Arlington, VA., June 24, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ashoka announced today that the organization has received a significant investment of $10 million dollars from MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett to address inequity by advancing systems change across the globe and by pursuing its vision of an “everyone a changemaker world”. Ashoka was identified as a “high-impact organization that empowers community leaders and supports grassroots organizing and innovation.” The grant will enable Ashoka to grow its core work of finding and supporting leading social entrepreneurs — selected as Ashoka Fellows — with transformative ideas for addressing social problems. It will also help Ashoka grow the broader movement where each and every person has the power to give, to express love and respect in action. That’s essential for a good life. In an everything-changing faster and faster reality, that means that everyone must be a changemaker.
"For Ashoka, equity means everyone a player, everyone is powerful and wanted -- because they can contribute. This is the only way to end ‘the new inequality’ that now divides the world so bitterly,” said Bill Drayton, Ashoka Founder & CEO. "We are deeply grateful for this investment and the signal it sends about the necessity of changing systems and frameworks in service of equity.”
In any field Ashoka has a critical mass of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs. These large groups are, in effect, the world’s best focus groups for seeing what the world will be like – they identify the world’s most important patterns- each pattern fits todays and more important tomorrow’s reality. The most basic facts defining this strategic environment are an everything changing, everything faster and everything more broadly connected environment. Each force multiplies the other, Fellows and our co-leaders and allies are partners in this collaborative and entrepreneurial work.
“Social entrepreneurs close equity gaps in two critical ways: by dismantling systems that perpetuate inequity of all kinds, and by creating roles for everyone to be problem solvers,” said Diana Wells, President of Ashoka. "They are central to achieving our vision of a world where power and voice is distributed and unlocked in service of the common good. The signal of trust that this flexible funding provides is generative and will drive more significant impact and long -term change."
Seventy-six percent of Ashoka Fellows have changed the pattern in their field at the national level, and in doing so they help spot major new societal needs and opportunities — a kind of R&D engine for the world. Much more than solving individual problems, they give us a new decision-making architecture to meet future challenges with speed, intelligence and inclusivity.
Ashoka identifies and supports the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, learns from the patterns of their innovations, and mobilizes a global community that embraces these new frameworks to build an “Everyone a Changemaker" world. Ashoka was founded by Bill Drayton in 1981 on the insight that the world’s most powerful force for change is a new idea in the hands of the right person. Over the last 40 years, Ashoka has supported over 3,800 Fellows in 95 countries, each of whom joins a lifelong peer learning and impact community. www.ashoka.org
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