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Difference Makes us Attractive

Bea Pellizzari was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.



Bea Pellizzari
has dedicated 18 years of her life to transforming the public image of people with disabilities. She founded La Usina in 2002 on the principle that diversity yields collective enrichment.

La Usina integrates people who have physical and mental disabilities into the labor force by using a model based on market principles and professional standards, without resorting to quotas or preferential treatment. Pellizzari recognizes that finding a job is not simply a matter of charity, but is the result of making a strong match between workers’ skills and employers’ needs.

Four years ago, she created a very successful social business called redACTIVOS that promotes and distributes several products and services created by people with disabilities. In addition to generating income for La Usina, this social business has been able to connect a network of very important Argentinean and international companies that buy the products and services made by a network of people with disabilities.

In this short video, Pellizzari briefly describes her journey along the path of social entrepreneurship, and how entrepreneurial activities, joy, and happiness go hand-in-hand.

From “Garbage Collectors” to Micro Entrepreneurs

Albina Ruiz was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

Interview by Lorena López, Ashoka Changemakers

Albina Ruiz, founder of Ciudadsaludable.org, created a system of micro businesses that are dedicated to collecting and processing urban waste, promoting cleaner and healthier cities in Peru. Perhaps their most important success has been dignifying the job of garbage collectors, who have been included in a formal and decent employment system with social and pension payments. Here, Albina shares her entrepreneurial experience and she has succeeded in improving the living standards for many people.

What are three strengths that make a change agent successful? Perseverance, ethics, and a certain dose of craziness. And above all, you must love what you do, because you need to be a little crazy and truly love what you do in order to achieve changes within the system.

Gloria de Souza on how to grow into a "fruitful" entrepreneur

Gloria de Souza was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

One of the first three Ashoka Fellows, Gloria de Souza (center left) turned down lucrative business career opportunities to teach. She found an educational system that deadened student’s creativity, motivation to learn, problem-solving capacity, and faith in India. Gloria created and introduced modern experiential education that challenged students to think and to solve problems together instead of chanting facts. Her core contribution has not been to invent modern education but to adapt it to make it attractive to everyone in non-Western settings. Her patient work of adoption, persuasion, training, and organizing spread her impact widely. Eventually the government of India introduced her work into other districts, and UNICEF asked her to help first in Sikkim and then beyond. Other areas of India, in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Middle East want Gloria to extend her program to their areas.

Who are your favourite changemakers from history?
Tarabai Moda is one of my favorites. She gave me my best lessons in an environmental approach that makes sensory awareness the key to learning by observation, enquiry, and discovery—indeed, to learning that lasts. 

Tarabai Modak, who lived from 1892 to 1973, is another. She won the Padmabhushan award in 1962 for her original contribution to the field of education.  She pioneered an approach that enabled impoverished rural children, and their parents as well, to learn from their daily experiences in their environment.  She was 65 years of age, when she set in motion her project to educate adivasis (indigenous peoples in India) through anganwadis (a government sponsored child-care and mother-care center), believing that if children cannot reach school, school should reach them.

My exposure to Tarabai Modak’s ingeniously simple and inexpensive ways of using the learner’s available environment—to enable growth in learning skills and in the internalization of concepts related to maths, science, and geography—was my first experience of an authentic environmental approach to learning. 

Empowering Outside Agitators and Supporting Established Leaders

Becky Buell and Sophia Tickell were honored as Ashoka ChangemakeHERS, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find their fellow honorees' voices here.

Becky Buell (BB) and Sophia Tickell (ST) are co-founders and co-directors of Meteos, a globally networked non-profit company which works with institutional investors, governments, global companies, NGOs, labour unions and entrepreneurs.

Who are your favorite changemakers?

ST: The people that most inspire me are unsung heroes – people like the human rights workers I met in Colombia - but they tend to be the ones that don’t get recognition and publicity.

BB: The waste pickers in Sao Paolo, for example. They’ve actually managed to make an economy out of recycling, and they are incredibly enterprising, politically influential  people. But the people who get the awards for this kind of work are the ones that attract financing, the ones that have a business model. The waste pickers are invisible, but are the true changemakers.

The Social Entrepreneurship Learning Experience

Sikha Roy was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

Sikha Roy founded SRREOSHI in West Bengal, India, to improve the status of women through the establishment of property rights. She was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004.

★★★

Sikha Roy’s mother was unable to get schooling, but she felt strongly that education would create a better life for the women in her community. So she made sure that her daughters got the best education she could provide.

From her mother’s belief in education, Sikha developed a lifelong commitment to empower women in rural areas, where education takes a backseat to the chores of daily life. Working in India’s remote places has its own set of challenges, but Sikha says that there are a few basic qualities that people need to have within themselves if they want to bring about change at any level.

