There are 1,440 minutes in a day; each minute we have is another opportunity for change. The 1440 Foundation was founded on the principle that we can improve the world—one person, one connection, and one minute at a time. The foundation invests in projects and programs that bring the power of self-awareness and authentic relationship skills to education, wellness, and the workplace. Ultimately, the foundation seeks to enable everyone to become a positive contributor to our world.
Empathy is one of the most important skills that anyone can learn in today’s global society. It is more than just awareness and concern, it’s about cultural sensitivity and conflict resolution.
It’s about the ability to communicate effectively and understand the motivations of others. Empathy is about standing up, not standing by. What better way to change the world than by making sure tomorrow’s leaders master empathy today?
Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of guest posts looking at the topic of empathy and education. Using expert commentary from a variety of perspectives, we hope to gain insight and deepen dialogue about the topic.
When academic achievement is measured only by standardized tests, student success is too simply defined by increasing test scores. Center for Inspired Teaching is working to change this narrow conception by giving empathy a prominent place in a teacher's toolbox.
While test-based assessments are essential, they reflect only one type of data and one kind of skill that students need. Schools must also focus on students’ social-emotional growth in order to create sound learning environments. Such settings help students develop interpersonal competence and improve short- and long-term academic and personal outcomes.
Center for Inspired Teaching partners with teachers to change the school experience for students to include these critical skills. Our professional development programs encourage teachers to rethink their beliefs about how learners learn and how classrooms should function. Through a physical, intellectual, and emotional process, teachers navigate the art of teaching and learn to empathize with their students’ experiences in an energetic and safe environment:
To raise the curtain on International Women’s Day on March 6, Ashoka Changemakers hosted a 12-hour Twitter-based social entrepreneurship summit that attracted more than 700 participants in six thematic sessions, engaging six moderating expert organizations and more than 20 experts across the globe. It was the first in the series of large-scale, real-time, virtual events, and participants from all over the world shared their thoughts by tweeting with the hashtags #SocEntSummit and #ChangemakeHERS on Twitter.
Women social entrepreneurs, organizations working in the area of women’s development, professionals, and students participated in the online forum, tweeting more than 2,500 messages. An analysis of the last 1,500 tweets showed that the summit generated more than 24 million impressions!
The entry phase of the Innovations for Health competition, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Pioneer Portfolio, may be over, but our conversations with innovators have already begun.
As our judges select the three winners of the competition (to be announced on April 16th) we would like to give you an opportunity to better know our early entry winners.
Our team spoke with the founders of Beyond Borders (Asher Hasan) and the Centre for Patient Leadership (David Gilbert and Mark Doughty). You can watch our interesting conversation below:
Save the date! Ashoka Changemakers® will host a #SocEntChat for Asian audiences on Activating Empathy – Transforming Schools to Teach What Matters on Tuesday, March 20, 2012, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. IST (@ Indian Standard Time) / 4:30 a.m. – 6:30 a.m. EST.
Today is International Women’s Day, a global celebration of women’s equality, contributions, and achievements. In honor of this century-old tribute, we asked some of Changemakers’ most exciting women’s-centered initiatives to submit a single image that captures the power of their work.
Each organization presented photographs showcasing women using the one tool or service that has helped them create economic and social freedom within their communities. The following images document change in action, and tell the story of women’s empowerment worldwide.
Click on an image below to learn the story behind the female entrepreneur (and to find out what object they couldn't work without):
As a curtain raiser to International Women’s Day on March 08, 2012, Ashoka Changemakers is hosting a Twitter-based #SocEntSummit titled #ChangemakeHERS, on March 06, 2012 between 12 noon to 12 midnight IST /1:30am to 1:30pm EST. Save the date and spread the word! Hope to see you there.
Ashoka Changemakers will celebrate International Women’s Day 2012 a bit differently this year with the launch of #SocEntSummit on Twitter, the first event of its kind. This Twitter-based event—recognized, tracked and followed with the hashtag #ChangemakeHERS—will celebrate womanhood by cheering some of the most outstanding women social entrepreneurs from all over the world. The #SocEntSummit will also kick-off Changemakers’ second annual HERS Campaign, which will be hosted in a richer, more interactive content space that will be introduced end of this month on Changemakers.com.
Editor's note: This article was written by Vanuza Ramos, contributing journalist for Ashoka Changemakers.
