Blogs

Re-imagine Learning Challenges: Pioneers Hangout Series

There’s a growing demand in the workplace, and at almost every level of our global society, for innovative solutions to serious challenges.

Storify: How Innovators are Creating Solutions to Youth Employment in Africa

 
Young people are striving to create solutions to the soaring rates of youth unemployment in Africa and to move #Africayouthfwd. Find out what the people creating solutions have to say from their gathering in Cape town, South Africa.

How Can Social Innovators Design Their Venture for the Highest Level of Impact?

"Go beyond making the problem go away for some people; instead, build a solution through which the problem becomes irrelevant" has been the guiding adage for how Ashoka selects Fellows. We have always focused on finding people who we call “systems-changing social entrepreneurs.” Bill Drayton’s most famous quote still rings true in this way: We know it’s time to move beyond the “teach a man to fish” model, and find those who will “reinvent the entire fishing industry.”

Arthur Guinness Projects and Ashoka Changemakers Announce ‘Makers of More’ Winner

Indonesian Sign Language Dictionary & Learning Application Wins International Social Entrepreneur Challenge

Today, March 12th 2015, Arthur Guinness Projects and Ashoka announced the winner of the ‘Makers of More’ international challenge for social entrepreneurs. Indonesian based, Dreambender was selected as the overall winner from over 300 entries received from 45 countries across the world. 

Winners Announced!

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The Makers of More expert judges have spoken!

 

Africa's Digital Revolution with Youth at the Helm: The Source of Opportunity

Editor's Note: This article was writen by Meera Patel, Operations Associate at Ashoka UK and first appeared on Virgin.com
 
Just over 20 years ago, Robert Kaplan wrote a stark warning about the mounting strategic danger posed by an anarchic, uncontrollable, “increasing lawlessness” in West Africa.

Africa's Digital Revolution with Youth at the Helm: The Source of Opportunity

Editor's Note: This article was writen by Meera Patel, Operations Associate at Ashoka UK. You can follow Meera on twitter.

Feedback Labs Releases Feedback Quiz and Toolkit

(Washington, D.C.) - On March 10, Feedback Labs, a consortium of leading domestic and international organizations in the for-good sector, released the first version of its flagship product, the Feedback Toolkit.  The Toolkit helps organizations improve the way they listen to their constituents to be more responsive to the people they are trying to serve - and ultimately to improve outcomes.

Meet the Makers of More Finalists!

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Twenty-two Finalists have been selected from a pool of 40 Semi-Finalists!

“We are thrilled by the ingenuity and diversity of the solutions that were entered into the competition,” said Rob Wilson, Director at Ashoka UK. “The shortlisting committee did not have an easy job. The Finalists represent those entries that best meet the challenge’s criteria of innovation, social impact, and sustainability.”

How Innovative Young Africans Are Fixing A Broken Education System

Illiteracy rates in West Africa were the highest in the world in 2009, but as recently as 2013 the World Bank reported that things were turning around. Across the region, many more children, especially girls, were enrolling in primary school.

Trottibus is the Winner of The Play Exchange!

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Canadians from coast to coast to coast have spoken! Our six finalists were featured during a CBC Special, Canadians were asked to vote for their favourite innovation.

Trottibus received the most votes and will receive up to $1 million from the Government of Canada to put their winning idea into action!

Reliefwatch Founder Daniel Yu Wins Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneurs Prize

LONDON -- Unilever and University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership announce Daniel Yu as the winner of the second Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize.

Daniel Yu, 21, founder of Reliefwatch—a simple softwa

Semi-Finalists Announced!

Ashoka Changemakers and Arthur Guinness Projects thank all who entered the Makers of More challenge for sharing their ideas for creating strong communities with more opportunities! 

An astounding number of entries were received from around the world – more than 300– and we’re proud to announce that 40 Semi-Finalists have been selected. They will go on to the next round of judging and remain eligible to win a grand prize of €30,000. Two additional runners-up will win €10,000 each. 