“Responsibility is paramount,” Sikha said. “You need to realize that the lives and livelihoods of many people depend on your work, so you cannot take it lightly.

Interview with Cheryl Dorsey of Echoing Green

Cheryl Dorsey was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

Cheryl Dorsey is a pioneer in the social entrepreneurship movement. She is the president of Echoing Green, the global nonprofit that unleashes next generation talent to solve the world's biggest problems.

★★★

Who are your favorite changemakers?
Dr. King. Nelson Mandela. Oprah Winfrey. 

What are the qualities that made them successful?
Integrity, strength, and courage.
All three of these figures gave their lives to make the world a better place. They are extraordinary examples of leadership. The magic of leadership has to do with the way a leader makes the rest of us walk a little bit differently in the world. All three of these icons are amazing examples of how leadership led to serious normative shifts in terms of what we consider to be right and just.

What can the social entrepreneurship sector learn from those changemakers?
To achieve wide-scale social change we have to engage the world of politics – this is what Dr. King and Nelson Mandela did so well. You are never going to get to the level or scale of change that is necessary unless we engage the political realm. But so much of the social entrepreneur’s narrative is, “We do our work because the government can’t do it.” But by always linking social entrepreneurs to government dysfunction, we put an unnatural barrier between social entrepreneurs and government. Social entrepreneurs can be critical, we can be skeptical, but we must engage.

ChangemakeHERS Highlights – Week 3

Ashoka’s commitment to Everyone A Changemaker™ means we can leave no person behind. We hope to awaken all individuals to their inner power and potential to create enduring change. That’s why the ChangemakeHERS campaign is offering words of advice and encouragement for innovators at all stages of their efforts.

To complement the outstanding voices of the women who have shared their insights so far, here is some of our own guidance to social entrepreneurs and the institutions that support them. Below we’ve outlined four key principles that we believe are critical to the evolution of the social entrepreneurship sector as it stands today.

Risa Lavizzo-Mourey On Creating Transformative Change

Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

Video blog featuring Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., President and CEO

The Inspiration Behind The World’s Inveterate Changemakers

Diana Wells was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

Because she is president of Ashoka, the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, Diana Wells is uniquely positioned to see the trends and trajectories of the world’s most successful changemakers. She has supported and witnessed the work of nearly 3,000 social entrepreneurs around the world in every sector and at every level of changemaking. Here, she shares some of her insights, from generating a spark of inspiration to creating global impact.

The biggest change moment is when people recognize that change is possible and they have a role to play in it. That moment is, paradoxically, also the biggest barrier to getting more problems solved: there is a very significant portion of the population that doesn’t believe change is possible.

So much of the work that we do at Ashoka is helping the broader population – not just social entrepreneurs, but all citizens everywhere – to recognize that change is possible and help them make the transition to being part of the changes they wish to see in the world. We do this by sharing stories every day to reveal people at every level of changemaking. These stories provide the how-tos for making change—to inspire and spark the imagination. Inspiration is a really critical piece of the puzzle.

Using Street Soccer to Rethink Lifestyles, Discrimination, and Conflict

Sara Diestro was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

by Sara Diestro, Founder of Peru's Sport and Life

Diestro, founder of Sport and Life schools in Peru, uses soccer as a tool to improve the lives of at-risk youth so they can create a better future for themselves. She also gives a voice to women and encourages them to fight for their rights.

What three qualities are needed by an agent of change to succeed?
A contagious conviction and passion for change; talent for organizing and educating; and being optimistic—always giving hope and maintaining a positive outlook.

Demonstrating that Young Mothers at Risk can be Powerful Citizens

Raquel Barros was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

Raquel Barros is transforming the lives of young, at-risk mothers in a holistic way. She founded Lua Nova to focus on rescuing and rehabilitating teenage mothers and at-risk youth, while emphasizing the right to motherhood. Her organization allows young mothers and their children to rediscover citizenship and self-esteem so they no longer are excluded from society, through innovative career and construction training, income generation workshops, health care, psychotherapy, and remedial classes.

In the Spotlight: Eva Walusimbi of Solar Sister

Eva Walusimbi was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

by Katherine Lucey, Founder and CEO, Solar Sister

"The women in my village have so many problems,” said Eva Walusimbi of Mityana, Uganda. “They are poor. Many are single mothers. Many are so young because they have children before they are even old enough to finish school. They struggle."

"I used to think that it was a Uganda problem, or an African problem. But now I know that it is a problem for women all over the world. We need to have opportunity and hope. This is why I am a Solar Sister, to help the women in my village, and to give them hope."

Eva is one of the first women I recruited to be a Solar Sister Entrepreneur. She is a leader in her community and she serves as a role model to the other women. She began selling solar lamps to bring the benefits of solar light to her community. She quickly built a successful business, and she is proud of the income she brings into her family. 

