dnascimento , June 16, 2021

What happened in the Summit 2020 and why it matters

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In spite of the trials and tribulations of the past year, Ashoka’s community of leading social innovators and changemakers has remained strong and united, often prioritizing working for the good of all.  

The Ashoka Changemaker Summit is the largest gathering of system-changing changemakers from across the globe. In 2020 it produced over 100 hours of original content and built a platform for community members to stay connected from the safety of their homes.  

Together: 

1. We rediscovered the importance of funding initiatives that change systems for the better, and found innovative ways of doing so.  

During the “A New Paradigm in Philanthropy: how young philanthropists are changing the game” session Kristina Johanson, Director of Solberga Foundation and Co-founder of Resource Justice, highlighted the importance of having frontline and impacted communities leading the decision making. Check this session here: https://youtu.be/MNxIYdrh8lw  

Mark Cheng, from Ashoka, also opened our eyes to the creative ways of investing and raising capital through the collaboration of philanthropists and impact investors. How can Impact Investment support both non-profit and for profit social entrepreneurs? 

2. We were taught that youth-led change is the new normal. Meet some of Ashoka Young Changemakers: 

Midria Pereira is a 21-year-old Brazilian democratizing access to higher education through slam poetry. She is currently changing the culture and attitude of university spaces, completely redefining how these spaces are occupied. Read more here  

Victor Ye, a 17-year-old from the United States, co-founded InnovaYouth (https://www.innovayouth.org), an organization that challenges students to confront issues in their local communities with a changemaker lens.  

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3. We learned how companies can leverage their power to tackle social issues. 

Dana Leskova, Head of Global Finance at Boehringer Ingelheim reminded us that the most effective way for companies to address sustainability and make a significant difference is embedding it into the organization’s DNA. Check this session out: https://youtu.be/-TXMui1ubS4  

 “It is not about doing good or doing business: it is about doing good business”, in this session we discovered the importance of cooperating to tackle the challenges companies are faced with. With effective co-creation models common good can be promoted.  

Another powerful message shared in this session was to stay true to our own values. Sometimes walking away from what it seems like a very lucrative model can be better in the long run. Check it here: https://youtu.be/j5n12zpG1es 

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4. We were reminded of our transformative inner power. 

Bart Weetjens, Ashoka Fellow and Founder of APOPO, taught us how to overcome personal times of uncertainty through community building, inspiring each other and leading a conscious life. Check out his work on wellbeing work here: https://youtu.be/hZdXx5wz-Cw 

A member of the Ashoka Support Network, Alon Shklarek, prompted us to remember that the closest we can get from certainty is to personally shape our future. Learn more about him: https://www.alonshklarek.com/ 

Why attend Summit in 2021? Check out what last year's attendees said! 

  • 75% of attendees believe that participating in the Ashoka Changemaker Summit has made them more aware of their changemaker skills 
  • 77% agree that the success of their organization depends on more people identifying and acting as changemakers.  
  • We worked hard to explore the diversity of our network and its power: 
  • 86% of attendees agree that Ashoka is taking the issue of diversity seriously.  
  • We are also aware of the importance and power of technology to keep the network connected.  
  • 81% of attendees had a good experience with the technology of the summit. 
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