For Youth, By Youth: Creating Jobs, Sustainability And A Future Vision For Kenya

Simeon Ogonda’s vision for Kenyan youth is ambitious. He wants to transform young people from job seekers into job creators who build and support sustainable and transparent enterprises.

How 5 Creative Young People Are Addressing Youth Employment In Africa

Announcing! Five winning ideas for addressing employment in Africa—social entrepreneurship fixes for youth, by youth—from the MasterCard Foundation and Ashoka's Future Forward partnership.

Lessons from Young Innovators Addressing Employment in Africa: Two-part Media Event

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“There is a great human potential, human capital and great natural resources in Africa, but for me, Africa’s greatest assets are the young people,” said United Nations Youth Envoy Ahmad Alhendawi in 2013. Alhendawi is right. Today, there are nearly 300 million people between ages 10 and 24 in sub-Saharan Africa—and there will be nearly twice as many young people in the region by mid-century.

How To Launch A Company With $10

“As an entrepreneur, there is the tendency to think that money is what gets things done,” said Olumide Adeleye, the founder of the Twim Academy in Ibadan, Nigeria, a school of media and creative arts. He has a different take on what’s required when starting a business—he launched his as a first-year college student, with $10.

The Play Exchange Is Open For Voting!

 

We're excited to announce that voting for The Play Exchange Challenge is now open! The Play Exchange is a national challenge open to all Canadians and their ideas for promoting active living across Canada.

Northwest Territories Residents Team Up to Walk to Tuk

Walk to Tuk taps team spirit and community pride to get NWT residents outside and active - despite the winter weather

“Staying motivated is one of the biggest challenges to leading a healthy lifestyle that we see in the Northwest Territories especially during the winter months,” said Sheena Tremblay, Active Communities Coordinator of NWT Recreation and Parks Association. 

Want to get moving for 30 minutes a day? There’s a reward for that.

GOODcoins taps gamification to make daily exercise fun, social, and rewarding.

Staying active can be difficult, even if we know that exercise is one of the best ways to prevent diabetes and heart disease. But now an innovative app called GOODcoins is providing the carrot without the stick by rewarding people for everyday healthy behaviors.

Gamechanging Innovations for Road Safety in India

Efforts to improve road safety took a giant leap forward with the formation of a powerful community of changemakers that is developing innovative solutions for the big road safety challenges in India. This network is moving beyond the morass of problems to identify transformative ways to invest time and money. 

Igniting a Passion for Dance & Active Living

Igniting a Passion for Dance & Active Living

Canada’s National Ballet School wants to make the joy and health benefits of dance available to all Canadians. For the past four years, the organization has been successfully piloting Sharing Dance, a free online resource for teachers and community members who want to teach dance.

Can Physical Activity Prescriptions Get People Moving?

Prescription to Get Active allows doctors to write actual prescriptions for exercise—and it’s working.

Family doctors in Edmonton and Calgary are working together to make active living—one of the best preventative measures for disease—a priority for everyone. The Prescription to Get Active program makes it possible for doctors to write prescriptions for exercise and gives patients limited free access to fitness and recreational facilities.

Empowering School Communities to Take Charge of Healthy Living

Canada has a health crisis, but the good news is that across the country, there’s a growing excitement about solutions that will help people achieve active, healthy lifestyles. Because healthy habits are built early on in life, schools have the potential to make a big impact and are the focus of many of these new initiatives.

‘Walking School Bus’ Makes Exercise Fun, Safe, & Easy for Children

“It builds our leg muscles and we can chat with our friends.” - Raphaël and Julia, children participating in the Trottibus Walking School Bus

In Quebec, more children are walking to school, thanks to the Trottibus Walking School Bus, an initiative first launched by two parents in Outaouais. Trottibus, now an official initiative of the Canadian Cancer Society, aims to enhance the physical and mental well being of children by making walking fun, safe, and easy.