Almost a month after the violent eviction of thousands of poor residents from their homes in a settlement in Brazil, an event popularly known as the “massacre of Pinheirinho,” many net-izens continue to discuss the repercussions of this controversial and symbolic event. Social networks, blogs, and other independent media are reporting cases of violence and abuse that are often obscured by the mainstream media, signifying a pivotal change in communications created by virtual media.
The fact that the Internet has established itself as a powerful force for ensuring the right of communication is nothing new. What was not anticipated is that it would be used in an entrepreneurial way to disseminate knowledge, information and to protect fundamental rights to life—by using it socially.
Ashoka Changemakers will host its first World Day #SocEntSummit on Twitter, this International Women’s Day from 1 - 5 p.m. IST / 3:30 – 7:30 a.m. EST. Titled #ChangemakeHERS, this event celebrates womanhood with some of the most outstanding women social entrepreneurs from all over the world. Save the date and spread the word!
Editor's note: This post was written by Chloe Feinberg, knowledge consultant at Ashoka Changemakers®.
The idea of maintaining health is gaining ever more prominence and importance. Health maintenance is in some ways similar to health prevention, but is also quite different.
Preventive health is used to describe the many ways and opportunities to prevent the worsening of health or the development of disease. But what if a person is already sick? What about the individuals living with asthma, or who have high blood pressure?
ColaLife’s latest changeshop impact report states that Honda’s Dream Factory selected founder Simon Berry as one of nine “Cultural Engineers” who are spearheading gamechanging initiatives. Honda even donated a vehicle worth $40,000 to help ColaLife kick off its trial run in Zambia.
Editor's note: This post was written by Tim Scheu, Ashoka Changemakers Senior Project Manager
In the coming months, you'll see a new suite of features on Changemakers.com that focus on growth—growth of impact, growth of capacity, growth of network. At the core of these tools is something called the Growth Planner.
Here's the thinking: You want support for your work. Support comes from people who are inspired by your idea and understand where your organization is headed. Changemakers' Growth Planner produces information that supporters need to engage and invest.
The old way of framing health care focuses on illness, not people, resulting in highly specialized medical practitioners. The Ashoka Changemakers Innovations forHealth: Solutions that Cross Borderscompetition is uncovering solutions that are based on two main principles: 1) focusing on people and their rights in the health system, and 2) the value of collaborative advocacy.
Editor's note: This article was written by Vanuza Ramos, contributing journalist for Ashoka Changemakers®.
A simple battery for a hearing aid costs four reais and lasts about seven days; the device itself costs 3,000 reais (about U.S. $1,750). It may seem a small price compared to the great impact these products have in the life of a deaf person, but in developing countries like Brazil, these costs exclude millions of people who are hearing impaired.
However, a major shift is underway: the social entrepreneur Howard Weinstein has developed a low-cost technology to produce solar-powered hearing aids, along with a manufacturing process that involves training and employing people with disabilities.
When Vishal Talreja started Dream a Dream with friends in 1999, he was armed more with passion than experience in education or development. But after a transformative and boundary-shattering experience working with HIV-positive children in India’s shelter homes, Talreja felt the very real need to put his empathy into sustained action.
Earlier this week, reports surfaced about an 11-year-old boy with autism, who was beaten up by a fellow student while waiting at the bus stop. The event was filmed on a student’s cell phone, as his peers egged on his attacker, and subsequently uploaded to Facebook.
It later emerged that Kaleb Kula, the victim of the assault, had endured similar taunts beginning in the 1st grade, and his parents had repeatedly contacted the administration expressing their concern.
On the surface, the school had followed procedure, obeying the letter of the law. Maryland’s Cecil County Public School District upholds a strict anti-bullying policy, and maintains an online form where parents, peers, teachers, and other witnesses are encouraged to report incidents of bullying.
The form is in keeping with the Safe Schools Reporting Act of 2005, and a host of awareness-raising measures since, ranging from Bullying Awareness Week to enhanced legislation to high-profile media coverage. The result has led to adramatic increase in the number of incidents reported throughout the state, reaching 3,800 incidents in 2009-2010: nearly double that from the previous year.
