Saturday, 31 March 2012

Ashoka Changemakers Joins Sankalp Forum 2012 as Online Partners

Ashoka Changemakers is proud to announce its partnership with Sankalp Forum that will bring its community from South Asia preferred access to the annual Sankalp Summit, along with exclusive Investor-Entrepreneur Clinic and a Mentoring Pitstop, hosted simultaneously alongside the Summit.
Lockup_summit2012The annual Sankalp Summit is one of Asia’s largest collaborative platforms to bring together social enterprises, impact investors, policy makers, academicians, and other market makers. Initiated in 2009 with the vision of catalyzing impact investments into social enterprises globally, the forum today has evolved into a community of over 350 social enterprises, over 300 investors and 300 sector stakeholders.
Sankalp’s 4 key round-the-year services are designed to address scale-up challenges that social enterprises face regularly i.e. Access to Finance, Capacity Building, Knowledge and Talent Gap. In 3 years, over 150 social enterprises have benefited from our services.
Apart from programmatic diversification, Sankalp in 2012 will expand to include path-breaking models from South East Asia. This year, the summit will also delve deeper into the evolution of urban business models in South Asia, and what it means for under-served urban markets.
Sankalp’s key success also lies in sourcing a strong deal flow pipeline year on year, through the Sankalp Awards. Vetted by the best investment houses globally, 30 investible, high-impact enterprises from India and South East Asia will be showcased at the forum. The annual Summit that witnesses over 700 participants will be held from April 11-13, at Taj Land’s End, Mumbai, this year. The agenda for the Summit can be viewed here.
Sankalp Summit is offering a special discount for Ashoka Fellows and members of the Ashoka Changemakers community this year. Click here to register, and use the code ASHOKA2012 to get 35% off on the registration fee. To know more about how you can benefit from the services we're offering at Sankalp Summit, please write to
Ashoka Changemakers is a community of action that connects social entrepreneurs around the globe to share ideas, inspire, and mentor each other. Through its online collaborative competitions and Open Growth platform, is one of the world’s most robust spaces for launching, discussing, and funding ideas to solve the world’s most pressing social problems. Changemakers builds on Ashoka's three-decade history and belief that we all have the ability to be a Changemaker. Ashoka is the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs—more than 2,500 men and women with system-changing solutions for the world’s most urgent social problems. Visit 

Friday, 23 March 2012

#StartEmpathy – Summary of twitter based #SocEntChat held on March 20, 2012

 Ashoka Changemakers organized Twitter based #SocEntChat about ‘Activating Empathy’ for the Asian audience on 20th March 2012. This online discussion was part of Ashoka Changemakers latest collaborative competition titled Activating Empathy: Transforming Schools to Teach What Matters. This competition seeks to spark greater collaboration among efforts such as those that encourage social and emotional development, address bullying in ways that advance understanding of others’ perspectives, promote community diversity and respect for differences, or champion children as real-world problem-solvers.

Empathy is more than just awareness and concern. It is about cultural sensitivity and conflict resolution. It’s about the ability to communicate effectively and understand the motivations of others. Empathy is about standing up, not standing by, uncovering what’s below the surface through active listening and putting words into action. This is why Ashoka is launching a global initiative to ensure that children master empathy, enabling them to be effective citizens, leaders and trailblazers.

The panelists for the session were:

- Sonal Kapoor, Founder, Protsahan India Foundation, India. Protsahan India Foundation is a youth led & run organization working with street children [sexually abused, drug abused, at-risk] and marginalized women through Art & ICT. Their strategic focus areas are creative education and skill development.

- Pankaj Dubey, Founder, Spriha, India: With an idea and motivation to utilise his education and experience in media and communication, Pankaj took up the cause of ‘Empathy Building’ in children irrespective of their social and economic background. He has designed and actualised India’s first travelling street film festival for children in slums and villages by the name of ‘Sadak Chhap Film Fest’ to reach out to the children with limited means.

- Reggi Kayong Munggaran, Ashoka Fellow, Indonesia: Reggi Kayong Munggaran is organizing marginalized youth to serve as changemaker, spearheading the development of much-needed improvements in the physical and social infrastructures of the areas in which they reside.

- Syinc, Singapore. Syinc is a nonprofit in Singapore that enables young people to act as agents of social change - in ways that are effective and creative. Through networking and capacity building, Syinc is creating a community of youth equipped with the skills necessary for driving social change.

-Hammad Anwar, Rabtt, Pakistan. Rabbt which literally means ‘connection’ in Urdu, is a voluntary youth organization that aims to promote independent and critical thinking through educational camps, bringing together students and mentors from different classes of society in an environment free of judgement and control, introducing new fields of knowledge and broadening the scope of future possibilities for students.