Transforming Women’s Lives through Coffee Culture

Pamela Chng co-founded a web consultancy firm, but mid-career, she decided to launch a social business to empower disadvantaged women. Bettr Barista Coffee Academy trains women to become coffee professionals, tapping into coffee culture and the growing specialty coffee industry to help its students gain job skills and overcome significant life challenges.

13 Winning Ideas Chosen for the ACTIVE AT SCHOOL Challenge

Healthy living is about to become easier and more fun for children across Canada. The Play Exchange’s ACTIVE AT SCHOOL Challenge has named 13 winning ideas that help students increase their levels of physical activity every day! One winner was selected from each province and territory, and each will receive $3,000 to help implement their healthy living idea in local schools.

Traditional Superfoods Make a Comeback

While the world’s food systems have lost 75 percent of their biodiversity in the past 100 years, scientists are now starting to recognize the vast treasure trove of genetic diversity present in traditional and wild plant varieties. Biodiversity can lead to more nutritious diets, and is also a key asset for mitigating the risks presented by climate change, according to the FAO.

Wetlands Not Dams: Q&A with Ashoka Fellow Hannarong Yaowalers, Thailand

In Thailand, citizens routinely clash with government officials over the construction of dams that destroy fisheries and habitats. Recently, protesters have rallied against the Xayaburi “mega dam” currently being constructed on the Mekong River in neighboring Laos.

From Classroom To The Real World: How Young People In Africa Can Unlock Limitless Opportunities

“Knowledge is not only in the books — youth have many skills and talents that we should grow and expand in the real world,” he said. “People are already trying to make ends meet, so a practical education can help them survive, as well as prepare for their future.”

Let There Be Light

Social entrepreneur Kat Kimmorley is tackling one of India's age-old problems, energy poverty, with new sustainable technology.

GOOGLE + HANGOUT: Extraordinary Culture & Technology Solutions

Join Arthur Guinness Projects and Ashoka for a live conversation on unlocking the potential of communities through cultural, art, design, and technology solutions.

The panel will be live streamed on www.changemakers.com/makersofmore on

16th of December at 8:00 AM EST/1:00PM GMT.

You can join the conversation on Twitter following the hashtag #MakersofMore

 

Panelists

You Won't Believe Who's Organizing Philly's First City-Wide Day of Play

Philadelphia will host its first city-wide day of play in the spring of 2015—organized not by city government but by 200 “play experts.” They will include young people who will design games while rallying teachers, mobilizing parents, teaming up with after-school program leaders, and encouraging their friends to take part.

Early Connections Re-imagine the Future

by Anne K. Glick, One Globe Kids founder

In 2030, my third grader will be 25 years old. With certainty, I can predict that he’ll be taller than me. But that’s about it.

Fighting Climate Change With Indigenous Livelihoods

In Indonesia, where forests are being destroyed at the highest rates in the world, an untapped solution exists for balancing conservation with economic expansion.

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com.

What Peer Review Can Do For You

If you spent more than an hour submitting an entry to a competition for solutions to sustainability challenges, why would you then also volunteer to spend more time writing reviews of other people’s competition entries?

Why golf and its teachable moments have the power to bring out the best in kids - with the First Tee of Monterey County

The First Tee of Monterey County taps the power to golf to help kids learn the skills to be resilient and succeed in life. Executive Director Barry W. Phillips sat down with Changemakers to discuss why golf and its teachable moments have a unique power to bring out the best in kids.

 

Why is golf a particularly powerful tool for supporting kids in Salinas? 

Makers Of More: Sparking Local Economic Opportunity And Social Change Together

“How do we find a way to reconnect communities with local businesses, local resources, but more importantly, with each other?” This question, posed byKen Banks at Pop!Tech, is being echoed by an innovative generation of problem-solvers who are looking to strengthen local economies while simultaneously tackling community issues.

Unlocking Entrepreneurship + Solving the World’s Sanitation Crisis

David Auerbach discusses how his organization, Sanergy, helps community residents in developing countries become entrepreneurs by creating sanitation solutions.