Yet as Kaleb’s story shows, reporting incidents and dolling out reprimands only goes so far. Charging the student who attacked Kaleb with second-degree assault and laying blame on the district—which has called together parents to discuss bullying in wake of the incident—will not fix the problem. What’s needed is a concerted effort to address the issue at its root: equipping students with the ability to stand up when they see peers being mistreated and to avoid conflict in the first place.
Do you have an opinion about what health care models might work in more than one country? Are you interested in what kinds of health care challenges are shared by communities around the world? Join Ashoka Changemakers on January 10, 2012, for an Asia #SocEntChat about Innovations for Health.
Join @changemakers from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Indian Standard Time (IST) — that's 3:30 to 5:30 a.m. EST — to participate in a Twitter-based discussion with innovators, social entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts about health care solutions that have the potential to be applied in other countries in order to improve health and health care. This is your chance to make your voice heard or to ask experts in the field your most burning questions.
Victoria Grant, a member of the Ashoka Team and the Changemakers Initiative “Inspiring Approaches to First Nations, Metis and Inuit Learning,” attended theAboriginal Literacy Symposium in Winnipeg on November 1 and 2 at the invitation of Bruce Lawson, Executive Director of The Counseling Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counseling. She found it an amazing opportunity to meet, interact with, and learn and share with people engaged with Aboriginal literacy.
Ovide Mercredi, a former national chief and the opening speaker at the Aboriginal Literacy Symposium, challenged his audience with this question: What does Aboriginal literacy mean? He spoke deliberately, and his thoughts, which were well organized and researched, were the perfect introduction for the symposium that followed.
Questions that I kept in mind were: Is literacy about understanding what binds us together? Is literacy about participating fully as a good human being with the potential to take care of one’s own needs? Is literacy about the individual spirit to achieve? Is Aboriginal literacy about all of the above, as well as being proficient in one’s own language?
Join Ashoka Changemakers® on November 22, 2011 for an Asia #SocEntChat about Making More Health. From 1 p.m – 3 p.m. IST (Indian Standard Time, or 2:30-4:30am EDT), join us from anywhere in the world to participate in a Twitter-based discussion with innovators, social entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts about solutions that will transform health for individuals, families, and communities around the world.
Have you checked out the finalists of the Making More Health competition yet? Do you have an issue to raise about the next generation of health models? This is your chance to share your thoughts and ask leading innovators your most burning questions.
Eleven finalists have been chosen for Citizen Media: A Global Innovation Competition, supported by Google. The competition had a strong turnout of 426 entries from 75 countries, with more than 100 entries submitted in languages other than English.
The finalists represent the most promising innovations for boosting media access and participation around the world. They were selected by Citizen Media’s panel of expert judges, which included Michael Maness, vice president at the Knight Foundation; Esther Wojcicki, vice chair at Creative Commons; and Jared Cohen, director of Google Ideas. Now, your vote will determine the four winners of the competition.
The finalists showed an astounding range of innovative strategies to improve health, from improving slum sanitation and strengthening supply chains for reliable drugs, to fast-tracking HIV and TB diagnoses. They represent solutions that will sustainably increase the well-being of individuals, families, and communities and will go beyond, or improve upon, established health systems.
Attention citizen journalists, online activists, content-creators, communicators, media gurus, and lovers of all things tech!
Next Wednesday, Nov. 9 will be a big day for the Changemakers community, for two reasons:
1. CITIZEN MEDIA FINALISTS. Finalists of the Google-supported citizen media competition will be announced, and voting will open to the public.
2. #SOCENTCHAT ON CITIZEN MEDIA. From 3 to 5 p.m. (EST), Ashoka Changemakers will host a Twitter chat to discuss the citizen media landscape!
This chat will build on previous conversations we have had about the state and future of citizen media. In previous #socentchats, we discussed the general state of affairs, challenges, and success stories. Next week, we want to explore a topic that struck a chord with many of you in past #socentchats: the relationship between citizen media and mainstream media.
Join Changemakers, Google, competition finalists, innovators, and experts in the field, to explore the quickly-shifting relationship between citizen and mainstream media.
Drayton joins the ranks of previous winners such as Nelson Mandela, Al Gore, and Ignacio “Lula” da Silva in accepting an award for “the person, institution, group of persons or institutions whose work have contributed in both an exemplary and relevant way to mutual understanding, progress, or fellowship among peoples.”
“I am deeply touched,” Drayton said. “I know it is a recognition of the extraordinary social entrepreneurs in Spain and across the world, many of whom are friends and colleagues.”
