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How African students are shaping their own destinies at the helm of a Robotics revolution

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.

 

 

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South African students make a stand for quality education

What if the most inspired and best-informed agents of change for “broken” school systems weren’t lawyers or politicians, but students themselves?

For a network of activists in South Africa, students are just that. Equal Education is a youth-led movement battling “class- and race-linked inequalities” in South Africa’s school system. The young people in the program, all high schoolers, come from the country’s black-majority townships like Khayelitsha. They’re called  “Equalizers,” and they’re fixing the system from the inside out while learning real-world skills to become “difference-makers” in the future.

What if the most inspired and best-informed agents of change for “broken” school systems weren’t lawyers or politicians, but students themselves?

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Webinar on 5/28: Young Africans Seizing Opportunities in the Technology Sector

During our next Future Forward webinar, we explore insights regarding the ways young people are interacting with opportunities in the technology sector. The panel will feature tech and social entrepreneurs as well as development practitioners and young people. 

The upcoming webinar is scheduled for Thursday, May 28, 2015. RSVP at this link http://bit.ly/ayfmay28 and join the twitter chat using the #AfricaYouthFwd hashtag.

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?

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Launch of the 2015 Boot Camps

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.

 

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What is Leadership?

Although the question of what leadership is may at first seem simple many find it difficult to answer. For some it is the ability to move a group towards a vision while for others it is about being able to serve. In our #LeadershipIs series, we ask leaders who embody ALU’s values what their definition of the phenomenon is.

Written by Edem Torkornoo. This article originally appeared on ALUeducation.com. ALU is a tertiary institution dedicated to developing the next generation of African leaders. 

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Re-imagine Learning Challenges: Pioneers Hangout Series

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.

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Kristie Wang's picture

Social Technopreneurs: A New Generation of Innovators

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.

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How Yoga has Become a Force for Social Inclusion in Kenya

By Meera Patel, Operations Associate at Ashoka UK. You can follow Meera on Twitter. Keep an eye out for more within this series by following Ashoka UK and Virgin Unite on Twitter, using the #AfricaYouthFwd hashtag. 
 
On December 30th 2007, President Mwai Kibaki was once again sworn in as President of Kenya, despite the claims to victory of his rival: Raila Odinga.

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How Can Social Innovators Design Their Venture for the Highest Level of Impact?

"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.”

Anonymous (not verified)

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Kristie Wang's picture

Arthur Guinness Projects and Ashoka Changemakers Announce ‘Makers of More’ Winner

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. 

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Africa's Digital Revolution with Youth at the Helm: The Source of Opportunity

Editor's Note: This article was writen by Meera Patel, Operations Associate at Ashoka UK and first appeared on Virgin.com
 
Just over 20 years ago, Robert Kaplan wrote a stark warning about the mounting strategic danger posed by an anarchic, uncontrollable, “increasing lawlessness” in West Africa.

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Feedback Labs Releases Feedback Quiz and Toolkit

(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.

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Kristie Wang's picture

Meet the Makers of More Finalists!

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.”

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Semi-Finalists Announced!

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. 

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Lessons from Young Innovators Addressing Employment in Africa: Two-part Media Event

“There is a great human potential, human capital and great natural resources in Africa, but for me, Africa’s greatest assets are the young people,” said United Nations Youth Envoy Ahmad Alhendawi in 2013. Alhendawi is right. Today, there are nearly 300 million people between ages 10 and 24 in sub-Saharan Africa—and there will be nearly twice as many young people in the region by mid-century.

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How To Launch A Company With $10

“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.

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Kristie Wang's picture

Northwest Territories Residents Team Up to Walk to Tuk

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. 

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Kristie Wang's picture

Want to get moving for 30 minutes a day? There’s a reward for that.

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.

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Gamechanging Innovations for Road Safety in India

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. 

Anonymous (not verified)

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Kristie Wang's picture

Igniting a Passion for Dance & Active Living

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.

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Kristie Wang's picture

Can Physical Activity Prescriptions Get People Moving?

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.

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Kristie Wang's picture

Empowering School Communities to Take Charge of Healthy Living

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.

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Kristie Wang's picture

‘Walking School Bus’ Makes Exercise Fun, Safe, & Easy for Children

“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.

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Kristie Wang's picture

Transforming Women’s Lives through Coffee Culture

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.

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Kristie Wang's picture

13 Winning Ideas Chosen for the ACTIVE AT SCHOOL Challenge

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.

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Kristie Wang's picture

Traditional Superfoods Make a Comeback

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.

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Kristie Wang's picture

Wetlands Not Dams: Q&A with Ashoka Fellow Hannarong Yaowalers, Thailand

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.

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From Classroom To The Real World: How Young People In Africa Can Unlock Limitless Opportunities

“Knowledge is not only in the books — youth have many skills and talents that we should grow and expand in the real world,” he said. “People are already trying to make ends meet, so a practical education can help them survive, as well as prepare for their future.”

“Knowledge is not only in the books — youth have many skills and talents that we should grow and expand in the real world,” he said. “People are already trying to make ends meet, so a practical education can help them survive, as well as prepare for their future.”

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GOOGLE + HANGOUT: Extraordinary Culture & Technology Solutions

Join Arthur Guinness Projects and Ashoka for a live conversation on unlocking the potential of communities through cultural, art, design, and technology solutions.

The panel will be live streamed on www.changemakers.com/makersofmore on

16th of December at 8:00 AM EST/1:00PM GMT.

You can join the conversation on Twitter following the hashtag #MakersofMore

 

Panelists

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You Won't Believe Who's Organizing Philly's First City-Wide Day of Play

Philadelphia will host its first city-wide day of play in the spring of 2015—organized not by city government but by 200 “play experts.” They will include young people who will design games while rallying teachers, mobilizing parents, teaming up with after-school program leaders, and encouraging their friends to take part.

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Kristie Wang's picture

Why golf and its teachable moments have the power to bring out the best in kids - with the First Tee of Monterey County

The First Tee of Monterey County taps the power to golf to help kids learn the skills to be resilient and succeed in life. Executive Director Barry W. Phillips sat down with Changemakers to discuss why golf and its teachable moments have a unique power to bring out the best in kids.

 

Why is golf a particularly powerful tool for supporting kids in Salinas? 

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Kristie Wang's picture

Makers Of More: Sparking Local Economic Opportunity And Social Change Together

“How do we find a way to reconnect communities with local businesses, local resources, but more importantly, with each other?” This question, posed byKen Banks at Pop!Tech, is being echoed by an innovative generation of problem-solvers who are looking to strengthen local economies while simultaneously tackling community issues.

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Play for Bringing out Empathy and the Best in Kids: Interview with Jill Vialet, Founder of Playworks

Jill Vialet, Ashoka Fellow and Founder of Playworks, sat down with Changemakers to talk about launching her organization in the Bay Area and why the Playworks “pro-social” model works to help kids play and learn at their best.

Playworks has its roots in the Bay Area. How did you get started launching your idea and building relationships with local schools?

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Fostering Youth Peacemakers: Soul Shoppe interview with Ashoka Changemakers

What can parents do about bullying and how can schools become safe places for learning? Soul Shoppe co-founder Vicki Abadesco sat down with Ashoka Changemakers to discuss the root causes of bullying and tips for parents and children. Soul Shoppe creates empathy-based learning environments that eliminate bullying at the roots. Their work fostering youth peacemakers made them winners of the Building Vibrant Communities challenge!

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