Ashoka's work has traditionally revolved around identifying and supporting the world's leading social entrepreneurs. But within the past few years, we decided that wasn't enough. Though not everyone may want to be an entrepreneur, we believe that everyone can and should be a changemaker. We've set out to pioneer a changemaking movement that starts with a paradigm shift in education. We want to ensure that all youth are empowered to recognize and act on their ability to create positive social change, regardless of their eventual career paths. We've identified what we call "changemaker skills" which are necessary for any student to master if she is to become an effective changemaker in a 21st century world that changes faster than ever--and thus prioritizes adaptability and interpersonal abilities over hard skills. These include: empathy, problem solving, teamwork, and leadership. To impart this kind of education, Ashoka has developed a number of initiatives that serve youth throughout their educational experience. Explore how Ashoka's Start Empathy initiative, its Youth Venture program, and Ashoka U are creating a pipeline of support to keep tomorrow's talent engaged as global citizens.
Jensen Roll, a student at Elon University, describes his organization, H.O.P.E., an organization that provides sustainable support for local food pantries through a certification process with restaurants.
Young people must be in a position to identify the skills that are required by our economy and make academic choices that are informed by the needs of our economy, says Communications Minister Faith Muthambi.
Changemakers can come from anywhere, including the corporate world. Just look at Maria Escorcia, director of the South Florida chapter of Ashoka, a nonprofit that supports a network of 3,000 social entrepreneurs around the world.
"As adults and professionals, we often take over-analysis to dizzying heights. That’s why I take any opportunity available to talk to children and youth about all manner of topics, and particularly ones that they aren’t often recognized as experts of, but most definitely are. Like social media.
Here’s some simple, straightforward advice, taken directly from his slidedeck, that my immensely successful former student ExplodingTNT gave to educators who came to our #BIT14 presentation this year on being a Youth on YouTube:"
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