In addition to attending the official award ceremony hosted by the Prince of Asturias Foundation and presided over by Spain’s Prince Felipe, his wife, and Queen Sofia, Drayton took the opportunity to visit social entrepreneurs in Spain in order to get to know their work and express his gratitude to them.
Countries around the world are facing a common crisis: the lack of accessible and affordable health care.
Nations everywhere are facing severe challenges, including fragmented health care ecosystems, high costs, inconsistent quality of care, inefficient systems, and barriers to access. These surprisingly similar obstacles to accessible and affordable health care exist across borders – and so should their solutions.
To catalyze these solutions, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio is partnering with Ashoka Changemakers to launch a new competition: Innovations for Health: Solutions that Cross Borders.
Editor's note: This post was written by Alison Craiglow Hockenberry, contributing editor at Ashoka Changemakers®, and originally featured on the Huffington Post.
All parents want a bright future for their kids. Which is why this history major, French-poetry minor, writer mom wants her kids to ditch the artsy, literary track I once held as the height of achievement and make stuff. Invent, design, discover, and build actual things.
This surprising revelation is rooted in my vague understanding that the fields that are growing in this country are in science, technology, engineering, and math -- the STEM fields. And our country needs STEM experts to thrive. And, unlike the field of writing, there's money and stability in STEM careers.
I have been talking, mostly seriously, about wanting my kids to make stuff for a while, but suddenly I've got a child who is old enough to begin making decisions about her future -- and the future she sees for herself is in STEM. So I, like our whole country, need a serious attitude adjustment.
Editor's note: This post was written by Kate Petty, writer and editor at Ashoka Changemakers
Citizen media platforms are solving problems that mainstream media can’t. These platforms do a better job than traditional models of giving everyone a voice in and access to relevant news — by definition, they empower anyone to participate.
Yet there’s one, seemingly-intractable problem that mainstream and citizen media share: Plagiarism. And while plagiarism in mainstream outlets is usually blamed on “one bad apple,” the openness and inclusiveness of some citizen media projects has led to allegations that they’re turning a blind eye to plagiarism — or even encouraging it.
Ashoka Fellow and ChangemakeHERS rep Elena Durón Miranda is opening a world of opportunity for young people in the city of Bariloche, Argentina. After witnessing children in the local garbage dump looking for food and buried market items, Durón founded the social enterprise Fundación PETISOS so that disadvantaged Argentine youth, often victims of child labor practices, could lead more meaningful lives. Her foundation offers a means out of poverty and exploitation through counseling, after-school programs, and education, which is “how we start to break vicious cycles to give children a better future.”
Durón has been recognized as a top 10 CNN Hero for her efforts and successes championing children. Visit the CNN Heroes page to vote for Durón, the only social entrepreneur representing Latin America. Vote early and often — voting ends December 7, 2011.
Editor's note: This post was written by Kate Petty, writer and editor at Ashoka Changemakers
Social entrepreneurs are nothing if not unconventional: To break new ground in social change, you’ve got to step off the beaten path. It’s a word that describes Sushmita Ghosh, founder and chair of Ashoka Changemakers, who pioneered the revolutionary concept of open and transparent problem-solving in the social sector, using a website that attracts funders and innovators from around the world.
So it’s appropriate that Ghosh will be a panelist at Unconvention 2011, an annual conference in India which bills itself as “the largest networking and knowledge sharing platform for the Innovation and Social entrepreneurship ecosystem;” i.e., it’s a convention for the unconventional, the innovative, and the brave.
It’s an exciting time in the Partnering for Excellence: Innovations in Science + Technology + Engineering + Math (STEM) Education competition, hosted in collaboration with Carnegie Foundation of New York and The Opportunity Equation. Solving the world’s most pressing challenges requires innovations in STEM education because these disciplines are at the very center of our quest to improve our lives and the condition of our world. The 24 innovations that were chosen from 265 total entries are now eligible for cash prizes and rewards, and it’s up to you to pick a People’s Choice winner from the ten competition finalists.
Visit the competition site or use our slick Facebook app to vote for your favorite innovation that boosts STEM-rich learning in schools by 5 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, October 26, 2011. The entry receiving the most votes will receive The People’s Choice Award and a $20,000 prize, sponsored by the Noyce Foundation, in addition to our competition partners. Additionally, a panel of experts will grant Judges’ Awards, worth $30,000 apiece, to two of the top ten finalists.
These cutting-edge initiatives and projects are boosting STEM-rich learning in schools by building partnerships that connect schools with STEM talent and re-envisioning how to engage students in STEM subjects. They will help students analyze today’s problems, imagine tomorrow’s solutions, and translate innovative ideas into action.
Check out the 10 finalists and vote for your favorite entry by visiting the competition site. (Or use our handy Facebook app!) Your vote will help determine the People’s Choice Winner, who will receive a cash prize of US $20,000.
Editor's note: This post was written by Alison Craiglow Hockenberry, contributing editor at Ashoka Changemakers®, and originally featured on the Huffington Post.
We hear a lot these days about innovation and job creation. But when people talk about innovation and jobs, they're usually talking about innovations that may produce jobs -- as opposed to innovations in the way we increase employment.
Nuru Energy is a job creator. And a planet saver. And an education booster. A winner in the Powering Economic Opportunity: Create a World That Works online competition, co-hosted by eBay Foundation and Changemakers, it’s a brilliant, self-sustaining model that turns the unemployed into entrepreneurs: they own and operate pedal-powered recharging stations for the simple, inexpensive, beautifully designed Nuru Lights that are providing a source of light for thousands of people in India and Africa – lights that can be used, among many other things, for students to study by at night. Watch how they do it.
[Editor's note: This post was written by Alison Craiglow Hockenberry, contributing editor at Ashoka Changemakers®, and originally featured on the Huffington Post.]
You wouldn't know it from the headlines, but people are getting hired, household incomes are rising, and Americans are pulling themselves and their families out of poverty.
It's happening in Minnesota: An innovative career development program for the chronically-unemployed, called Twin Cities RISE! (TCR!), gets state funding only if and when a participant is hired for a skilled job (at living wage, with benefits) and stays for at least a year. The model motivates TCR! to adequately train and prepare these future employees for success and holds the organization accountable.
What's in it for the state? A significant return on investment -- an estimated $7.24 for every dollar put in -- when these people stop receiving subsidized housing, health care and food stamps, and start paying taxes.
Did you try and stay up for our #SocEntchat on September 8 and just didn’t make it? Not to worry because on Tuesday, September 13, 2011, Ashoka Changemakers®, in collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim, is organizing a #SocEntChat for Asia and other Eastern Hemisphere participants. You are invited to join entrepreneurs, innovators, and enthusiasts from around the world to discuss challenges related to the health sector, as well as innovative and sustainable solutions that increase individual, family, and community well-being.
Participate in this #SocEntChat on Twitter between 1 and 3 p.m. IST (Indian Standard Time) to share your innovative ideas and solutions that address the collaboration and ingenuity needed to Make More Health.
The response by the global health community to the Making More Health competition has been outstanding and has even broken an Ashoka Changemakers® record, receiving 186 entries by the August 17 deadline for the early entry prize.
Be among the first to congratulate the Making More Health early entry prize winners:
Do you want to join this energy and excitement—but you don’t necessarily have a solution to submit? That’s okay! On Wednesday, September 7, 2011, Ashoka Changemakers®, in collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim, invites you to join entrepreneurs, innovators and enthusiasts from around the world to discuss challenges related to the health sector, as well as innovative and sustainable solutions that increase individual, family, and community well-being.
Participate in this multilingual (English, Spanish, and Portuguese) #SocEntChat on Twitter between 3 and 5 p.m. EDT, to share your innovative ideas and solutions that address the collaboration and ingenuity needed to Make More Health.
Recently, Changemakers reported on innovations in health, including Hilmi Quraishi’s mobile phone games that give teens points for knowing more about HIV/AIDS and prevention. Changemakers sat down with Quraishi to discuss his work founding and leading ZMQ Software Systems, which has created dozens of games and technology solutions for the social sector, including ones that raise awareness about climate change and that address the UN’s Millennium goals, such as sanitation, clean water, and children’s health.
Last week, I wrote about the need to expand our definition of “citizen media.” In addition to oft-cited examples of civic media – Ushahidi, Global Voices, Twitter – other platforms have a powerful hold over how we receive civic information.
Specifically, Google and Facebook control and manage the flow of information for billions of people worldwide. But do we understand how this information is curated and presented?
(Above: Esperance Yanfashije who along with her husband Martin Uwayezu, run a Nuru business together. They live and work in Ruhuha Sector, Bugesera District, Eastern Province, Rwanda. Image credit: John Briggs)
Nuru Energy faces the same problems that many alternative energy initiatives in the developing world face: kerosene is a dangerous, polluting, expensive, and non-renewable source of energy that leaves many families in poverty, some injured, and others in the dark. Nuru Energy, however, approaches this familiar problem in its own unique way with the Nuru Light and the Power Cycle.
The Nuru Light, seed funded by the World Bank in 2008 and serving East Africa and India, is innovative in its design; each battery re-charge affords a consumer 26 hours of light, which translates into five to seven days of use. Another of Nuru's assets is that it's designed to be incredibly versatile. Because energy is needed for all sorts of circumstances and occasions, Nuru's designers created the product so it can be work on one's forehead, perched on a flat surface, mounted on a wall or channelled though a plastic or glass bottle.
But what is an energy providing product without a dependable and continuous source of energy? The founders of Nuru Energy created the PowerCycle to address this necessity. The PowerCycle is a generator that recharges Nuru's products as the pedals are pumped. In 20 minutes, one peddler can recharge 5 lights, and with new functionality, it can re-charge cell phones as well. The PowerCycle's manual energy generation avoids the various pitfalls of weather dependant sources of energy such as sunlight and wind power.
What is citizen media? This may seem like a silly question, given the context of the Citizen Media Global Innovation competition. But the concept is worth defining because it’s rapidly expanding.
Our media have been the fluid that connects our ideas since our earliest days as an articulate species. “Media” are any tools, mediums, or channels through which an individual or group creates and shares ideas. This is the process through which we form our conceptions of culture, power, justice, and community.
Our media were predominantly “citizen,” or individual, during the vast arc of human culture, extending over tens of thousands of years. Constrained by existing technology, almost all media — cave paintings, storytelling, song, and dance — were local and community-driven.
Camila Batmanghelidjh at TED Salon London Nov 2010 | via
With a record number of early entries to the Making More Health competition, answering this question is going to be key for determining the winners. While new medical insights and technologies are being discovered and developed continuously, a truly innovative health project is one that uses new strategies beyond those used by traditional health systems.
Through sector research and conversations with experts from the field, the Changemakers Knowledge and Learning Team has uncovered some preliminary trends around innovation in health and well-being. Here’s a closer look with some real-life examples from the field:
[Editor's note: This post was written by Lorena López, Argentine journalist and Ashoka Changemakers collaborator.]
Listening to communities, respecting traditions, and motivating families to get involved in self-care: These factors are fundamental to achieving better quality of life and health, according to María Elisa Bernal, director of the Experiences in Social Innovation project of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL). In 2010, CEPAL published a study, From Social Innovation to Public Policy: Successful stories from Latin America and the Caribbean, identifying the factors necessary to guarantee access to health care in Latin America. This interview with Bernal is based on the findings of this study, as well as her years of experience working at the regional level in the field of health.
Save the date! Ashoka Changemakers® will host a #SocEntChat on Citizen Media in Asia on Tuesday, August 23, 2011, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. IST (@ Indian Standard Time).
Join us from anywhere in the world to participate in a discussion with innovators, social entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts about the most pressing issues in Citizen Media affecting Asia today. Topics will include censorship, access to technology, crowd sourcing for social change—and more issues chosen by you. This is your chance to share your thoughts and ask leading innovators all of your most burning questions. Make your voice heard!
[Editor's note: This post was written by Keith Hammonds, director of Ashoka's News & Knowledge Program.]
One of the more intriguing exchanges I’ve been in on recently came between Jake Shapiro, founder and CEO of the Public Radio Exchange, and Stephen Friend, president of Sage Bionetworks. Both are recently elected Ashoka Fellows. Shapiro is a media guy: PRX is a web-based platform that allows the distribution, review, and licensing of radio content that’s produced by literally anyone. Friend, a medical doctor and biochemist, was previously senior vice president at Merck & Co., Inc. where he led the company’s basic cancer research effort. Among other projects at Sage, Friend has created an online space where genomic and biomedical researchers can convene, interact, share basic research, and build upon one another’s insights in an environment governed by neither academia nor industry — speeding treatments and cures.