Ashoka is a citizen sector organization with some particular ideas for “how to change the world.” Social entrepreneurs address complex social problems and -- in our increasingly complex and fast-moving world -- more and more people need those same kinds of skills. Ashoka imagines and builds a world where “everyone is a changemaker.”
Sound abstract? Let’s start with an example.
Frank Hoffman is an Ashoka Fellow in Germany. Frank is a gynecologist by trade and was frustrated with Germany’s health care rules: Women could not receive preventative breast cancer mammograms until age 50. Frank knew that women needed these services much earlier. He may have been able to advocate for a legislative change, but didn’t. Instead, he taught blind women how to give mammograms. Lacking sight, these women saw the world through their hands. And these sensitive hands could detect -- as well as expensive medical equipment -- early stage breast cancer. Not only did German women receive preventative breast exams, this innovation also meant employing a group of women who would otherwise have been relegated to society’s economic margins.
Ashoka is full of these stories, working with over 2,700 social entrepreneurs in over 70 countries. Like Frank Hoffman, these social entrepreneurs address the causes of systemic disorder, rather than bandage symptoms. They’re not merely problem solvers; they’re system changers.Written by: Hayley Darden, a search leader at Ashoka, currently recruiting social entrepreneurs for their empathy initiative. She is a graduate of Wheaton College. Excerpted from: Duke Divinity Call & Response Blog Toward eupan ~~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.