The session began by defining and understanding what empathy means. The aim was to bring out diverse point of views to understand empathy in all its depth and manifestations. Panelists and participants shared their thoughts on what empathy meant to them. “Empathy is putting yourself in others' shoes. You take someone else's problems and make them your own”, said PA Nepal which is an organization that helps disadvantaged Nepali prisoners and their dependent children achieve a better future.

The session then focused on some of the steps that can be taken to cultivate and encourage empathy among children. Creativity,  social responsibility, creating a nurturing environment, awareness were some of the tools that our participants suggested to encourage empathy. Some innovative approaches like caring for animals, films, imagery and music were also brought forward. “By devicing innovative ways of inculcating empathy and by joining dots of peer, provider, parents, platform will encourage empathy”, added panelist Pankaj Dubey.

The conversation later moved on to some of the obstacles in cultivating empathy. Unsupportive parenting and learning practices, lack of role models, lack of awareness and discouragement of creativity were seen as some of the biggest obstacles in encouraging empathy among children. The role of online space & new technologies to cultivate empathy in children was the next topic of discussion. Connected classrooms, apps, games, chatroulettes for kids and social media can play a role in inculcating empathy among kids. “Why should we just have games like Farmville on Facebook? We should have games related to charity, helping others etc too!” said Pankaj Dubey on the role games could play in encouraging empathy.

The panelists and participants then discussed some of the successful examples of initiatives that encourage empathy among children - Magic Bus in India , Door Step School, Spriha and viral KONY video.

Please click here to have a look at the Storify Summary of the Twitter chat and visit ‘Activating Empathy’ competition to participate.

Monday, 19 March 2012

#SocEntSummit #ChangemakeHERS Now Forms an Online Community!

Ashoka Changemakers hosted a 12-hour Twitter-based social entrepreneurship summit using the hashtags #SocEntSummit and #ChangemakeHERS, on March 06, 2012, as a curtain raiser to International Women’s Day. The #SocEntSummit is part of Ashoka Changemakers’ effort to form interactive virtual communities to dialogue, share and support common causes, goals and actions. The first in the series of real time virtual mega events, #ChangemakeHERS attracted over 700 unique participants across 6 thematic sessions, engaging 6 moderating expert organizations, and over 20 thematic experts across the globe. An analysis of the last 1500 tweets of the chat (more than 2500 tweets were tweeted during the summit) revealed that the total reach of the summit was 24,407,939 impressions (based on TweetReach report.).

Women social entrepreneurs, organizations working in the area of women’s development, professionals and students were among the participants who took part in the online forum.

The #ChangemakeHERS #SocEntSummit is part of Ashoka Changemakers online initiative to recognize the role women play in social development. Titled #ChangemakeHERS, the campaign will use Changemakers’ blog, media partners and social media channels to share and discuss issues related to women and changemaking. People interested to follow the discussions can be part of the conversation by following the hashtag #ChangemakeHERS on Twitter.

The summit was divided into 6 sessions, each related to a specific theme. Each theme had a set of moderators and panellists discussing few key questions related to the theme while various people participated and shared their thoughts by tweeting with the hashtag #SocEntSummit on Twitter.

Session 1: Women as Change Leaders

The first session at #SocEntSummit was on 'Women as Change Leaders' which was moderated by AshokaIndia (@ashokaindia). The session focused on the role of women as change leaders. They also discussed some of the barriers that women social entrepreneurs face and possible solutions.

The panellists were:
- Supriya Sankaran @supriyasankara, Ashoka India
- Ashoka Fellow HasinaKharbhih @hasinakharbhih
- Ashoka Fellow Biplab Paul @biplabketanpaul
- Ashoka Fellow Jessica Mayberry @videovolunteers
- Ashoka Fellow ShilpiKapoor @shilpi_kapoor
- Renee Singh @reneesingh18, Public Speaker and Writer
- PrernaBindra @prernabindra, Environmental Journalist
- Helga Worotitjan @Helgaworotitjan, Indonesia

Click here to read the storify summary of the first session.

Session 2: Livelihood and Financial Inclusion

The second session was moderated by Lina Sonne (@mssonne) and Dipika Prasad (@dipikaprasad) on behalf of advisory firm Intellecap. The session focused on ‘Livelihood and Financial inclusion’. The session focused on issues related to entrepreneurship, financial rights and empowerment.

