How can we value and give space for young people to be changemakers: to have a dream, build a team and change their own world?

For 40 years, Ashoka has learned from its leading social entrepreneurs, now approximately 3,700 Fellows, to understand the direction and pace of social innovation and anticipate the way societies will develop across the globe.

This article looks at data from Ashoka’s 2021 Global Fellow Study where Ashoka asked its network of social entrepreneurs what factors enhanced or detracted from their ability to start their changemaker journey at a young age. We look at who, whether parents, teachers, peers, or others, was most influential to those who began their changemaker journey as teenagers and those who started later in life.

We notice that there are significant geographic differences in the influence of different adult groups in the lives of social entrepreneurs. However, all over, parents and family members, educators, and other social entrepreneurs play an important inspirational role. Our aim is to use these insights to understand and uplift the ways that our society can embrace and support young changemaking as a critical part of growing up. 

In this paper you will:

  • Explore the stories of two Ashoka Fellows from Chile Gonzalo Muñoz and Ximena Abogabir;
  • See the important role adults play in supporting a culture that embraces early changemaking for young people;
  • Understand what would it take for all young people to grow-up practicing changemaking. 

Read these insights on Social Innovations Journal's website, here!


About the authors:

Claire Fallender is the Global Director of Youth Years Strategy at Ashoka.

Reilly Brooks is a Partnerships and Youth Activation Manager at Ashoka.