But Eva didn't stop there. She reached out to women in her community to help them become Solar Sister entrepreneurs as well. 

Join us on Tuesday, March 29th, for a #SocEntChat about ChangemakeHERS

As part of Women’s History Month and the Global Centenary Year of International Women’s Day, Ashoka’s Changemakers launched the ChangemakeHERS campaign to recognize some of the world’s most accomplished female social innovators. Each day in March, the Changemakers Idea ExChange blog features compelling, concrete advice that only experienced, successful leaders can provide. The women featured on the blog are breaking down barriers to women’s empowerment and, through innovation, are tackling global problems on every front.

Turning a Vision (and Grief) into Action

Carie Lemack was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

by Evagelia Tavoulareas, Ashoka Changemakers

On September 10th, 2001 Carie Lemack was working in Boston and applying to business schools.  She had no experience in non-profit management – today she is co-founder of two non-profits. She had no experience in film production – today she is the Executive Producer of an Oscar-nominated film. In one decade, Carie Lemack accomplished more than many achieve in a lifetime.  But on September 10th, 2001 Carie was not working toward any of these achievements.

Then came September 11th – the day her mother was killed when the plane she was on was crashed into the World Trade Center.

Powerful Themes and Learning Insights from ChangemakeHERS 2011

For over two weeks, the ChangemakeHERS campaign has provided incredible perspectives about a multitude of issues and personal experiences from some of the world’s most accomplished women innovators and activists. Many have offered advice for aspiring social entrepreneurs and shared their visions for the future of social change. Four powerful themes have emerged so far:

The Insider's Guide to Life: The Power. You Have It.

Sarah Ost was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

A version of this blog post by Sara Ost, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, EcoSalon.com, was featured on her Web site.

Every few years, I get what’s known in the parlance as a wild hair. These are more than mere hankerings, yens and yearnings. I feel them before I understand them, but by now I know better than to question them. The result of this is always swift, powerful change. I happened to drive to Los Angeles on a Saturday in order to get some EcoSalon matters squared away, and halfway down the 5, it happened. I realized the real reason for the trip was something else entirely. Hello, wild hair.

Focus On Implementation (Business Plans Are Overrated)

Lauri Elliott was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

by Lauri Elliott, CEO, Conceptualee, Inc., USA

I think one of the greatest areas of risk when starting a venture for social good is the vagueness that is often surrounding the business model. Vagueness makes it difficult to develop strategy, make key decisions, apply resources, capital, and assets correctly, and attract contributors, sponsors, and partners.

We have been able to reduce risk by reducing, or managing, the vagueness inherent in start-ups. Two ways in which we do this are focusing on organic growth, and leveraging our strengths, or assets, to create more viable, sustainable business models. Essentially, we start with what we know and what we have in hand to use.

The Woman Of The Future

Astrid Aafjes was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

by Astrid Aafjes, Founder and Executive Director, Women Win

What does the woman of the future look like?
A woman of the future has the full ability to exercise her rights. She is heard when she speaks. She is a leader and a valued member of her community. A woman of the future has economic independence and autonomy.

Seize The Moment — Change Is Within Reach

Teresa Clarke was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

by Teresa Clarke, chairman and CEO of Africa.com 

Every idea has to ripen. You have to sense the right time to launch your social enterprise. But if you don’t “jump in” at some point, nothing will ever happen. The problems of the world will never go away.

Catalyzing Social Change With A Punch

Heather E. Cameron was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

by Heather E. Cameron, Founder of Boxgirls International, Professor of Education at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, and University of the Western Cape, South Africa

Creating and seizing opportunities – that is what Olympic boxing is about – and social change. Boxgirls uses amateur boxing as a tool to help girls and young women discover and develop their strength to become leaders in their communities.

Highlights from our ChangemakeHERS Campaign: Week 2

In honor of International Women’s Day, during the month of March the Changemakers Idea ExChange blog is delivering a daily dose of wisdom from some of the world’s most accomplished women innovators and activists.

Here are the highlights from last week’s ChangemakeHERS:

  • Iman Bibars, Vice President and Regional Director, Ashoka
    Iman Bibars is a globally recognized veteran social entrepreneur, women’s rights activist, and an Ashoka vice president and regional director for the Middle East and North Africa. Her passionate mentorship of fellow social innovators ranges from one-on-one guidance for young activists to the spearheading of widespread collaboration across entire sectors. Here, she shares her insights about how to initiate and nurture powerful, systems-changing collaborations.
     
