Insights

Big Ideas

Insights on the future of innovation from leading changemakers

Recent:


Women Powering Work in MENA: Innovative Solutions for Economic Equality

The "Women Powering Work in MENA region" report, spotlights some of the most promising social innovations that address how women in the Middle East and North Africa region can fully participate in and advance economic opportunities that help raise their standard of living, strengthen their families and communities, and contribute to global progress


Game-Changing Model for SME Finance

In 2010, Ashoka Changemakers in partnership with the G-20 and Rockefeller Foundation ran a competition which sourced over 300 of the most innovative ideas in SME finance. This paper examines the major trends from the competition as well as taking an in-depth look at one winner, The Capital Tool Company (CTC), which unlocked new ways of using existing distribution channels to provide lower cost and higher efficiency finance. CTC captures the advantages of both local and large-scale financing approaches, while avoiding the pitfalls of each.


An Architecture for Full Information Citizenship

An explosion of innovation in the knowledge realm has driven us closer than at any point in history to a world where everyone has access to the information they need to be effective, change-making citizens. But it also has seeded growing dysfunction. Ashoka’s News & Knowledge program director wonders: How do we accommodate technology and advance user needs while preserving freedom, access, quality, and privacy?


Unleashing Community Changemaking

If the key factor of success for a city, community or country is what percentage of the people are changemakers, how can interested individuals and organizations begin to put the pieces in place so that every citizen has the opportunity and support to bring about positive change? Drawing upon the insights of community members from Minnesota - and complemented by social entrepreneurs from across the world - this Discovery Framework explores the subtle approaches needed to unleash many more changemakers.

New Economy

Women Powering Work in MENA

PDF

The following Discovery Framework report, on Women Powering Work in the MENA region, spotlights some of the most promising social innovations that address how women in the Middle East and North Africa region can fully participate in and advance economic opportunities that help raise their standard of living, strengthen their families and communities, and contribute to global progress.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! A Manifesto for Change

PDF

To ensure today’s workers are prepared to meet the rapidly changing needs of the world’s economy, we must develop creative, collaborative approaches and technologies that provide a wide range of skills, and we must support and nurture job development strategies that disseminate and leverage employment information and open access to new markets and jobs. In this manifesto, we explore why job creation appears to be stuck, and determine new opportunities for innovation and impact.

Game-Changing Model for SME Finance

PDF

In 2010, Ashoka Changemakers in partnership with the G-20 and Rockefeller Foundation ran a competition which sourced over 300 of the most innovative ideas in SME finance. This paper examines the major trends from the competition as well as taking an in-depth look at one winner, The Capital Tool Company (CTC), which unlocked new ways of using existing distribution channels to provide lower cost and higher efficiency finance. CTC has forged a path that captures the advantages of both local and large-scale financing approaches, while avoiding the pitfalls of each.

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Making More Health

Patient Empowerment

PDF

How do we transform a patient’s experience so that she and her family and community are fully informed and can confidently access and navigate her health care? Drawing upon the insights of thought leaders, practitioners, social entrepreneurs, and institutions at the forefront of transforming the health care delivery system, this Discovery Framework explores why the field of patient empowerment is stuck in order to determine new opportunities for innovation and impact.

Innovations in Maternal & Infant Health Technologies

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Maternal health remains a key challenge throughout much of the world. This Discovery Framework describes the approaches of leading social entrepreneurs who have successfully developed and implemented transformative technological interventions that advance health and highlights key barriers and design principles associated with the application of health technologies in East Africa. In addition, this Framework offers guidance about how to evaluate social and contextual factors that can make or break a technology’s successful introduction, application, and impact on a community.

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Unleashing Community Changemaking

PDF

If the key factor of success for a city, community or country is what percentage of the people are changemakers, how can interested individuals and organizations begin to put the pieces in place so that every citizen has the opportunity and support to bring about positive change? Drawing upon the insights of community members from one place with an abundance of social innovators – Minnesota - and complemented by social entrepreneurs from across the world, this Discovery Framework explores the subtle approaches needed to unleash many more changemakers.

An Architecture for Full Information Citizenship

PDF

An explosion of innovation in the knowledge realm has driven us closer than at any point in history to a world where everyone has access to the information they need to be effective, change-making citizens. But it also has seeded growing dysfunction. Ashoka’s News & Knowledge program director wonders: How do we accommodate technology and advance user needs while preserving freedom, access, quality, and privacy?

Ashoka Changemakers' Citizen Media Toolkit

Web

The Citizen Media Toolkit showcases the best entries from the recent global innovation competition sponsored by Google, as well as the work of Ashoka Fellows with compelling Citizen Media solutions, each indexed according to the historic values that they promise to sustain: freedom of speech; access to information; quality of content; and privacy and security.

Our Discovery Methodology

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The first step to tipping a sector through collaborative transformation is to understand the context of innovation in the sector through what we call a Discovery Framework. This knowledge approach and methodology is an integrative one that relies on an understanding of how solutions work together in context to effect change. It considers the multiple components of a problem (which we call barriers) and the varied insights (which we call design principles) necessary to shift them.

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