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Hyacinth Mascarenhas's picture

Reviving Afghanistan One Farmer at a Time

It’s hard to believe that Afghanistan was once considered the “orchard of Central Asia.”

In the 1970s, about 60% of the world’s dried fruit came from Afghanistan with fruits and nut exports making up about 40% of the country’s foreign exchange with bountiful vineyards, farms and forests peppering the nation’s terrain landscapes. After years of drought, conflict and the Taliban rule, the war-torn country now stands as one of the poorest in the world.

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Hyacinth Mascarenhas's picture

UAE's First Virtual Job Market

Finding work in the Arab World is a daunting task. Battling the highest rate of unemployment among youth in the world, nearly a quarter of men and 42 percent of women aged 15 to 24 were unemployed in 2012. In contrast, youth unemployment in the European Union and the US are 18 percent and 16 percent respectively.

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Future Forward Team's picture

Improving Job Creation for Young People

Ashoka and The MasterCard Foundation have partnered to bring the second webinar in the Future Forward series featuring youth and innovators, Ashoka Fellows selected in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation to answer: How can job creation be improved for young people?

Panelists:

Judy Stuart, Founder of Future Farmers, http://bit.ly/1g9I1Rw

Nokukhanya Nxumalo, a youth and now aspiring farmer participating in Future Farmers

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Reem Rahman's picture

5 Innovative Trends in Women's Economic Equality

Investing in women creates a multiplier effect for society – including better health and education outcomes, more resilient societies, reinvestment in communities, and greater prosperity. While there has been overall progress globally, women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) still face some of the greatest barriers in asserting their economic rights.

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The World Cup Effect

Sporting mega events such as the FIFA World Cup TM consume the hearts and minds of people around the world. With Brazil 2014 quickly approaching, as well as the 2016 Olympic Games, streetfootballworld would like to ensure that these mega events leave a lasting, positive effect on the host country of Brazil.

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Future Forward Team's picture

Four Lessons From A Social Entrepreneur

Editor's Note: This article was originally posted on Forbes.com. Dorien Beurskens, founder of Young Africa (YA) and an Ashoka Fellow who was elected as part of the “Future Forward” partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, shares key insights and approaches as part of the #AfricaYouthFwd innovative solutions conversation.

News headlines are replete with stories of a growing youth bulge and impending youth unemployment crisis in sub-Saharan Africa. This is the bad news. However, many social entrepreneurs are at work even now creating solutions to these types of challenges—a sort of counterbalance that shapes fortune out of misfortune. And within Africa, innovators are stepping up to the challenge of affecting behavior and pattern change with a deep understanding of the context of their communities’ problems. Young Africa (YA) founder Dorien Beurskens and her partner Raj A. Joseph are part of a wave of social entrepreneurs who are identifying root causes for the youth employment challenges in Africa and developing innovative solutions, which place the needs, assets, and priorities of the youth and the wider community at the forefront.

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Leena Al Olaimy's picture

Powering Up the MENA Region: Solutions from Bahrain to Jordan

The Middle East and North Africa region represents a wildly diverse variety of cultures, customs, religions and political groups. And the relationships between these constructs and popular ideas about women's rights are similarly varied throughout different countries in the region.

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Danielle Batist's picture

Intellectual Property: a $25 Billion Opportunity for Africa

What do Ethiopian fine coffee farmers, Uganda vanilla producers and women gatherers of Nilotica shea nuts have in common? 

...They were all losing out on their hugely valuable products because of a lack of intellectual property tools. Ashoka Fellow Ron Layton is working to change that. 

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John Converse Townsend's picture

Interview With Tony Juniper: 'No Nature, No People'

Tony Juniper is a campaigner, writer, and “by popular consent the most effective of Britain’s eco-warriors.” He’s currently a special adviser to the Prince of Wales Charities’ International Sustainability Unit, a senior associate with the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership (CPSL), and editor-in-chief of National Geographic Green Magazine.

We caught up with Juniper to chat about climate change, sustainability, and how nature is actually the basis of economic activity.

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Kris Herbst's picture

A League of Their Own: Pakistani Women Go Digital

Maria Umar is challenging the cement ceiling as an international entrepreneur and a key player in Pakistan's burgeoning tech scene. She is revered as one of the trailblazers in the female entrepreneurial revolution, and focuses her efforts on furthering work opportunities for women in Pakistan.

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Kris Herbst's picture

Black Girls Code: Building the Future

She said: "By launching Black Girls Code, I hope to provide young and pre-teen girls of color opportunities to learn in-demand skills in technology and computer programming at a time when they are naturally thinking about what they want to be when they grow up," said Kimberly Bryant. "That, really, is the Black Girls Code mission: to introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders, coders who will become builders of technological innovation and of their own futures. 

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Marzena Zukowska's picture

Twitter Chat: Announcing Early Entry Prize Winners

 

Ashoka Changemakers, in partnership with General Electric, has been searching for innovations that enable the full economic participation of women in the MENA region through the Women Powering Work: Innovations for Economic Equality in MENA competition. It is time to announce the Early Entry Prize winners of the competition and share innovation trends from our outreach with a broader audience.