  • Judith Rodin, President, Rockefeller Foundation
    Dr. Judith Rodin has been president of the Rockefeller Foundation since 2005. She was previously president of the University of Pennsylvania, the first woman to lead an Ivy League institution, and provost of Yale University. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Philosophical Society, and Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. She participates in the annual World Economic Forum and serves on several boards, including those of the Brookings Institution, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, Global Humanitarian Forum (founded by Kofi Annan), and Clinton Global Initiative’s poverty alleviation track. Rodin is also a director of AMR Corporation, Citigroup Inc., and Comcast.
     
  • Leila Chirayath Janah, Founder and CEO, Samasource
    Leila Chirayath Janah is the founder of Samasource, an award-winning social business that connects people who are living in poverty to microwork — small, computer-based tasks that build skills and generate life-changing income. Janah is a frequent speaker about social entrepreneurship and technology, and her work has been profiled by CBS, CNN, NPR, the BBC, The New York Times, and The New Scientist. She serves on the board of TechSoup Global. She received a BA from Harvard in 2005.
     
  • Melinda Gates, Co-chair and Trustee, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
    Melinda Gates is a co-founder and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. Gates is a former member of the board of trustees of Duke University and a former co-chair of the Washington State Governor’s Commission on Early Learning.
  • Talia Leman, Founder and CEO, RandomKid
    Talia Leman, age 16, unifies and leverages the efforts of millions of global youth to solve problems in the world through her organization, RandomKid. She was appointed UNICEF's first National Youth Ambassador and is the winner of numerous international and national awards for her philanthropic work.
     
  • Carolina Nieto, Founder and President, Saber para la Vida Association
    Carolina Nieto’s organization, Saber para la Vida, works with women who make handmade products to integrate them into the world economy, and to allow them to fulfill their dream of making a dignified living from their work.

“I help you, you help me”: Building equitable and collaborative relationships

Carolina Nieto was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

by Natalie Zuñiga Gogny, Ashoka Changemakers

Carolina Nieto’s organization Saber para la Vida is empowering women entrepreneurs in Mexico and throughout the world by building a movement called “Women Changing the World.” Nieto works with women who make handmade products to integrate them into the world economy, and to allow them to fulfill their dream of making a dignified living from their work. At the same time she works with women in cities to help them realize their dreams of designing and selling products that contribute to the growth of other women.

Unexpected Success for the RandomKid: Solving Real World Problems

Talia Leman was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

by Talia Leman, youth entrepreneur and founder of RandomKid

My grandparents are convinced that I have been an entrepreneur since I was four years old. That’s when I opened a shoe store in their home. I took all 37 pairs of my grandmother’s shoes, placed one of each pair on the coffee table, and hid the other shoe where no one could find it. If my grandmother wanted to leave the house for any reason, a sale was imminent.

It wasn’t long before I had ideas about how to expand my business—that’s when I started selling my grandparents back their own groceries. Being four didn’t deem me cute enough to prevent what happened next: they shut me down—but not before I discovered my inner business child.

We Can Save Lives, But Will We?

Melinda French Gates was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

by Melinda French Gates, co-chair and trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Melinda visits a math classroom at Green Dot's Animo Pat Brown Charter High School.

On a recent trip to Kenya, I visited a family planning clinic in Korogocho, an urban slum in Nairobi.  For women in poor communities, where getting food or basic health care is a struggle, family planning becomes even more urgent. The line at the clinic was out the door, with about 50 women waiting for their family planning supplies.

Digital Livelihoods For the World's Women

Leila Chirayath Janah was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

by Leila Chirayath Janah, founder of Samasource
 
Why are women so undervalued compared to men?

I've heard many explanations, ranging from culture and religion to evolutionary biology. But none seem quite as salient as this one: women are faced with a dramatic lack of access to opportunities that allow them to use their brains, rather than their bodies, to earn income.

In Support of Positive Deviance

Judith Rodin was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

by Judith Rodin, President, Rockefeller Foundation

Women do two-thirds of the world’s work, yet earn only five percent of the income. Women harvest 90 percent of the world’s food, yet own only one percent of the world’s land.  Women are three times as likely as men to work in informal economies. And abuse and sex trafficking remain commonplace, while women across the globe still lack basic legal rights and protections.

At the Centenary of International Women’s Day, we are  compelled to reflect upon these realities and to envision what more we can do in the next 100 years to nurture and scale innovative approaches to the myriad challenges still facing the women of the world.

At the Rockefeller Foundation, we have found that identifying and scaling innovation, and applying it to seemingly intractable problems, can be incredibly effective for a wide range of issues.

The Right Time For Change Waits On Collaborative Frameworks

Iman Bibars was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

by Iman Bibars, Leadership Group Member, Ashoka Vice President and the Regional Director of Ashoka Arab World

Collaboration is the key to making large-scale and profound change. At Ashoka we have something called collaborative platforms. We bring together people working in the same field who can complement each other. We start by bringing Ashoka fellows together and then we expand out. We want to include everyone working in a particular sector.

