Ashoka was founded 1981 by Bill Drayton in the US. Subsequently, the Ashoka network has grown to support leading social entrepreneurs (Ashoka Fellows) in 70 countries, including 13 in Europe. All country offices are fully owned by Ashoka Global. Ashoka is a geographically decentralized and strategically integrated organization hiring only entrepreneurs as leaders.
Ashoka builds and cultivates a community of Fellows, Young Changemakers, Changemaker Institutions, and beyond who see that the world now requires everyone to be a changemaker – a person that sees themselves as capable of creating large-scale, positive change. Together, amidst the exponential growth of a new inequality in changemaking at a worldwide scale, we mobilize (and accelerate) a movement to build an “Everyone a Changemaker” world where all people have the right and ability to co-lead solutions that transform their societies for the better.
Geographic FocusGlobal; 13 offices in Europe, Germany the largest.
Main programme areas:
Citizenship, Social Justice & Public Affairs,
Civil society, Voluntarism & Non-Profit Sector,
Food, Agriculture & Nutrition,
Humanitarian & Disaster Relief,
Peace & Conflict Resolution,
Recreation, Sport & Well-being,
Socio-economic Development, Poverty,
Our changemaker community consists of 4,000+ Fellows, 100+ Young Changemakers, 250+ change institutions, and 300+ partners across more than 95 countries. Together, we form a strong, diverse and vibrant ecosystem of change agents collaborating and co-leading to positively transform societies and cultures around the world.
Ashoka has pioneered the field of social entrepreneurship, identifying and supporting the world’s leading social entrepreneurs since 1980. Social entrepreneurs are individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social, cultural, and environmental challenges.
Social entrepreneurs are ambitious and persistent — tackling major issues and offering new ideas for systems-level change. They model changemaking behavior, and catalyze organizations and movements where everyone can be changemaker.
Ashoka Fellows are social entrepreneurs that directly impact the lives of millions of people across the globe. They provide examples, ideas, and insights that can serve as a roadmap in the new “everyone a changemaker” world.
By continuing to develop our expansive network of Fellows — providing financial, knowledge, and logistical support to more than 3,600 change leaders in 90+ countries — Ashoka works to share the wisdom of leading social entrepreneurs with a global audience. Ashoka social entrepreneurs serve as role models and provide the how-to’s that enable individuals, organizations, and whole societies to flourish in a world of rapid change.
For more than 35 years, Ashoka has built and nurtured the largest network of leading social entrepreneurs in the world. After a rigorous selection process, they are introduced to a life-long fellowship, where every member is committed to championing new patterns of social good. We encourage Ashoka Fellows to take ownership of the network and we partner with them to co-create Ashoka’s vision of an Everyone a Changemaker world.
Powered by Ashoka, Next Now identifies, supports and lifts up these examples, and the changemakers behind them. From a bird’s eye perspective, we see patterns and frontiers of innovation that show a way to a better future. We weave a community of innovators committed to building it, and share our findings and insights with the world.
Next Now has started to identify these patterns in the following fields: The New Longevity, Gender, Planet & Climate, Tech & Humanity.
Ashoka Changemakers is building a global movement where anyone, anywhere, can take action to solve a social problem in in their community. We work to build this movement by supporting social entrepreneurs, innovators, business leaders, policy makers, and activists who are changemaking, by delivering ground-breaking analysis, by accelerating entrepreneurship, and creating strong partnerships that will drive the movement forward.