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Delivering the Goods (with a capital G)

The last 60 years have been good to you. You’ve probably never run out of affordable food or cheap energy and you’ll likely live longer than your grandparents. What’s more, you can travel anywhere in the world in less than a day, and access virtual omniscience from the palm of your hand. Life is very, very good.

There’s just one problem. This wealth has a cost. And unfortunately, until today, either because we’ve either not been aware of it, or because we’ve believed it was an acceptable trade-off, we’ve kind of been ignoring it. 

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Danielle Batist's picture

Give Me Tap: Breaking the Cycle of Paying for Water

With taps every few metres in most UK city centres, quenching your thirst with expensive bottled water can feel both unnecessary and unsustainable. The booming retail market for drinking water on-the-go has made asking for a free glass somewhat of a taboo. One young social entrepreneur is trying to turn the tide.

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Zambian businessman turned environmental campaigner starts Africa's first Green Party

After years in the maize exporting business and fifteen years of fighting to protect the rich natural resources, environment and landscape of Zambia, Peter Sinkamba has decided it is time to swap his activist hat for a politician’s. All the same, he will keep his business hat on when trying to persuade corporates to jump on the environmental bandwagon.

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The Missing Link: How We Can Better Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

If you’ve ever moved from one city to another, or between countries, you may have noticed that what is allowed in your recycling bin often changes with the move. So what makes a plastic yogurt tub recyclable in one place but not another?

Why can some cities, like London, take virtually all rigid plastic containers, while many in the United States only recycle plastic bottles?

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Danielle Batist's picture

Creating a school food revolution

By the time the average American child has finished grade 12, he or she has consumed 4,000 meals at school. What better place to start tackling the obesity crisis?

Kids don't like veggies. Healthy food is expensive. Cooking nutritious meals takes too long. Education boards won't convert. The problem is just too big to solve. The assumptions around school dinners are stubborn, but they did not stop two Californian mums from trying anyway.

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Going Green: How A Simple Transparency Tool Can Make Businesses And Consumers Put Their Money Where Their Mouth Is

If you’re reading this, chances are you buy a brand that supports a good cause at least once a month. Nearly half of global consumers do, a 47 percent increase from 2010.

“Not only are consumers making purchase decisions with Purpose [sic] top of mind, they are also buying and advocating for purposeful brands,” says the 2012 Edelman goodpurpose® Study.

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Paul Polman: Young People, A Sustainable Future Can Be Yours. Make Your Work Count.

Every day, when watching the news, we see pictures of famine and floods, droughts and demonstrations, confronting us with the effects of increasing resource scarcity, climate change, food security, civil unrest and poverty. We see the increasing numbers of people left behind.

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Alex Beyard's picture

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Kristie Wang's picture

Competition Launch: Women Powering Work in MENA

General Electric and Ashoka Changemakers launched an online competition today in search of innovative solutions that will advance economic opportunities for women in Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan. Women Powering Work: Innovations for Economic Equality is calling for initiatives that enable women to achieve economic equality, strengthen their families and communities, and benefit equitably from economic growth. 

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Kristie Wang's picture

Nutrients for All: Thriving Ecosystems for Productive, Resilient Food Systems

Natural ecosystems ensure that vital nutrients flow from soils to food to people. Thriving ecosystems are the bedrock of healthy nutrient chains, the basis of all life on the planet.

So what’s the issue?

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Kristie Wang's picture

Double Win for Haiti: Human Waste into Valuable Fertilizer

SOIL is enabling communities in Haiti to transform human waste into a resource for sustainable livelihoods, agriculture, and reforestation. The organization is creating a lasting impact by seeding a new economy based on nutrients—one that a multinational corporation is now pledging to support.

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Changemakers Blogger's picture

Congratulations to the Winners of the Innovations for Health Competition!

After thoughtful deliberation, our expert panel of judges has selected three winners in the Innovations for Health: Solutions that Cross Borders competition, co-hosted by Ashoka Changemakers and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio.

 

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Changemakers Blogger's picture

Seize the Day for Change, One Minute at a Time

There are 1,440 minutes in a day; each minute we have is another opportunity for change. The 1440 Foundation was founded on the principle that we can improve the world—one person, one connection, and one minute at a time. The foundation invests in projects and programs that bring the power of self-awareness and authentic relationship skills to education, wellness, and the workplace. Ultimately, the foundation seeks to enable everyone to become a positive contributor to our world.

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Changemakers Blogger's picture

#StartEmpathy: Recap of the March 20 Twitter-based #SocEntChat

Empathy is one of the most important skills that anyone can learn in today’s global society. It is more than just awareness and concern, it’s about cultural sensitivity and conflict resolution.

It’s about the ability to communicate effectively and understand the motivations of others. Empathy is about standing up, not standing by. What better way to change the world than by making sure tomorrow’s leaders master empathy today?

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