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How to Immediately Improve Your Life (Hint: It Starts With Improving the Lives of Others)

How to Immediately Improve Your Life (Hint: It Starts With Improving the Lives of Others) | Ashoka Fellows | Scoop.it
Last week a few HuffPost editors and I were treated to a visit by Bill Drayton and Mary Gordon. Bill Drayton is the founder of Ashoka and a longtime champion of social entrepreneurship, a term that he coined and that has now spread across the world.
The Ashoka Community's insight:

Empathy insights from Bill Drayton and Mary Gordon's recent visit to Arianna Huffington and staff...

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Ashoka Fellows
Ashoka Fellows are the world's leading social entrepreneurs, committed to conquering the world's biggest problems with new ideas and creative solutions. All Fellows go through Ashoka's rigorous search and selection process, honed over 30 years of leadership in the field of social entrepreneurship.
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Ashoka Fellow Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzay win 2014 Nobel Peace Prize

Ashoka Fellow Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzay win 2014 Nobel Peace Prize | Ashoka Fellows | Scoop.it

The Nobel committee said it “regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism”.


Via The Ashoka Community
The Ashoka Community's insight:

Ashoka Fellow Kailash Satyarthi founded the Save the Childhood Movement and through this work, has acted to protect the rights of over 80,000 children. He successfully spearheaded a countrywide movement to make education a Constitutional Provision which subsequently paved way for the creation of the right to access to free education for children in 2009 in India. As a reaction to wining the Nobel Prize, he stated, “It’s an honour to all those children who are still suffering in slavery, bonded labour and trafficking.”

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The Ashoka Community's curator insight, October 13, 9:15 AM

We are thrilled to hear about this year's Nobel Peace Prize winners! It is a great day for the recognition of human rights activists.   Congratulations Ashoka Fellow Kailash Satyarthi for your powerful work for the child labour movement, Malala Yousafzai for your efforts in championing equal education for girls   2014 Nobel Peace Prize trivia: This prize touches the work of two Ashoka Fellows, Malala studied at Mohammed Ali's school 

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Gregory John Smith received '2014 World of Children Humanitarian Award'

Gregory John Smith received '2014 World of Children Humanitarian Award' | Ashoka Fellows | Scoop.it

Gregory John Smith is the recipient of the 2014 World of Children Humanitarian Award. Learn how his work with Children At Risk Foundation is changing children's lives.

The Ashoka Community's insight:

Gregory's thoughts on his award:


"This award will certainly bring renewed hope and inspiration to me and all those wonderful people who have shared my vision, supported and helped my organisation to fulfil the dream that I envisioned more than 20 years ago; that if we together could contribute just some of our privileged capacities to save the life of one underprivileged child from the streets exposed to drugs and violence, then our mission would not be in vain. Today, I know we have saved many and this award only reinforces the fact that we are not alone in our efforts to make this world a better and safer place for our children.


On behalf of all those children, I thank you!”

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A Social Network — But Not For Fun

A Social Network — But Not For Fun | Ashoka Fellows | Scoop.it

Ahmad Edibli founded website Dubarah (which means ‘solution’ in Arabic), an information portal for Syrians run by Syrians. Says Nawara Chakaki, "...it’s the first time a project like this has been initiated where it’s actually asking Syrians to help other Syrians.”

The Ashoka Community's insight:

Social entrepreneurs create solutions that meet critical needs on a systemic scale. Dubarah engages displaced Syrians as digital changemakers, creating a mutual help network and connecting the divided.

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Young offenders get chance of a fresh start, one song at a time

Young offenders get chance of a fresh start, one song at a time | Ashoka Fellows | Scoop.it

Six years ago, Dr Charlie Howard gave up her NHS job when she realised the mental health needs of young offenders were not being met. Now her organisation, MAC-UK, is leading the way with its music-led brand of ‘streetherapy.’ 

The Ashoka Community's insight:

Charlie Howard started MAC-UK as a way to integrate mental health services into local communities. She found that the mental health needs of the poor weren't being met, and that was leading to high prison rates. She created streetherapy as a way to give a fresh start and stronger mental health and economic skills to those with out access, those who need them most.

