Often credited with coining the term “social entrepreneurship” and having elected over 3,500 systems-changing social entrepreneurs across more than 90 countries, Ashoka’s brand recognition and global network of Ashoka Fellows and changemakers makes the organization an ideal hub for contributing to systems change education. Here are two branches of the organization worth highlighting in that regard:
With a vision of making social innovation and changemaking education a new norm across higher education, Ashoka U encourages systems change at multiple levels – in the classroom, across the institution, and across the field at large. Since its founding in 2008, Ashoka U has co-created together with university partners a vision for and strategic benefits of becoming a ‘changemaker institution’. The organization advocates for social innovation to be both an educational pathway for students to develop 21st century skills and an institutional change strategy that rewires the entire institution to be adaptive and innovative as it serves as an agent of social impact in its community. Through its work with over 5,000 individuals at 500 campuses across over 50 countries, Ashoka U cultivates an ecosystem of innovators that are reimaging and transforming both educational programming and institutional structures and cultures. The Ashoka U Exchange, one of the world’s largest convening of social innovators in higher education, is an annual conference of approximately 700 students, faculty, administrators, senior leaders, and community leaders from across 140 global institutions. In addition to being a venue for sharing and building leading practices, as importantly it fosters and fuels a community and identity of changemaking educational innovators. Ashoka U’s most rigorous program Changemaker Campus, is both a designation for campuses that model this campus-wide excellence in social innovation and changemaking and a collaborative network committed to advancing the field of social innovation and changemaking education together.
The Global Change Leaders is another exemplar of an educational ecosystem approach from the global Ashoka network. The Global Change Leaders is an international community dedicated to creating learning ecosystems while supporting and building the capacity of educators and practitioners who are committed to “weaving” or bringing together key stakeholders at the institutional, city, regional, and national level to empower universal wellbeing. With a commitment to transforming institutional silos into learning ecosystems, Change Leaders or “Weavers” within the network work through The Weaving Academy to foster alignment, collaboration, and systems level change with innovators, educators, policymakers, and thought leaders around the world.
Learn more about Ashoka U here and about The Global Change Leaders network here.