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Ashoka to Partner with Hystra to Increase Corporate Engagement in Scaling Up Social Innovations

Submitted by: Ashoka: Innovators for the Public

Categories: Corporate Social Responsibility, Other

Posted: Sep 03, 2009 – 01:22 PM EST


ARLINGTON, Va. , Sep. 03 /CSRwire/ - Ashoka, the world's largest association of social entrepreneurs has entered into a strategic partnership with Hystra - Hybrid Strategies Consulting, a global consulting firm dedicated to combining the best insights and resources of business and citizen sector entrepreneurs to enhance and amplify solutions for social and environmental problems. The Hystra partnership represents a milestone in Ashoka's capacity to catalyze far-reaching impact so that profit-making and social engagement meld into one compatible business oriented goal.

Hystra, is the brainchild of Olivier Kayser who, after 18 years with McKinsey and 5 with Ashoka, has brought together a global network of successful business and social entrepreneurs who share a common commitment to leverage the power of large corporations to significantly reduce social and environmental problems.

"It's time for business to re-think its model. Across the world, social entrepreneurs have been experimenting with a mix of social and business strategies, gaining new insights into market needs and coming up with innovative solutions to intractable global problems. It is now time for concerned and conscientious corporate leaders to do what they do best in order to help social solutions achieve the scale needed to change the world" said Olivier Kayser.

Emmanuel Faber, Co-Chief Operating Officer for Group Danone and member of Hystra's Advisory Board expands the concept from the corporate side. "As large companies, we need to break our mental barriers, think in terms of shared value creation and create hybrid value chains with civil society organizations, and show evidence that other value sharing paradigms are possible." Ashoka understands that innovations alone do not create sustainable, large-scale solutions in low-income markets.

This global partnership will produce new findings to advance social business models. Recently Hystra and Ashoka concluded their first joint research project for a consortium of leading energy companies, focused on surfacing the best energy business models operating in low income markets.

Bill Drayton, Founder and CEO of Ashoka, and a member of Hystra's Advisory Board, states, "Hystra is exactly what is needed at this moment in the take-off of hybrid value chains and, more broadly, the emergence of serious collaborations, joint ventures, and (later) mergers between business and society."

About Ashoka
Founded in 1980, Ashoka is the world's working community of more than 2,000 leading social entrepreneurs. It champions the most important new social change ideas and supports the entrepreneurs behind them by helping them get started, grow, succeed, and collaborate. As Ashoka expands its capacity to integrate and connect social and business entrepreneurs around the world, it builds an entrepreneurial infrastructure comprised of a series of global initiatives that support the fast-growing needs of the citizen sector. Ashoka's vision is to create change today, for an Everyone A Changemaker(TM) society to become the reality of tomorrow. For more information, visit www.ashoka.org.

About Hystra
Hystra is a new, hybrid type of consulting firm. Hystra works with business and social sector pioneers to design and implement hybrid strategies, innovative business approaches that are profitable, scalable and eradicate social and environmental problems and combine the insights and resources of business and citizen sectors. Hystra itself is a hybrid organization, a for profit tool for social change that seeks to "be the change we want to see in the world." Its Advisory Board vets clients and projects ensuring that they have a significant potential for social impact. Hystra supports social entrepreneurs with 10% of its revenues. Hystra also embraces an "open source" philosophy, sharing all (non client confidential) insights and methodologies. For more information, visit www.hystra.com.

For more information, please contact:

Pilar Martinez Ashoka's Full Economic Citizenship Initiative
Phone: 703.600.8319
Fax: 703.527.8383
Olivier Kayser Hystra Founder and Managing Director
Beverly Schwartz Ashoka Vice President of Global Marketing
Phone: 703.600.8227
Fax: 703.527.8383


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