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What fosters true freedom? - Virgin.com

What fosters true freedom? - Virgin.com | Ashoka Fellows | Scoop.it
What fosters true freedom?Ashoka Fellow Kim Feinberg believes the answer to this essential question is a holistic education: Kim Feinberg’s story starts with fostering empathy in South African school children through oral history lessons on...
The Ashoka Community's insight:

Kim Feinberg is creating a strong educational base for orphans so that they can become strong members of society and eventually give back, teaching them about tolerance in post-apartheid South Africa, gratitude, and giving them a hunger to create positive change. 

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Hidden cameras that film injustice in the world’s most dangerous places

Hidden cameras that film injustice in the world’s most dangerous places | Ashoka Fellows | Scoop.it

"To see is to believe," says Oren Yakobovich — which is why he helps everyday people use hidden cameras to film dangerous situations of violence, political fraud and abuse.

The Ashoka Community's insight:

See Ashoka Fellow Oren Yakobovich describe his work, in his TED talk.

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Saskatchewan woman, Alaa Murabit, was one of Gadhafi's most wanted

Saskatchewan woman, Alaa Murabit, was one of Gadhafi's most wanted | Ashoka Fellows | Scoop.it

Saskatchewan-born Alaa Murabit, a medical doctor and the sixth of 11 children in her family, describes herself as only an accidental activist.

The Ashoka Community's insight:

Often changemakers are the ones going against the grain, pushing new ideas that may be discordant with the general population, to further society and human rights. Alaa Murabit is one of them, using faith based teachings to try and empower women within Libya, often risking her life to do so. 

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Startups seize opportunity to make urban living greener, smarter, easier

Startups seize opportunity to make urban living greener, smarter, easier | Ashoka Fellows | Scoop.it

"Technology startups that could impact the future of cities"

The Ashoka Community's insight:

The world is rapidly changing, while 50 years ago, the majority of the population lived in the suburbs or rural areas, in 30 years, 70% of the worlds population will be living in cities. Social enterprises such as Ashoka Fellow, Sascha Haselmayer's Citymart are revolutionizing the way these new urban challenges are tackled. Social entrepreneurs have begun creating the latest innovations that will begin to tackle the space, traffic, climate and resource issues this shift will provide.  

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10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman - YouTube

This video follows a woman who walks around different neighborhoods of New York for 10 hours. Everything about her non-verbal cues demonstrates that she does not want to be talked to. Watch what happens.

The Ashoka Community's insight:

This video was produced by Hollaback, founded by Emily May, an organization in 26 countries that works to fight street harassment globally. Hollaback empowers victims by giving them a place to share their experiences and geolocates the incident, giving them away to fight back and changing the framework around how people think about street harassment. 

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Fellows Focus on Disability Inclusiveness

The latest issue of the Ashoka India-published "Fellow Connect" focuses on finding inclusive solutions towards disability challenges.


In this issue, Ashoka Fellow Sugandha Sukrutraj talks about new developments in her work at AMBA, newly elected Ashoka Fellow Reshma Valliappan discusses the challenges faced by those living with mental illness and Ashoka Fellow Dipendra Manocha discusses the need for better ICT interventions for the differently-abled. Also featured are from Ashoka Fellow Preeda Limmontakaul (Thailand), Ashoka Fellow Darin Gunesekara (Sri Lanka) and Ashoka Fellow Paul Born (Canada). Ashoka Fellow organisation BRAC (Bangladesh) also contributed.

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Collaborative Partnership on Forests

Collaborative Partnership on Forests | Ashoka Fellows | Scoop.it
One of the most prestigious forest accolades, the Wangari Maathai Award recognizes extraordinary efforts by an individual to improve and sustain forests and the people who depend on them.
The Ashoka Community's insight:

Pati Ruiz Corzo has won one of the most prestigious awards in forestry, demonstrating the effectiveness of her approach in making conservation profitable to families in the Gorda Biosphere Reserve. 

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Basil Fernando of the AHRC receives Right Livelihood Award, known also as “Alternative Nobel Prize”

Basil Fernando of the AHRC receives Right Livelihood Award, known also as “Alternative Nobel Prize” | Ashoka Fellows | Scoop.it
The Right Livelihood Foundation has announced the laureates for 2014.
The Ashoka Community's insight:

Basil Fernando, an Ashoka Fellow who has led the Asian Human RIghts Commission for over 20 years, has fundamentally altered how human rights abuses are documented and approached in Asia. His work for systematic legal reform has led him to gain international acclaim.

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How can technologists create the biggest social impact?