This is one way we are advancing the idea of “Everyone a Changemaker.” Collaboration is how we will achieve that vision.

Weekly Highlights from our ChangemakeHERS Campaign

WEEK FOUR Highlights:

  • Sara Diestro, founder, Sport and Life
    Diestro is a Peruvian social entrepreneur, a specialist in football strategies for social development, and a founding partner of Street Football's South American network. She uses soccer as a tool to improve the lives of at-risk youth so they can create a better future for themselves. She also gives a voice to women and encourages them to fight for their rights.
  • Diana Wells, president, Ashoka
    Wells has supported and witnessed the work of nearly 3,000 social entrepreneurs around the world in every sector and at every level of changemaking. She shared some of her insights, from generating a spark of inspiration to creating global impact.
  • Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
    Lavizzo-Mourey spoke about transformative social change and her journey and commitment to improving health.
  • Cheryl Dorsey, president, Echoing Green
    Dorsey shared her insights about the unique challenges women face in the field of social entrepreneurship.
  • Sikha Roy, founder, SRREOSHI
    Roy discussed facing on-the-ground realities while working with rural communities and shared advice for budding social entrepreneurs.
  • Becky Buell and Sophia Tickell, co-founders and co-directors of Meteos
    Meteos is a globally networked non-profit company that works with institutional investors, governments, global companies, NGOs, labour unions and entrepreneurs. Buell and Tickell talked about their theory of change and the importance of networks and collaborative relationships.
  • Gloria de Souza, Ashoka fellow and founder
    De Souza was the very first Ashoka fellow ever. She pioneered experiential education in her native India and serves as a shining example of the role women social entrepreneurs have played in leading the transformation of entire systems.
  • Karen Dillon, editor, Harvard Business Review
    During Dillon’s tenure as the editor of the Harvard Business Review, the magazine has been honored twice as a finalist in the category of General Excellence at the National Magazine Awards. She shared her strategies for success and her thoughts about the invaluable mentors that helped her along the way.
  • Albina Ruiz, founder, Ciudadsaludable.org
    Ruiz has helped dignify the job of garbage collectors in Peru through a system of micro businesses that are dedicated to collecting and processing urban waste as a way to promote cleaner and healthier cities. She discussed her entrepreneurial experience and how she has succeeded in improving the living standards for many people.
  • Bea Pellizzari, founder and strategic director, La Usina
    Pellizzari has dedicated 18 years of her life to transforming the public image of people with disabilities. She founded La Usina in 2002 on the principle that diversity yields collective enrichment.

★★★

CHANGEMAKEHERS WEEK FOUR KEY THEME: LEARNING HOW TO GLOBALIZE

If you are not having unintended consequences, you are doing something wrong.

It’s the last week of the March campaign. We’ve heard from some incredible women. Women that have offered their guidance to help us navigate our own changemaking. But globalizing is a topic that hasn’t received much attention here yet. Beyond the spark of an idea, and the sustainability of the model, comes a far greater challenge: How do you globalize?  

Social entrepreneurs start out with a focus on local needs. Often, they develop a solution that is deeply context-dependent. As a result, the challenge of growing to a global scale is one of understanding how to leverage your core innovation for a larger unit of scale. Quite simply, that means having a vision for how to address global needs, and working backwards to develop pathways outward from your model that can help you reach that vision. 

This process might surprise you. Some elements of your organization may no longer be necessary. Recognizing this, and having the ability to let go, is critical. Don’t be afraid to liberate your core. What aspects of your organization need to be leveraged? Which ones need to be culled? Ultimately, what is your absolutely core hypothesis – and how can you grow this?

As one of our Ashoka Globalizer Fellows remarked, “It’s important to destroy some of the idols of your organization.”

The challenge for the social entrepreneur is one of creative destruction. In the commercial realm, the goal is growth by replication, but in the citizen sector, it’s a more subtle strategy. It’s not just about pushing out a model. It’s about becoming a magnet. That requires a great transformation in the mindset of many social entrepreneurs. You are no longer championing your model, but enabling its pollination.

So what allows for successful pollination? A lot of it comes down to framing. You need your model to be adapted. So that means creating an opportunity for other people. Whether you are creating space in your organization for other entrepreneurs, or enabling people in other countries to adopt your model – carving out that opportunity space begins as a simple framing exercise. 

Framing is an invitation to others. So let’s learn from those who are successful at it. Take the organization Meetup, a group with more than 7.2 million members that mobilizes local communities to “meet up.” Their success at mobilizing people has to do with a simple invitation. The word most repeated on their website, “let’s…”

So what is your “let’s?” What opportunities do you have for others? What are you inviting people to participate in? Global opportunities come from global invitations – so how are you working to get people to RSVP?

