The New Reality
We live in a truly historical moment: the game has changed. The rate of change in the world—and the number of people causing change—have been accelerating exponentially for at least 300 years. Today, society has reached a profound tipping point where globalization and technology are lowering the barriers to participation, making it possible for everyone to access information and contribute more fully.
The old world was built for efficiency, with just a few people at the top, choreographing everyone else in repetitive jobs. But today's repetitive jobs are disappearing as fast as change is accelerating. Playing by the old rules doesn't work anymore: we need a new roadmap that shows how to contribute and succeed. Only institutions that organize differently, and individuals who develop different skills, will be ready for the world that awaits them.
Today's world is restructuring: hierarchies and siloed compartments are being replaced by constantly changing, open, flexible, teams of teams. This requires every person to be capable of participating in a flat and fluid organization, where repetition has been replaced by constant change. Each of us is called to be a leader, because we can no longer rely on just one leader to tell us all what to do.
To be successful, institutions in all sectors, including business, government, and the citizen sector, can no longer afford to have team members who lack the skills for initiating change in this new environment. This means everybody must master the skills of:
- empathy and the ability to apply it;
- collaborative teamwork in fluid, teams of teams;
- a new kind of leadership that enables teams of powerful self-initiating changemakers, provides a vision, and ensures that goals are met;
- the ability to create change in whatever role you play.
We believe every person has the potential to be a changemaker by mastering and applying these skills in an enabling environment.
Ashoka spots changemakers and build teams of teams in key organizations and communities to help them become powerful game-changers. We help innovators, journalists, parents, businesses, and other organizations understand this new strategic environment so they can adapt their culture, workforce, and operating style to the new realities. This accelerates their leadership, so they become global players that are transforming society.
Ashoka has built the world's largest network of leading social entrepreneurs for the past 35 years. These social entrepreneurs enable and empower people to be changemakers and they engineer the new patterns for change in society.
Ashoka engages these innovators' insights and resources to create networks of changemaking institutions that form a powerful change ecosystem. These networks focus on raising public awareness to a tipping point that produces an "everyone a changemaker" society. Network members support each other, collaborate, and collectively achieve much more than the sum of their parts.
The Ashoka Changemakers program uses the power of open challenges and social innovation knowledge, coupled with Ashoka's network of social entrepreneurs and impact partners, to connect high-potential changemakers in order to accelerate the rate of change for critical social issues.