How can technologists create the biggest social impact? | Ashoka Fellows | Scoop.it

Social Entrepreneurs Changing Lives Through ICT showcases 26 examples of how Ashoka Fellows use technology to maximize social impact, envisions the potential that will be unleashed by overcoming common technology challenges, and invites technologists to use their skills to change the world. 


Check out the report, and tune into the Google+ Hangouts that invite social innovators and technologists to join forces for good. RSVP for the upcoming conversation at: http://bit.ly/tech2changemakers.

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The Ashoka Community's curator insight, October 31, 1:43 PM

Wendy Hawkins, Executive Director of the Intel Foundation, explains that "ICT for the sake of ICT is a waste of precious resources." ICT can bring deep value to social change by igniting, accelerating, and amplifying social impact being created by social entrepreneurs. 


Check out the report, and RSVP to watch Intel Foundation President Justin Rattner talk changemaking with three Ashoka Fellows at http://bit.ly/tech2changemakers.

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A Capstone in a Career Spent Fighting for the Rights of Domestic Workers

A Capstone in a Career Spent Fighting for the Rights of Domestic Workers | Ashoka Fellows | Scoop.it

Fellow Ai-jen Poo, founder of the National Domestic Workers Alliance advocates better wages and working conditions for domestic workers and home health care aides. She is a 2014 recipient of a MacArthur “genius” grant.

The Ashoka Community's insight:

Ai-Jen Poo has changed the framework on how domestic workers are viewed in the United States, and has brought workers from many different ethnic backgrounds together to fight for common rights, to create policy changes and to engage in skill workshops for the betterment of the whole.

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How ICT creates changemaking jobs in Africa

How ICT creates changemaking jobs in Africa | Ashoka Fellows | Scoop.it

Sixty percent of unemployed Africans are between the ages of 15 and 24... Three social innovations are rewriting this story. These tech-based strategies are improving the job prospects of young Africans, while sparking stronger local economies from within communities.

The Ashoka Community's insight:

Mobile technology has revolutionized ICT in Africa and beyond. How are social entrepreneurs taking advantage of the tech boom to create job opportunities for local populations and empower young changemakers? Janet Longmore, Jamila Abass, and Karim Sy demonstrate three job-creating approaches through ICT.

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The Ashoka Community's curator insight, October 31, 1:36 PM

Mobile technology has revolutionized ICT in Africa and beyond. How are social entrepreneurs taking advantage of the tech boom to create job opportunities for local populations and empower young changemakers? Janet LongmoreJamila Abass, and Karim Sy demonstrate three job-creating approaches through ICT.

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

Makers Of More: Sparking Local Economic Opportunity And Social Change Together | Ashoka Fellows | Scoop.it

“How do we find a way to reconnect communities with local businesses, local resources, but more importantly, with each other?” This question, posed by Ken 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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Five Ways Social Entrepreneurs Use Technology To Increase Their Impact

Five Ways Social Entrepreneurs Use Technology To Increase Their Impact | Ashoka Fellows | Scoop.it

“Technology for the sake of technology is a waste of precious resources. Social entrepreneurs need to understand the deep value that ICT can bring to social change when it is offered in context, with appropriate training, and with the intent of empowering the user. We hope this report inspires many others to take up this challenge in ways we haven’t even begun to imagine.” - Justin Rattner, President, Intel Foundation.

The Ashoka Community's insight:

Check out the recent virtual panel of Ashoka Fellows and heads from the Intel and Millicom Foundations in which they share their insights on the present and future of tech for social change. 

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Big Ideas in Social Change, 2014

Big Ideas in Social Change, 2014 | Ashoka Fellows | Scoop.it
Lots of dedicated people and groups are trying to change the world. What do the most successful ones have in common?


Tina Rosenberg collects some of this year's top stories of successful social solutions from the New York Times "Fixes" column, drawing out three big ideas from 2014: Downshift Jobs, Focus on People's Strengths, Not their Needs, and Target the "Social Determinants."

The Ashoka Community's insight:

Downshifting jobs breaks down an outdated social structure that emphasizes elite professionals and opens up different fields to new players, as with Sanjeev Arora's Project ECHO and Madhav Chavan's Pratham

Focusing on people's strengths allows us to see the changemaking potential in all people, such as through Maurice Lim Miller's Family Independence Initiative and Mel Young's Homeless World Cup

Targeting "social determinants" is often what helps social entrepreneurs effectively change systems that don't work, as Alex Bernadotte does through Beyond12.

