Innovator Insights: Want to know how to sustain environmental change?

What is needed to get people to actively support environmental sustainability?

“Marketing,” says Kevin Davies, Ashoka American Express Emerging Innovator and founder of Green Start, an organization committed to reducing waste in Calgary, Canada and educating Calgarians about the impact of their personal decisions on the environment around them.

“I believe that marketing could well be the missing piece of the puzzle. I believe in marketing as a force for good.”

Project Happiness – Equipping Young People with Emotional Resilience, Self-Awareness, and Empathy

Project Happiness (PH) teaches students the skills to build emotional resilience, self-awareness, and empathy. Informed by neuroscience, positive psychology, and mindfulness, PH “teaches kids to be happy and strong from the inside” and helps adults strengthen social and emotional skills as well, said founder Randy Taran.

Early Entry Prize Winners Announced! & Competition News

More than 200 entries were received for the Building Vibrant Communities competition!  We’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who entered. Due to the overwhelming response, we are pushing back our timeline one week and will be announcing Semi-Finalists on July 24.

Youth Empowerment and Healthy Living: The Magic of Hip-Hip


Ashoka Fellow Stephen Leafloor is creating young leaders among First Nations and Inuit communities affected by issues such as sexual abuse, suicide, depression, family violence and school desertion. Using a blend of hip-hop dance and music and traditional Inuit performance arts as a hook, he guides youth and other community members to create comprehensive networks of support and solutions to these mental health crises.

Ashoka and Partners’ Changemakers Competition for Greece announces four winning projects for 2014


Athens, July 16, 2014 – Ashoka Greece announced today that four (4) winners have been selected in “Destination: Change. New Solutions for Greece”, the first Changemakers competition for Greece, launched March 2014.

Eπιλέχθηκαν οι 4 νικητές του Διαγωνισμού «Προορισμός: Αλλαγή. Νέες Λύσεις για την Ελλάδα»


Αθήνα, 16 Ιουλίου, 2014 - H Αshoka Ελλάδος ανακοίνωσε σήμερα τους 4 νικητές του «Destination: Change. New Solutions for Greece» του πρώτου διαγωνισμού στην πλατφόρμα των Changemakers, που ανακοινώθηκε τον Μάρτιου του 2014.

Ashoka and Partners’ Changemakers Competition for Greece announces four winning projects for 2014


Athens, July 16, 2014 – Ashoka Greece announced today that four (4) winners have been selected in “Destination: Change. New Solutions for Greece”, the first Changemakers competition for Greece, launched March 2014.

Q&A With NextDrop Founder Anu Sridharan

Water problems affect billions of people around the world.

Welcoming Immigrants: Why Empathy Is Smart Economics For Cities

by David Lubell, founder and Executive Director of Welcoming America

Why should a local government care about welcoming immigrants and becoming an actively empathetic institution? Not only do immigrants add social and civic value to towns and cities, they also help their communities become stronger economically. More localities are recognizing this, and with immigration reform stalled at the federal level, they are taking the lead to attract and welcome their immigrant neighbors.

360° Launch: Whose job is Youth Employment in Africa?

We share perspectives, insights and analysis from the private, public, citizen sectors and from youth addressing the question “Whose job is youth employment in Africa?" in a series of articles produced in partnership with the Fair Observer

African Youth and the Job Market: Asset or Liability?

To become a transformational force for good, African youth must be employable.

Education & employment: Calling for a new kind of growing up experience for youth in South Africa

The correlation between educational attainment and employment prospects is clear. Those with tertiary qualifications are far more likely to access the labor market, with only 12.6% unemployment among holders of diplomas and higher certificates, and only 5.2% among those who have degrees.

Ensuring Empty Sidelines and Healthy Living Across Canada


When everyone plays, everyone wins where healthy lifestyles are concerned. If we want our children to be active, there’s no room on the bench.

5 Social Change Pros Offer Advice To Young Entrepreneurs

Young people these days are wired differently. And that’s a good thing, according to Dr.

Innovator Insights: Slavery Seen and Solved

It’s an uncomfortable truth: people are still trapped in slavery, and not just in agriculture and manufacturing, the two sectors that may come to mind immediately. “Both the consumer and industry need to think beyond the tag,” said Arati Sureddi, Ashoka American Express Emerging Innovator and founder of LOTUS Alliance, an organization committed to cutting across sectors to fight human trafficking.

Reports to Results: Dealing With Youth Unemployment in Africa

Editor's Note: In partnership with Fair Observer, an on-line journal that examines the deeper issues behind the news, we will explore the theme: Who is responsible for addressing youth employment in Africa? From June-September 2014, we will be developing online events and a series of articles that will gather multiple perspectives and provide a 360° analysis on the topic.

Podcast: No Smoke Without Fire!

What happens when an engineer meets a climate change expert? This is the story of One Earth Designs, a social enterprise that develops sustainable solutions responding to the need of the rural communities in the Himalayas.

Schools Developing Healthy, Active Children


Sports like dodgeball, track, soccer, and basketball and intermittent fitness tests have been the norm for physical education classes. 