This article originally appeared on Virgin.com.

Play for Bringing out Empathy and the Best in Kids: Interview with Jill Vialet, Founder of Playworks

Jill Vialet, Ashoka Fellow and Founder of Playworks, sat down with Changemakers to talk about launching her organization in the Bay Area and why the Playworks “pro-social” model works to help kids play and learn at their best.

Playworks has its roots in the Bay Area. How did you get started launching your idea and building relationships with local schools?

Fostering Youth Peacemakers: Soul Shoppe interview with Ashoka Changemakers

What can parents do about bullying and how can schools become safe places for learning? Soul Shoppe co-founder Vicki Abadesco sat down with Ashoka Changemakers to discuss the root causes of bullying and tips for parents and children. Soul Shoppe creates empathy-based learning environments that eliminate bullying at the roots. Their work fostering youth peacemakers made them winners of the Building Vibrant Communities challenge!

The Empathy Debate

Roman Krznaric believes that empathy "allows us to challenge prejudices and create political change." But how can we strengthen our empathy skills and who can we learn from?

Just Announced: 10 Champions of Learning Through Play

 

Today is the day. After seven months, 632 entries from 63 countries, and the selection of 305 Pacesetters and 30 Pioneers, we are proud to announce the 10 Champions in the Re-imagine Learning Challenge.

Let’s Play Future!

by Sanny Zuiderveld, One Globe Kids

If the next generations are going to grow up happy and successful, they must be able to learn, adapt, and make (international) connections. Yet, we still teach them more history than about the future, use print more than digital, reward achieving more than failing, and emphasize local more than global.

Talia Kaufman: 'Play is an Essential Part of Learning'

by Talia Kaufman, Programs Director at Skateistan

Although I was never a star athlete, the chance to learn how to perform skills that had once seemed impossible to me—to move about freely on a trampoline or soccer field, or challenge myself on a skateboard—contributed hugely to my sense of self-worth. When I look back and consider the elements that built my own confidence as I was growing up, athletic opportunities figure prominently.

On Becoming a Social Entrepreneur for Life: FitSpirit’s Founder Shares Her Story

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Claudine LaBelle, Founder and President of FitSpirit, shares what inspires her and offers tips for up-and-coming social entrepreneurs who are seeking to launch their own projects. FitSpirit helps girls, ages 12  to 17, embrace physical activity and discover the positive health benefits of staying active for life.  The program has impacted over 67,000 girls throughout Ontario and Quebec since 2007.

How did I become a social entrepreneur for life? It started with one small step.

Design for Change: Children Feel, Imagine, Do, and Share

At age three, 98 percent of children are creative geniuses. By age 25, just 2 percent of people still possess their powerful childhood ingenuity. What's going on?

By the time they’re eight or nine, young students are rule-bound, self-conscious, and view tough tasks as threats to be avoided, rather than challenges to be mastered (or as opportunities to learn new skills). In other words, creative behavior is unlearned.

Climate-Friendly Communities, Made Possible Through Empathy

Ebola and ISIS are making the headlines, but climate change is still and will continue to be one of the biggest threats to Americans (and people around the

Winners Announced for Building Vibrant Communities: Activating Empathy to Create Change competition

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Ashoka Changemakers have announced the six winners of Building Vibrant Communities: Activating Empathy to Create Change! The challenge sought local initiatives that tap the power of empathy to strengthen communities and equip young people to become leaders of change.

How Canadian Coaches Are Shaping our Lifelong Love of Sport

What do you expect from your coach? Participating in your first sport experience as a child can be overwhelming. Kids are filled with nervous excitement, fear of the unknown, anticipation about all of the new friends to meet. They have an endless list of unanswered questions.

Turning up to your first sport experience as a parent can be just as daunting. Studies have shown that parents have three main hopes when their kids join sports:

·       to build self-esteem;

·       to have fun;

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