How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurship and Ashoka’s Theory of Change

Reem Rahman, Knowledge Manager at Ashoka, held an interactive session on social entrepreneurship at the CAIR-Chicago Gallery this past Tuesday, November 22, 2011.  She led the audience through the evolution of Ashoka’s theory of change during its  three-decade history of transforming the citizen sector by building the largest association of leading social entrepreneurs in the world.

In its latest stage, Ashoka’s Changemakers team has concentrated on convening online, collaborative competitions to surface the most promising solutions, and then collaborate to refine, enrich, and implement them. To date, Changemakers has convened over 10,000 ideas and channel over $600 million directly into the hands of social innovators around the world. Current competitions to spur new ideas range from the sectors of citizen media and health, to economic development and education.

As a part of efforts to provide resources that help social innovators grow, Rahman recently helped launch the Citizen Media toolkit, showcasing over 55 of the best solutions from around the world in a fun and interactive format, including many with exciting applicability for the current revolutions in the Arab world.

Overall, Rahman spoke of Ashoka’s vision for achieving an ‘Everyone is a Changemaker’ world, with every individual empowered to make a positive difference in their communities. Ashoka Changemakers continues to look for opportunities to help accelerate the pace of social change, and create marketplaces where all Changemakers, including non-profits such as CAIR-Chicago, can better coordinate and grow their models for change.

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