Re-imagine Learning Challenge Hangout with 3 Players to Watch

A lot of time is spent discussing why education reform is important and why more playful learning methodologies benefit students.

Winners - Social & Business Co-Creation: collaboration for impact

Ashoka, the Zermatt Summit Foundation, Fondation Guilé, DPD and Boehringer Ingelheim are delighted to announce the winners of the European competition “Social & Business Co-Creation: collaboration for impact”. They were awarded during a ceremony at the prestigious Zermatt Summit, on June 27, 2014


Please join us in congratulating the inspiring competition winners:


Re-Designing Play, Re-Imagining Learning: 3 Players To Watch

If we were honest with ourselves, we’d admit that many of our educationsystems prioritize things other than whole-child development.

“We’ve got an obsession in believing that literacy and numeracy and content acquisition are the principal objectives of school systems,”

Building a Healthy Container for Your Vision


You’re ignited by your vision, and you feel a deep urge to make it happen. Perhaps you’re already making it happen, and you’re busy managing the manifestation of your dreams. 

Citizen Engagement: Key Ingredient in Road Safety


See an offender, upload their picture on Facebook. Police force in four major Indian cities—Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Gurgaon— are taking a unique approach to catching drunk-driving offenders by enlisting the help of local residents.

Enter Before Thursday 6/26, 5pm PDT for an Extra $1000! Plus tips for creating a winning entry

You can still continue to revise your entry up until the final deadline. Entering early means you'll be eligible to win one of two early entry prizes of $1000. All entries remain eligible to win one of four $100k Activating Empathy Prizes, or one of two potential Idea Prizes.

What makes a winning entry? Top entries meet the Assessment Criteria, and they also make a compelling case for the problem they are trying to solve, and for their specific model for achieving impact.

Innovator Insights: Biodiversity, the Climate Fix with Philippe Levesque of Agrarian Revolution

Game-changing ideas don’t happen in a bubble. They’re formed by an acute awareness and in-depth understanding of what real people are experiencing in their everyday lives.

Innovator Insights: Biodiversity, the Climate Fix with Philippe Levesque of Agrarian Revolution

Game-changing ideas don’t happen in a bubble. They’re formed by an acute awareness and in-depth understanding of what real people are experiencing in their everyday lives.

Atii! Let’s Do It! - A Community-grown Innovation for Healthy Living


Can building health habits be fun? One Nunavut program is proving that good health doesn’t have to be a chore. Atii! Let’s Do It!, based in Iqaluit, has designed a creative gameshow that helps young people and families learn about making healthy eating choices and living active lifestyles.

Επιλέχθηκαν οι 20 φιναλίστ του Διαγωνισμού «Προορισμός: Αλλαγή. Νέες Λύσεις για την Ελλάδα»

Αθήνα – 23 Ιουνίου, 2014 – Με περισσότερες από 90 συμμετοχές έκλεισε στις 19 Μαίου 2014 η προθεσμία υποβολής συμμετοχής στον διαγωνισμό «Προορισμός: Αλλαγή. Νέες Λύσεις για την Ελλάδα» (Destination: Change. New Solutions for Greece) που διοργάνωσαν η Ashoka, η Ελληνική Πρωτοβουλία (Τhe Hellenic Initiative), το Κοινωφελές Ίδρυμα Ιωάννη Σ. Λάτση, η Boehringer Ingelheim Ελλάς και η SAP Hellas με στόχο την εύρεση καινοτόμων λύσεων για κοινωνική αλλαγή στην Ελλάδα.

20 Finalists Selected in Ashoka and Partners’ Changemakers Competition for Greece

Athens, June 24, 2014 – Ashoka Greece announced today that 20 finalists have been selected in the first Changemakers competition for Greece. The «Destination: Change. New Solutions for Greece» competition is an initiative by Ashoka, The Hellenic Initiative, the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, Boehringer Ingelheim Ellas, and SAP Hellas to source innovative solutions for social change in Greece.

The finalists, selected from more than 90 entries, represent the most innovative and promising solutions in the following areas of social impact for Greece:

Safer Roads Are Car-Free Roads: India's First "Raahgiri Day"


17th November 2013, was a groundbreaking day in the history of Gurgaon, when 10,000 people came out of their houses to enjoy the country’s first ever car-free Sunday. Raahgiri Day had arrived!

Google+ Hangout: The Role of the Young Entrepreneur in a Changing World

Solutions to the world’s most pressing problems are exciting. The opportunities are global, interconnected and interdependent. Business' resources dwarf those of the philanthropic and public sectors combined. All fixes require leaders with vision and capacity to build systems for change across industries and borders. Yet alone, now and in the future, no one of these sectors can put together the social entrepreneurial ecosystems necessary for major innovation and change to work at scale.

Podcast: Delivering High-quality, Low-cost Healthcare to the World’s Poor

Possible Health is a non-profit tackling the issue of health care in a very challenging environment. Based in a rural area of Nepal, Possible Health’s mission is to prove that it is possible to deliver high quality health care services at a very low cost. Mark Arnoldy, 27, founder of Possible Health, is a serial social entrepreneur.

Seeking Sustainable Living Solutions to Change the World

The 2014 Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards in partnership with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and Ashoka is seeking young people aged 30 and under with practical, scaleable initiatives designed to tackle the challenge of sustainable living.  


Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards

Webinar & Twitter Chat 6/25 | Youth Employment in Africa: Whose job is it?

Around the world, the communities with the brightest futures create innovative opportunities for youth to build sustainable livelihoods, pursue meaningful careers and shape better realities for themselves and for those around them.

“Take your genius and your optimism and your empathy and go change the world” : Bill and Melinda Gates on the Power of Empathy

See video

Last weekend, Bill and Melinda Gates addressed Stanford’s graduating class, and urged them to use empathy and optimism to change the world. The couple delivered a poignant speech illustrating why innovation and optimism alone were not enough to make the world better.

Bill said, “Even in dire situations, optimism can fuel

Saimavik Studio: Just BEING in the Arctic


“Iqaluit, and Nunavut as a whole, could use a little extra love and healing,” says Christine Lamothe, co-founder of Saimavik Studio, a wellness studio in the heart of Nunavut’s capital city.

Play, a serious solution to economic and social challenges?

Education hasn’t changed that much since the days of armor-clad knights and candlelight—well before the printing press and, more recently, the internet made information a commodity. Educators lecture.

Activating Empathy to Create Change - News Roundup

We’ll be posting the latest news from around the web on innovative empathy projects that help build vibrant communities! Check back weekly for more news and insights about putting empathy into action. 


The world’s first Empathy Museum

A perspective from Quebec on healthy living habits

38.8 million premature deaths by 2025: that is the conclusion of a recent Lancet study that evaluated the impact of the global population’s unhealthy living habits.

Emerging Innovators Alumni: Planting New Seeds for the Next Generation of Social Entrepreneurs

Written by Guest Blogger and 2013 Emerging Innovator Curt Bowen

When I was 18, my best friend Joseph and I planned to design an innovative way for Central American communities to make their own biofuels in order to become fuel independent and fight poverty. We were going to teach this technology to universities, citizen sector organizations, and farming associations—and, we were going to do it all by driving and living in a biodiesel powered bus through Central America.

Building ViaSport Productions: A new platform to showcase amateur sport to the world

Speed skating Olympian Cathy Priestner Allinger shares her personal inspiration behind a new media initiative at ViaSport, a not-for-profit organization responsible for providing strategic leadership to sport in B.C. and increasing levels of physical activity at every stage of life, in every community.

Finalist Projects - Social & Business Co-Creation: collaboration for impact

Ashoka,the Zermatt Summit Foundation, Fondation Guilé, DPD and Boehringer Ingelheim are delighted to announce the finalists of the European competition “Social & Business Co-Creation: collaboration for impact”. We were excited to see so many innovative collaborations led by social-mission organizations, traditional businesses and public institutions in Europe: we have received 338 projects from 34 European countries!


Please join us in congratulating the 15 finalist projects:

Ashoka Changemakers and Packard Foundation Launch an Online Competition

Building Vibrant Communities: Activating Empathy to Create Change

New online competition will award $500,000 in prizes to initiatives that activate empathy in order to strengthen communities in five California counties

"Empathy-based ethics are the essential foundation for 21st century changemaking," says Bill Drayton, the CEO and founder of Ashoka. "If we had to name a single, overarching success factor among our global network of social entrepreneurs, it would be the ability to put empathy into action."

Walking to school: creating a culture of active living for kids


With an increasing child obesity rate, Canadian children are more and more at risk of developing serious chronic conditions, such as type II diabetes, cancers and hypertension.

Play, a Serious Solution? G+ Hangout and Twitter Chat on May 28


“I think the beauty of thinking like a child … is that sometimes doing things differently and simply and with a kind of joy and triviality leads you to a really special place that as an adult you don’t get to go to very often.”

Youth Transforming Canada’s Most Pressing Health Issues


About a third of all Canadian children are overweight or obese, and only 4.4 percent of children get the recommended amount of physical activity. 

May 27th: #SocEntChat about Lessons in Leadership for Social Entrepreneurs

On Tuesday, May 27th, Ashoka Changemakers and American Express will host a global #SocEntChat about lessons and trends in leadership development for social entrepreneurs.

The Healing Power of Canada’s Natural Landscape


“Our mission is to connect our society’s most marginalized and under-served women to the healing power of nature,” said Jaime Adams, the Founder of the Forest and the Femme Society. The organization is one of the Early Entry Prize winners of The Play Exchange challenge. 

UL and Ashoka Announce the Early Entry Prize winners of the Safer Roads, Safer India Challenge


Every year, more than 1.2 million people die in road accidents globally, with 130,000 of those deaths occurring in India, which has the worst road traffic accident rate worldwide. The result is an estimated 2 percent loss in GDP in India that not only affects workforce members, but places added pressure on the health care system.

2014 American Express Ashoka Changemakers Emerging Innovators Announced

May 21, 2014—American Express and Ashoka Changemakers have recognized 45 innovators as future leaders of social change across North America. Their solutions tackle a wide range of the world’s most critical challenges.

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