Please join us in congratulating the Finalists of the Building Vibrant Communities challenge! After receiveing more than 200 entries, 86 top entries were selected as Semi-Finalists. Now, 23 top Finalists will go on to the final judging round of the competition.
Finalists will be revealed on 9/3! Until then, we’ve rounded up top stories about empathy making waves as a powerful driver of change in communities. (Photo: NERDS (Native Education Raising Dedicated Students) is a Semi-Finalist of the Building Vibrant Communities challenge and is featured on the Ashoka Changemakers Instagram this week!)
Video caption: Early Entry Prize Winner and Semi-Finalist iLead+Design submitted this video illustrating its unique model for teaching students empathy skills and how to use design thinking to solve problems.
More than 200 entries were received for the Building Vibrant Communities competition! We’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who entered. Due to the overwhelming response, we are pushing back our timeline one week and will be announcing Semi-Finalists on July 24.
Video caption: A trailer for the film produced by Early Entry Prize Winner and Semi-Finalist Project Happiness. The film is part of Project Happiness' set of tools for helping young people and adults strengthen the skills of empathy, emotional resilience, and self-awareness.
by David Lubell, founder and Executive Director of Welcoming America
Why should a local government care about welcoming immigrants and becoming an actively empathetic institution? Not only do immigrants add social and civic value to towns and cities, they also help their communities become stronger economically. More localities are recognizing this, and with immigration reform stalled at the federal level, they are taking the lead to attract and welcome their immigrant neighbors.
You can still continue to revise your entry up until the final deadline. Entering early means you'll be eligible to win one of two early entry prizes of $1000. All entries remain eligible to win one of four $100k Activating Empathy Prizes, or one of two potential Idea Prizes.
What makes a winning entry? Top entries meet the Assessment Criteria, and they also make a compelling case for the problem they are trying to solve, and for their specific model for achieving impact.
Last weekend, Bill and Melinda Gates addressed Stanford’s graduating class, and urged them to use empathy and optimism to change the world. The couple delivered a poignant speech illustrating why innovation and optimism alone were not enough to make the world better.
Bill said, “Even in dire situations, optimism can fuel