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The math of learning | John Mighton | TEDxCERN - YouTube

An invisible problem in our society is that we underestimate ourselves. John Mighton, the founder of JUMP Math, believes that anyone can learn anything, especially mathematics. We need to give our teachers the right methods, backed by rigorous evidence, to educate our children. 

The Ashoka Community's insight:

John Mighton invented a method of teaching mathematics that inspires measurable higher performance across the board, along with major improvements in students’ self-esteem and attitude towards learning. His organization, Junior Undiscovered Mathematical Prodigies (JUMP) spreads this method among public schools that serve low-income students in Canada and the United States. Check out his TED talk here!

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In This World Cup, the Goal Is a Better Life

In This World Cup, the Goal Is a Better Life | Ashoka Fellows | Scoop.it
The Homeless World Cup and Street Soccer humanize a group that is often dehumanized, and therefore forgotten.
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Young people have spoken of sexual abuse for years. We just haven’t listened | Ruth Ibegbuna

Young people have spoken of sexual abuse for years. We just haven’t listened | Ruth Ibegbuna | Ashoka Fellows | Scoop.it

Ruth Ibegbuna, An Ashoka Fellow Elected in 2014, discusses Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), the youth her organization, Reclaim, has worked with on this issue, and what this means for the UK as well as the world.

The Ashoka Community's insight:

Reclaim works to innovate Manchester and other marginalized cities by creating mentorship programs that allow young people to have a voice, and help them feel empowered to change policy and decision making in their communities. Reclaim is reversing the power structure of English societies, making the youth the change-makers, but also validating the important role adults in the community, not just the policymakers on the outside, can play in their lives. 

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In Gandhi’s Footsteps: US Gov Recognizes Outstanding "Bhungroo" Farming Method

In Gandhi’s Footsteps: US Gov Recognizes Outstanding "Bhungroo" Farming Method | Ashoka Fellows | Scoop.it

Bhungroo techniques help farmers maintain a healthy supply of water in dry months and reduce the salt content in the soil, allowing farmers to grow crops in seasons that were previously considered inhospitable for significant growth. Through this technology, Biplab Paul helps to ensure food security and financial independence for rural communities with daily family incomes averaging $0.25. While the project began in western India, Biplab is now helping farmers around the world. 

The Ashoka Community's insight:

Ashoka has a firm belief that the world does not exist in a Silo, innovation at its core is a team of teams approach, with different perspectives coming together to benefit all. Biplab Kwtan Paul took what he learned for Miami and adapted it to create the Bhungroo. This system has help farmers across India, then Asia and Africa to create larger yields, empowering those at the Bottom of the Pyramid and increasing global food supply.

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Bill Drayton on Nobel Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi

CNN talks to Bill Drayton of the Ashoka Foundation about this year's Nobel Peace Prize winners.
The Ashoka Community's insight:

See our founder and CEO, Bill Drayton, discuss the work of our Nobel Peace Prize winning fellow, Kailash Satyarthi, on CNN

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Iman Bibars: Youth Employment in North Africa

Iman Bibars: Youth Employment in North Africa | Ashoka Fellows | Scoop.it
Iman Bibars: Youth Employment in North Africa (Part 1/2) Fair Observer Another Ashoka Fellow, Mohammed Abbad Andaloussi, is likewise helping to bridge the gap between the education system and the business sector in Morocco, facilitating...
The Ashoka Community's insight:

Learn more about the Ashoka and our Fellows' work surrounding youth employment in North Africa in an interview with Iman Bibars, the director of Ashoka Arab World. 

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Is a Health Coach Better Than an Overworked Doctor?

Is a Health Coach Better Than an Overworked Doctor? | Ashoka Fellows | Scoop.it
At Iora Health's clinics, teams of doctors, nurses and health coaches work together to take care of patients holistically, bundling together mental health services, peer support groups and nutrition counseling with more traditional primary care services like physical exams.
The Ashoka Community's insight:

Rushika Fernandopulle is creating teams of teams around health care, looking at the whole person, not just segments of them, to create faster and better recoveries for patients. Adding relationships back into medicine, patients now create connections with their doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, nutritionists and others that may be on their team. He is revolutionizing the primary care model

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The Ashoka Community's curator insight, October 31, 1:38 PM

Rushika Fernandopulle creates teams-of-teams around high-risk patients, leveraging technology to add human relationships back into medicine and reducing health costs and emergency services along the way. Building a team of health coaches around patients in a data-centric way helps Iora more effectively improve the baseline health of communities.