For the continent, the youth population boom and issues of employment are at the top of the list of priorities. Leaders at national, continental and global levels discuss these topics in the halls of the United Nations, the African Union and within talent-strapped businesses operating in the region. Solving the complexities of youth employment will shape the legacies of the most powerful African political and business leaders of our time.
This article originally appeared on www.devex.com as part of a two-part series. This is part one of two articles.
Ashoka is honored to announce that two of the Future Forward: Youth Innovations for Employment challenge winners, Ellen Chilemba and Alain Nteff, were selected among 30 Africa’s most promising young entrepreneurs for 2015. The Forbes cited the nominees, “You may not know many of their names now, but in 20 years they could be on the cover of FORBES AFRICA with their story of multi-million-dollar success.” Alain was also recently endorsed by Queen Elizabeth under the umbrella of the first Queens Young Leaders Award.
WHO? Marcus Noel, 29, the founder of Heart of Man.
WHAT? Heart of Man is an immersive education program and brand that teaches middle and high school students STEAM through entrepreneurship and design.
HOW? Glad you asked.
"Go out there and be a passionate amateur,” said Ashley Wile, the founder of Sole Girls, at the recent Toronto Boot Camp.
There, American Express and Ashoka welcomed 20 of the brightest young social entrepreneurs from around Canada to Toronto for an intensive leadership journey, the second of five being held around the world this summer.
What can you learn from an entrepreneur who is turning plastic waste into currency, or an innovator who is tapping the power of the cleaning industry for youth development? A whole lot actually.
Follow the stories of these and other young social change agents part of the 2015 Class of Emerging Innovators in our Toronto Boot Camp.
An increasingly dynamic and fluid workplace requires all young African job seekers to be adaptable, and to have an open and innovative mindset. For this, education is vital. How is education evolving in the continent and how is it set to impact the livelihoods of young people? What are the opportunities for young people to shape the future of the education sector?
Taddy Blecher founded the Maharishi Institute: the first university to provide free full-time and part-time education to young people throughout South Africa, in turn preparing them for work.
WHO? Blair Brettschneider, 26, the executive director of the 501(c)(3) non-profit GirlForward.
WHAT? GirlForward is a Chicago-based organization that's empowering adolescent refugee girls to be strong, confident and independent.
HOW? Glad you asked.
WHO? Gavin Raders, 32, the executive director of the Oakland-based social venture Planting Justice.
WHAT? Planting Justice is an organization that is fighting for food justice, economic justice and sustainable local food systems in the Bay Area, California.
HOW? Glad you asked.
We’re hosting another Twitter chat at 1 p.m. EDT on June 10, and the 2015 Class of New York City Emerging Innovators will be participating. This is your chance to hear what they learned at the Boot Camp, ask them about sector-specific solutions, and also connect with other young problem solvers.
Find out how a robotics revolution in Ugandan primary schools is engaging students and creating a new generation thinkers and innovators who can shape opportunities for the future.
The video features Ashoka Fellow Solomon King.
What if the most inspired and best-informed agents of change for “broken” school systems weren’t lawyers or politicians, but students themselves?
Across Africa, as in the rest of the world, a faster pace in the workplace calls for a faster and more technology savvy workforce. There are many opportunities arising out of the rapid rate of technology innovation across the continent. A key question is: how are young people positioned to seize these opportunities?
Across two continents and 13 countries, one hundred emerging social innovators will dive into Boot Camps designed to push their ideas and impact to the next level. From June to August, American Express and Ashoka will convene cohorts of twenty future leaders in five regional hubs: in the United States, Canada, Mexico, East Africa, and Francophone West Africa.
There’s a growing demand in the workplace, and at almost every level of our global society, for innovative solutions to serious challenges. For young people to succeed in our rapidly changing world, they’ll need to be able to think on their feet and channel their natural creativity as purposeful problem solvers.
A new generation of tech innovators is bursting onto the scene of social entrepreneurship. Inspired by the potential of technology to improve people’s lives, this new crop of changemakers (don’t call them millennials) is creating, repurposing, and adapting tech in new ways to solve critical challenges. Many of them draw a deep sense of purpose from their communities.
"Go beyond making the problem go away for some people; instead, build a solution through which the problem becomes irrelevant" has been the guiding adage for how Ashoka selects Fellows. We have always focused on finding people who we call “systems-changing social entrepreneurs.” Bill Drayton’s most famous quote still rings true in this way: We know it’s time to move beyond the “teach a man to fish” model, and find those who will “reinvent the entire fishing industry.”
Indonesian Sign Language Dictionary & Learning Application Wins International Social Entrepreneur Challenge
Today, March 12th 2015, Arthur Guinness Projects and Ashoka announced the winner of the ‘Makers of More’ international challenge for social entrepreneurs. Indonesian based, Dreambender was selected as the overall winner from over 300 entries received from 45 countries across the world.
