting empathy.

And you can even get started on your own. Want to try? Here are three empathy-building resources to check out:

Ashoka debuts in Japan

In February 2010, Ashoka founder and CEO Bill Drayton had a series of meetings in Tokyo, with 360 audience members at a University symposium, the Japanese Prime Minister (video), congressmen, and major media reporters.

Introducing the Ashoka Book Club: Up and Out of Poverty - The Social Marketing Solution

This will be the first of monthly book reviews from Ashoka staff, covering books which we have found relevant to our work. This first review is by Fransje de Waard who works with Ashoka in the Netherlands and is on Up and Out of Poverty - The Social Marketing Solution” by Philip Kotler and Nancy R. Lee.