★★★

WEEK THREE Highlights:

  • Heather E. Cameron, founder of Boxgirls International, Professor of Education at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, and University of the Western Cape, South Africa
    Cameron spoke about how boxing training teaches girls skills that translate into powerful tools for success in the real world and for enacting social change.
  • Teresa Clarke, chairman and CEO of Africa.com 
    Clarke revealed how the lessons she learned as a managing director in investment banking at Goldman Sachs prepared her for success in launching a social enterprise.
  • Astrid Aafjes, founder and executive director, Women Win
    Aafjes discussed how she successfully designed an effective girls sport program that addresses economic empowerment and gender-based violence.
  • Lauri Elliott, CEO, conceptualee, Inc., USA
    Elliott is a business strategist focusing on global business, innovation, technology, new ventures/start-ups, emerging markets, and SMMEs. She revealed the strategies that were key to her successful launch of a startup for social change.
  • Sara Ost, publisher and editor-in-chief, EcoSalon.com
    Ost shared her journey as a changemaker and the inspiration that empowers her work.
  • Carie Lemack, co-founder of the Global Survivors Network, and executive producer of Killing in the Name
    Lemack co-founded Families of September 11 and the Global Survivors Network (GSN). Since its founding in 2009, the network has generated global attention, coordinated and inspired events around the world, and created an Oscar-nominated documentary that tackles the taboo subject of terrorism.
  • Katherine Lucey, founder and CEO, Solar Sister
    Lucey profiled Eva Walusimbi, one of the first entrepreneurs of Solar Sister.  As a team leader for entrepreneurs in her community, Walusimbi's work with Solar Sister helps to provide economic opportunities to many women and provides light and resources to the 1,600 orphans and other vulnerable children at Uganda’s Maranatha schools, which she established with her husband in 1989.
  • Raquel Barros, Founder, Lua Nova
    Barros spoke about Lua Nova's work transforming the lives of young, at-risk mothers. Lua Nova allows young mothers and their children to rediscover citizenship and self-esteem so they no longer are excluded from society, through innovative career and construction training, income generation workshops, health care, psychotherapy, and remedial classes.
     

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CHANGEMAKEHERS WEEKS 1 - 3 KEY THEMES:

Ashoka’s commitment to Everyone A Changemaker™ means we can leave no person behind. We hope to awaken all individuals to their inner power and potential to create enduring change. That’s why the ChangemakeHERS campaign is offering words of advice and encouragement for innovators at all stages of their efforts.

To complement the outstanding voices of the women who have shared their insights so far, here is some of our own guidance to social entrepreneurs and the institutions that support them. Below we’ve outlined four key principles that we believe are critical to the evolution of the social entrepreneurship sector as it stands today.

Ewa Wojkowska: Stop dreaming and put your money where your mouth is!

Ewa Wojkowska was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

by Ewa Wojkowska, Co-founder and COO of Kopernik

Changemakers asked: Converting an idea for social change into a reality is a critical step facing many “changemakers” like yourself. How would you advise potential innovators to move from idea stage into active prototyping? How do you convert your idea into an actual model for social change? And what particular advice would you have for women?

Leading Change in a "Man's World": Reflections on Gender from Women Social Entrepreneurs


 
by Renee Manuel and Jon McPhedran Waitzer, Ashoka Globalizer
 
To produce large-scale social impact, having a great idea is not enough. For it to travel, generate excitement, and change ways of thinking, it needs a critical number of people in the public and private sectors who are willing to support it along the way.
 
But building these networks of influence is no easy task. Social entrepreneurs must rely on personal characteristics they have gained over time – often unbeknownst to themselves. While gender is rarely the trait that first comes to mind, its influence is undeniable. For women in particular, gender plays a huge role as they must navigate male-dominated societies and learn the skills they need to succeed.
 
In honor of International Women’s Day, three of Ashoka’s most vibrant social entrepreneurs have shared how being a woman has shaped their approach to scaling their social innovations and building their networks of influence around the world. Across North America, Africa, and Latin America, Vickie Cammack, Lesley Ann Van Selm, and Marta Arango are revolutionizing their fields. All three are also members of Ashoka’s Globalizer program, which connects “ready to globalize” social innovations with the resources they need to scale their ideas worldwide.
 

Lana Hijazi's Tech Solution Empowers Women in the Arab Job Market

Lana Hijazi was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

by Emily Bosland, Ashoka Changemakers

Lana Hijazi knows what it feels like to be doubted; to search in vain for employment; to struggle against economic hardships and myriad cultural barriers.

But she also knows what it feels like to succeed. She has proved her doubters wrong, and offered hope and tangible opportunities to hundreds of women in Palestine and throughout the Arab world.

Hijazi spent months searching for employment after graduating with a degree in business administration from Birzeit University in the West Bank. She was shocked at how difficult it was to find a job – even with a degree – and she started thinking, not just about how to get a job, but also “about ways to help other people have an easier time finding jobs.”