The panellists were:
- KhalidaBrohi @sugharwomen, Founder of Sughar Women, Pakistan
- SharadShrestha @sharadbshrestha, Nepal Library Foundation
- SaniaNishtar @SaniaNishtar, Founder of Heartfile (health initiative)
- Jaipur Rugs Foundation @jaipurrugs, India 

Click here to read the storify summary of the second session.

Session 3: Innovation

The third session was moderated by the Viewspaper (@theviewspaper) and focused on ‘Innovation’. The session explored topics related to creativity, ideas and innovation in the realm of social and women issues.

The panellists were:
-SonalKapoor@ArtForCause, Protsahan India Foundation
- Ruche Mittal @hen_india, Her Enpreneurial Network
- Innovation Alchemy @innovachemy, India
- IFC South Asia @IFC_SouthAsia
- Soil India @SOILIndia

Click here to read the storify summary of the 3rd session on innovation.

Session 4: Women and Technology

The session on ‘Women and Technology’ was moderated by Emily Tav (@emilytav) who is the creative strategist at iStrategyLabs. The panellists and participants discussed how technology is playing a role in enabling women changemakers and how women are developing and using technology for development.

The panellists were:
- GauravBakshi @iGauravBakshi, Actor, Businessman, Social Activist and founder of Bharat Jagran Trust (Recipient of Citizen Journalist CNN IBN Award 2011)
- Aulia Halimatussadiah @ollie, Renowned Writer in Indonesia
- Indonesian Future Leaders @ifutureleaders
- Fountain of Hope Africa @fountainofhopeA
- Ruche Mittal @hen_india, Her Enpreneurial Network
- MalgorzataWojcik @wojcikmm, UK

Click here to read the summary of the session on technology.

Session 5: Women Empowerment - Education, Health and Awareness

The fifth session was on ‘Women Empowerment – Education, Health and Awareness’ and was moderated by KnowledgeBeat (@knowledgebeat). The session saw discussions about women’s empowerment, focusing on key areas of education and health.

The panellists were:
- Dr. Ruchi Bhatt @drruchibhatt, Founder of Health Cursor
- Ashoka Fellow Tatiana Frazer @tatiana_frase
- Shauna Carey, Room to Read @RoomtoRead
- TejNuthulaganti, Clinton Health Access Initiative
- John Gershman, Clinical Associate Professor, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
- Participatory Development Initiative @PDIPakistan

Click here to read the storify summary of the session moderated by KnowledgeBeat.

Session 6: Women and Landrights

The last session, session 6, moderated by Omidyar Network @OmidyarNetwork was on ‘Women and Landrights’. The session saw the panellists and participants discuss issues related to women and land rights, a subject rarely discussed on large forums but a critical issue globally.

The panellists were:
- Susan Davis @SusanDavisBRAC, President and CEO of BRAC
- Tim Hanstad @TimHanstad, President and CEO of Landsea Global
- Stephanie Cohn Rupp @StephCohnRupp, Investment Principal at Omidyar Network, who leads their property rights initiative

Click here to read the storify summary of the session moderated by Omidyar Network.

Taking action....
As the event concluded successfully, our sincere request to all the participants and our global community is to continue the use of hashtag #ChangemakeHERS throughout the year 2012 to dialogue, share ideas, thoughts, and impact about causes/issues around women. Also, we will soon launch our second annual HERS Campaign which will be hosted in a richer, more interactive content space that will be introduced end of this month on, where we will continue to profile snippets of social innovation by women.

Do build your*ChangeShop at and join our online community It’s everyone’s forum so let’s strengthen it!

*Changeshop is an open growth feature added to

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Join us on March 20, 2012 for Ashoka Changemakers' Asia #SocEntChat about Activating Empathy!

Save the date! Ashoka Changemakers® will host a #SocEntChat for Asian audiences on Activating Empathy – Transforming Schools to Teach What Matters on Tuesday, March 20, 2012, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. IST (@ Indian Standard Time)  / 4:30 a.m. – 6:30 a.m. EST.
Ashoka believes that empathy is central to our ability to imagine, and create, better communities, societies, organizations, companies, and institutions. We believe that empathy is a skill. We believe that empathy is a muscle we all have. And most importantly, we believe that, like all muscles, empathy is strengthened by use and exercise.   
Empathy is more than just awareness and concern. It is about cultural sensitivity and conflict resolution. It’s about the ability to communicate effectively and understand the motivations of others.
Empathy is about standing up, not standing by—uncovering what’s below the surface through active listening and putting words into action. That is why Ashoka is launching a global initiative to ensure that children master empathy, enabling them to be effective citizens, leaders, and trailblazers.
Ashoka Changemakers® launched a global competition on Jan. 19, 2012 titled: Activating Empathy: Transforming Schools to Teach What Matterswhere the best ideas, programs, and learning models that ensure children master empathy, enabling them to be effective citizens, leaders, and trailblazers, will be awarded with cash and in-kind prizes.
The Activating Empathy competition seeks to spark greater collaboration among those whose efforts include encouraging social and emotional development, addressing bullying in ways that advance understanding of others’ perspectives, promoting community diversity and respect for differences, or championing children as real-world problem-solvers.
Join us from anywhere in the world to participate in a discussion with innovators, social entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts about the most crucial issues in Empathy and Learning in Asia. Topics of discussion will include learning innovation, changing education systems—and more issues chosen by you.
This is your chance to share your thoughts and ask leading innovators all of your most burning questions. Make your voice heard!
What is #SocEntChat and how does it work? 