(Washington, D.C.) - On March 10, Feedback Labs, a consortium of leading domestic and international organizations in the for-good sector, released the first version of its flagship product, the Feedback Toolkit. The Toolkit helps organizations improve the way they listen to their constituents to be more responsive to the people they are trying to serve - and ultimately to improve outcomes.
Twenty-two Finalists have been selected from a pool of 40 Semi-Finalists!
“We are thrilled by the ingenuity and diversity of the solutions that were entered into the competition,” said Rob Wilson, Director at Ashoka UK. “The shortlisting committee did not have an easy job. The Finalists represent those entries that best meet the challenge’s criteria of innovation, social impact, and sustainability.”
Illiteracy rates in West Africa were the highest in the world in 2009, but as recently as 2013 the World Bank reported that things were turning around. Across the region, many more children, especially girls, were enrolling in primary school.
Trottibus received the most votes and will receive up to $1 million from the Government of Canada to put their winning idea into action!
LONDON -- Unilever and University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership announce Daniel Yu as the winner of the second Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize.
Ashoka Changemakers and Arthur Guinness Projects thank all who entered the Makers of More challenge for sharing their ideas for creating strong communities with more opportunities!
An astounding number of entries were received from around the world – more than 300– and we’re proud to announce that 40 Semi-Finalists have been selected. They will go on to the next round of judging and remain eligible to win a grand prize of €30,000. Two additional runners-up will win €10,000 each.
Simeon Ogonda’s vision for Kenyan youth is ambitious. He wants to transform young people from job seekers into job creators who build and support sustainable and transparent enterprises.
Announcing! Five winning ideas for addressing employment in Africa—social entrepreneurship fixes for youth, by youth—from the MasterCard Foundation and Ashoka's Future Forward partnership.
“As an entrepreneur, there is the tendency to think that money is what gets things done,” said Olumide Adeleye, the founder of the Twim Academy in Ibadan, Nigeria, a school of media and creative arts. He has a different take on what’s required when starting a business—he launched his as a first-year college student, with $10.
Walk to Tuk taps team spirit and community pride to get NWT residents outside and active - despite the winter weather
“Staying motivated is one of the biggest challenges to leading a healthy lifestyle that we see in the Northwest Territories especially during the winter months,” said Sheena Tremblay, Active Communities Coordinator of NWT Recreation and Parks Association.
GOODcoins taps gamification to make daily exercise fun, social, and rewarding.
Staying active can be difficult, even if we know that exercise is one of the best ways to prevent diabetes and heart disease. But now an innovative app called GOODcoins is providing the carrot without the stick by rewarding people for everyday healthy behaviors.
Efforts to improve road safety took a giant leap forward with the formation of a powerful community of changemakers that is developing innovative solutions for the big road safety challenges in India. This network is moving beyond the morass of problems to identify transformative ways to invest time and money.
Igniting a Passion for Dance & Active Living
Canada’s National Ballet School wants to make the joy and health benefits of dance available to all Canadians. For the past four years, the organization has been successfully piloting Sharing Dance, a free online resource for teachers and community members who want to teach dance.
Prescription to Get Active allows doctors to write actual prescriptions for exercise—and it’s working.
Family doctors in Edmonton and Calgary are working together to make active living—one of the best preventative measures for disease—a priority for everyone. The Prescription to Get Active program makes it possible for doctors to write prescriptions for exercise and gives patients limited free access to fitness and recreational facilities.
Canada has a health crisis, but the good news is that across the country, there’s a growing excitement about solutions that will help people achieve active, healthy lifestyles. Because healthy habits are built early on in life, schools have the potential to make a big impact and are the focus of many of these new initiatives.
“It builds our leg muscles and we can chat with our friends.” - Raphaël and Julia, children participating in the Trottibus Walking School Bus
In Quebec, more children are walking to school, thanks to the Trottibus Walking School Bus, an initiative first launched by two parents in Outaouais. Trottibus, now an official initiative of the Canadian Cancer Society, aims to enhance the physical and mental well being of children by making walking fun, safe, and easy.
Pamela Chng co-founded a web consultancy firm, but mid-career, she decided to launch a social business to empower disadvantaged women. Bettr Barista Coffee Academy trains women to become coffee professionals, tapping into coffee culture and the growing specialty coffee industry to help its students gain job skills and overcome significant life challenges.
Healthy living is about to become easier and more fun for children across Canada. The Play Exchange’s ACTIVE AT SCHOOL Challenge has named 13 winning ideas that help students increase their levels of physical activity every day! One winner was selected from each province and territory, and each will receive $3,000 to help implement their healthy living idea in local schools.
While the world’s food systems have lost 75 percent of their biodiversity in the past 100 years, scientists are now starting to recognize the vast treasure trove of genetic diversity present in traditional and wild plant varieties. Biodiversity can lead to more nutritious diets, and is also a key asset for mitigating the risks presented by climate change, according to the FAO.
In Thailand, citizens routinely clash with government officials over the construction of dams that destroy fisheries and habitats. Recently, protesters have rallied against the Xayaburi “mega dam” currently being constructed on the Mekong River in neighboring Laos.