Alongside two of her friends, Mohammed Kilany and Jacob Korenblum, Hijazi founded Souktel in 2006 to help connect unemployed youth with jobs and internships. Today, Souktel has assisted more than 8,000 youth and 150 employers in the Middle East and East Africa.

For Transformative Change, We Must Give Strategically – and Build a Movement

Christine Grumm was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

by Christine Grumm, President and CEO of Women's Funding Network

The news of this past year in philanthropy has focused on billionaires engaged in two different types of giving. On one side Warren Buffett, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill and Melinda Gates are giving millions to causes like education and health. On the other, George Soros and the (Charles and David) Koch brothers – opposite ends of the political spectrum from left to right – are using their philanthropy to build movements to achieve their visions. Those of us supporting equality for women and girls must take note.
 
Leaders in women’s philanthropy realize we must scale up our movement building. The Women Moving Millions Campaign -- our partnership with visionary philanthropists Swanee and Helen LaKelly Hunt – is just the start of what we can achieve through our collective power. In 2009 the campaign exceeded its goal of raising $150 million in gifts of $1 million and more that went to improving the lives of women and girls.
 
The movement building philanthropy practiced by Soros and the Koch brothers shows transformative change is not possible if the infrastructure is not in place. From think tanks and policy groups to sustainable women’s organizations on the ground to support for organizing efforts, communication campaigns to networks and research -- all of these need to be in the mix, if we are serious about making a difference that will make history.

The Silent Sports Trade: Sex Trafficking

Ziba Cranmer was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

Ziba (center) after finishing the Casablanca Course Feminine – a 10K for women where 25,000 women and girls take over the streets of Casblanca. The race was organized by Nawal el Mutawakel, first Arab woman to win Gold at the Olympics.
Ziba (center) after finishing the Casablanca Course Feminine – a 10K run for women 
organized by Nawal el Mutawakel, the first Arab woman to win Gold at the Olympics.

by Ziba Cranmer, Vice President at Cone Inc.

I am an athlete, I am a fan, and I am a woman. 

As an athlete, I celebrate. I celebrate the skills and lessons I learned on the field (and truth be told, sitting on the bench).

As a fan, I cheer. I cheer because I love the feeling of solidarity and community that comes from a shared commitment to a local or professional sports team.

But as a woman, I cringe. I cringe because I know that some of our most celebrated sporting events, from the Super Bowl to the World Cup, are also the occasion of a terrible crime: the sex trafficking of tens of thousands of women and children.

Social Change Is The Same In Every Language

Jess Weiner was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

by Jess Weiner, Author, Self-Esteem Expert, Consultant, and Media Personality

I believe everyone has an opportunity to make a difference in the world.

If I didn’t believe that, I couldn’t have forged the path for myself that I have as an Actionist®, which is my term for someone who is committed to taking action in their everyday life to help others.

How To Save A Life: To Cancer And Back

Fran Drescher was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.

by Fran Drescher, President and Visionary of Cancer Schmancer

“Women are like teabags. We don't know our true strength until we are in hot water!”
                       
                           — Eleanor Roosevelt

And honey, let me tell ya, I’ve been in some scorching H20!

You may know me as the nasally, big hair gal from Queens … and you’re right! But what you may not know is that I’m a ten-year cancer survivor. It took me two years and eight doctors before I was properly diagnosed with uterine cancer. Let me tell ya, I was in the stirrups more times than good ol’ Roy Rogers!

Leading Women ChangemakeHERS Reveal Blueprints for Action

Ashoka’s Changemakers brings you ChangemakeHERS. A campaign launched in honor of International Women’s Day Centennial presenting the collective wisdom of some of the world’s most accomplished women social innovators. This campaign reaches across the globe and builds on Ashoka’s deep 30-year history as a pioneer and leader in the social entrepreneurship movement.

Each day in March 2011, the Changemakers Idea ExChange blog featured compelling, concrete advice that only experienced, successful leaders can provide. The women featured on the blog are breaking down barriers to women’s empowerment and, through innovation, are tackling global problems on every front. They have succeeded at reaching their goals, and they continue to reach for more. As a reader, you have exclusive access to their insights and wisdom about what works and what doesn’t.

These women are inspiring, but ChangemakeHERS will take their expertise well beyond inspiration. It will be captured in their own words and in a way that accelerates change. At the end of the month, Changemakers experts, with a decade of experience analyzing and distilling trends, barriers, and opportunities in the field of social change, will convert the teachings into a tool for success for women around the world and for anyone working to make a difference.

View full press release.