A #SocEntChat is a real-time, Twitter-based discussion about social entrepreneurship that focuses on various issues, areas, themes, and events. It is designed for current and aspiring social entrepreneurs, funders, journalists, and supporters to share their ideas, discuss the state of the field, identify the latest innovations, and pinpoint areas requiring deeper exploration.
Joining the conversation is easy. Just log-in to Twitter at 2 p.m. IST on Tuesday, March 20, 2012. Then:
  • Use the #SocEntChat hashtag to make your comments visible in the stream. During #SocEntChat use or an application like Tweetdeck ( or thwirl ( to follow the #SocEntChat hashtag and keep up with the conversation.
  • Introduce yourself and take a minute to get to know the other chatters when you join.
  • Send your questions to @changemakers without the hash tag (to keep them out of the stream) to have them considered for this conversation.
  • Add the #startempathy hash tag if you have space!
Please remember to use the #SocEntChat hashtag, stay on topic, be respectful, and have fun! And be sure to invite your friends and followers to join the discussion, too. Here is a sample tweet:
Join @changemakers on Mar 20 at 2-4 PM IST for the intriguing #SocEntChat on Learning and Empathy in Asia! Topic: #startempathy. Spread the word & save the date!
If you are unable to attend the live event, a recap of the chat highlights and a transcript of the conversation will be made available at
Catch you all on Twitter:!
P.S. Don’t forget to enter the Activating Empathy Competition by 5PM EST on March 30, 2012.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Ashoka Changemakers Celebrates Women’s Day Over 12 Hr #SocEntSummit

As a curtain raiser to International Women’s Day on March 08, 2012, Ashoka Changemakers hosted a 12 hour nonstop ­­­­Twitter-based #SocEntSummit titled #ChangemakeHERS – an event of its kind, on March 06, 2012 between 12 noon to 12 midnight IST /1:30am to 1:30pm EST.

This unique virtual event attracted over 700 participants, 6 moderators and 24 experts to discuss 6 most important social issues around women. The summit saw 2075 unique tweets (does not include retweets ) from hundreds of accounts across different time zones.

Watch out for more action. Continue to tweet about women changemakers using #ChangemakeHERS hashtag.

Event summary, #SocEnt-Tweetstar profiles and unusual women stories be will posted here and, HER campaign page (coming soon) and at our new community forum soon! Stay tuned…..

Saturday, 3 March 2012

#SocEntSummit titled #ChangemakeHERS - A new twitter forum for women social entrepreneurs

As a curtain raiser to International Women’s Day on March 08, 2012, Ashoka Changemakers is hosting a ­­­­Twitter-based #SocEntSummit titled #ChangemakeHERS, on March 06, 2012 between 12 noon to 12 midnight IST /1:30am to 1:30pm EST. Save the date and spread the word! Hope to see you there.

Ashoka Changemakers will celebrate International Women’s Day 2012 a bit differently this year with the launch of #SocEntSummit on Twitter, the first event of its kind. This Twitter-based event—recognized, tracked and followed with the hashtag #ChangemakeHERS—will celebrate womanhood by cheering some of the most outstanding women social entrepreneurs from all over the world. The #SocEntSummit will also kick-off Changemakers’ second annual HERS Campaign, which will be hosted in a richer, more interactive content space that will be introduced end of this month on

Here’s the direct Link to #SocEntSummit: (this is an online event where no physical attendance is required).

#ChangemakeHERS will establish a Twitter forum for women changemakers to continue dialoguing and sharing their ideas, thoughts, and impact throughout the year.

At the end of March, the voices of world-changing women will be captured in a blog post on In addition, a collection of content that carries the hashtag #ChangemakeHERS, including must-follow Twitter accounts and top tweets, will be featured on both ChangeWire and on

Be there at and continue to tweet for us!

Here is the #SocEntSummit Session Plan, Moderators & Timings: