Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When was Ashoka founded?

Ashoka was founded in 1980 by Bill Drayton in Washington, D.C. Ashoka elected its first Fellows in India in 1981. Read more information about Ashoka's history.

Q: Where are Ashoka’s offices?

Ashoka has offices in 36 countries on five continents. You can find a listing of all of Ashoka’s offices here.

Q: Gibt es etwas, auf das sich Ashoka spezialisiert hat?

Durch die Zusammenarbeit mit Social Entrepreneurs weltweit lernen wir viel darüber, welche Rahmenbedingungen gegeben sein müssen, damit immer mehr – und irgendwann alle – Menschen sich als Changemaker verstehen (>> hier mehr über unsere Vision und Arbeitsweise).

Aktuell fokussiert Ashoka u.a. darauf, durch den gezielten Aufbau von Netzwerken und die Unterstützung dieser insbesondere jungen Menschen die Erfahrung zu ermöglichen, selbstwirksam für positive Veränderungen in ihrem Umfeld aktiv zu werden.

Die Innovationen der Ashoka Fellows zeigen heute auf, in welchen Bereichen das größte Potenzial für die gesellschaftlichen Veränderungen von morgen liegt. Als globales Netzwerk setzen wir unsere Ressourcen dort ein, wo wir aus unserer Sicht bestmöglich Gestalter*Innen und gemeinsames Unternehmen unterstützen können auf dem Weg, unsere Vision zu erreichen.

Aktuell ergeben sich daraus vier Fokusbereiche:

1. Social Entrepreneurs begleiten.

2. Empathie von Anfang an

3. Jugend in Verantwortung

4. Zusammenarbeit neu denken

(>> mehr zu den Fokusthemen hier).

Q: Who are Ashoka’s Fellows?

Ashoka Fellows are the leading social entrepreneurs that Ashoka has recognized for their innovative solutions to social problems and their potential to change patterns across society. They demonstrate unrivaled commitment to bold new ideas and they prove that compassion, creativity, and collaboration are tremendous forces for change. Ashoka Fellows work in more than 90 countries around the globe in every area of human need. Find out more about Ashoka Fellows.

Q: How can I recommend a Fellow?

If you know a social entrepreneur who is doing awesome work, or you are one yourself, we would love to hear from you. Learn how to recommend an Ashoka Fellow.

Q: I am a journalist looking to interview someone in Ashoka’s leadership; how can I get in touch with someone?

For interview requests, please use our contact form.

Q: What does “Ashoka” mean?

Ashoka was named to honor the Indian Emperor Ashoka, one of the world's earliest great social entrepreneurs. After unifying India in the 3rd Century B.C., Emperor Ashoka renounced violence and became one of history's most tolerant, global-minded, and creative leaders, pioneering innovations in economic development and social welfare. For his creativity, global mindedness, and tolerance, Ashoka is renowned as one of the earliest examples of a social innovator. The Sanskrit word Ashoka means the "active absence of sorrow."

Q: What is an “everyone a changemaker" world?

An everyone a changemaker world is a world where more and more people respond efficiently and imaginatively to social problems, and where each person has the confidence, skills, and support to drive change for the better. This world is both more resilient and more inclusive because each person—regardless of age or background—will play a role in shaping the future. This new paradigm has massive implications for how children grow up and learn, how cities organize for the future, how companies think about talent and strategy, how philanthropists think about impact, and how societies define success and development.

Q: How can I work or volunteer with Ashoka?

We are looking for creative and effective leaders with a history of making powerful ideas real. If this sounds like you, please see Ashoka’s hiring criteria and apply to join our team or volunteer.

Q: How can I help support Ashoka financially?

In most countries you can donate online. You can also partner with Ashoka.

FAQs in United States

Q: What is Ashoka's legal status?

Ashoka is a registered 501(c)3 in the United States.