Emily May, Co-founder of Hollaback: "Followers are the New Leaders"

Emily May was honored as a ChangemakeHER for her work to shape global social change. View the other voices of ChangemakeHERS.

by Emily May, co-founder and executive director, Hollaback

Turning your idea into reality requires guts: you have to be ready to face down some pretty big obstacles. But, if you’re ready – and I mean really ready – those obstacles look like nothing compared to the feeling that, if you don’t act, you’ll be standing in the way of progress.

Celebrating International Women's Day's 100th Year: Congratulate Our HERS Honorees of 2011

There is a moment when the human spirit stirs. When we see shortcomings in our world, an awareness is kindled and we are driven to act. From the small, fleeting problems of daily life, to the great challenges facing humanity, we have unprecedented opportunity to make a difference.

But what makes us move from awareness to action? From idea to impact? How can we boost our confidence in our ability to solve problems? What are the ingredients to launching a successful solution? How can that idea become a program that touches hundreds? Or thousands?

Celebrate International Women's Day with Changemakers, All Month Long

To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, Changemakers will be bringing you the voices of powerful women leaders who are changing your world. All March long, influential women will share their insights into what it will take to build a stronger global future, as well as what challenges lie ahead for the progress of women in the next decade.

From Slave to Student, Narayan is One in a Million

[Editor's note: This post was written by April Thompson of GoodWeave (previously called the RugMark Foundation). GoodWeave was a finalist in the 2008 Changemakers Ending Global Slavery competition.]

While his elementary school peers repeated addition and subtraction drills in a classroom each day, Narayan wove knot after knot at a Kathmandu carpet loom. For eight years of his early life, Narayan was a bonded child laborer without access to education, toiling up to fifteen hours a day.

Going Beyond Profit ... for Land Rights

Land is a critical asset to fighting poverty -- and a whole host of other development issues.

Beyond Profit, a social enterprise magazine that presents the stories, people and ideas behind innovative social ventures, partnered with the Omidyar Network and the Ashoka Changemakers Property Rights: Identity, Dignity & Opportunity for All competition in pursuit of the best solutions for improving access to property rights.

To Tell a Story: Part IV

This fall, Roshan Paul, Senior Change Manager at Ashoka, led a professional development workshop on the art of storytelling.  The stories that emerged from it were so powerful we decided to turn some of them into an audio blog series.  Stay tuned and prepare to be moved.

Ashoka Partners with Techonomy to Create a New Philosophy of Progress

Techonomy Media just announced its second annual Techonomy Conference -- an invitation-only event for leaders devoted to accelerating innovation both in the United States and around the world. Previous attendees included Charles Best of DonorsChoose.org, Ushahidi founder Ory Okolloh, and Google chairman Eric Schmidt.

Students: Big Hearts, Big Brains

[Editor's Note: This post was written by Jonathan Lewis, founder and CEO of Opportunity Collaboration, and was originally featured on the Huffington Post.]

Last Saturday on an especially dreary, stormy day in the San Francisco Bay Area, 300 Stanford University students dragged themselves out of their cozy dorm rooms to learn about -- get ready for it -- economic development. This admittedly wonky day was organized by the Stanford Association for International Development (SAID), a voluntary student organization educating the next generation of leaders in global citizenship about international development.

Two More Great Posts in the NextBillion Special Series -- And Exciting News about Tomorrow's #Socentchat!

The special series "Advancing Healthcare with the BoP" has continued on NextBillion and we are pleased to bring you two more great posts (as well as an exciting development in our #socentchat plans for tomorrow!).

To Tell a Story: Part III

This fall, Roshan Paul, Senior Change Manager at Ashoka, led a professional development workshop on the art of storytelling.  The stories that emerged from it were so powerful we decided to turn some of them into an audio blog series.  We'll be sharing them with you every Monday and Thursday this month. Grab your headphones -- and prepare to be moved.

An inside look at the Wisconsin budget repair bill protests

Last week, over 50,000 protesters surrounded the Wisconsin statehouse in Madison to take a stand against Republican Gov. Scott Walker's SB11 budget repair bill. The bill calls for unionizing public employees to pay more for pensions and health insurance -- locking their pay rates and cutting benefits. (Video after the jump.)

A Plot of One's Own: The Value of Women's Right to Property

[Editor's note: This article was written by Alison Craiglow Hockenberry, contributing editor at Ashoka Changemakers, and originally featured on the Huffington Post.]

They may till its soil for years, they may live on it for decades, they may build a home and feed their families and raise their children on it, but the vast majority of the world's women have no legal right to the land upon which they live and work.

To Tell a Story: Part II

This fall, Roshan Paul, Senior Change Manager at Ashoka, led a professional development workshop on the art of storytelling. The stories that emerged from it were so powerful we decided to turn some of them into an audio blog series. We'll be sharing them with you every Monday and Thursday this month. Grab your headphones -- and prepare to be moved.

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