June 24, 2019

CSRWire.com The Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire

news by category

CSR News

Ashoka Expands Leadership as “Everyone a Changemaker” Takes Off

Submitted by: Ashoka: Innovators for the Public

Categories: Social Entrepreneurship, Careers

Posted: Jan 05, 2016 – 02:00 PM EST


ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 05 /CSRwire/ - Ashoka, known for its pioneering work of launching top social entrepreneurs around the world, is making a strategic investment in a new class of leaders within its global team to take the organization to a new level of impact. 

All organizations globally are going through a profound change. It is no longer enough for them to hire someone with a specific skill and hope she repeats it well for decades until she retires.  Instead, the nature of our work changes constantly.  We connect to one another at a pace and with a complexity and diversity of teams that is unprecedented and accelerating rapidly.  For organizations and companies to thrive, they need the kind of leader (and staff) who not only can adapt constantly and navigate this change effortlessly but who also helps others thrive as drivers of change.  Ashoka has helped this new kind of leader emerge over the last 35 years by helping launch and investing in 3,300 of the world’s best entrepreneurs -- called Ashoka Fellows -- solving critical social problems across 90 countries.  Through them, Ashoka sees a world transforming from one where a few people lead to one where everyone leads -- an “everyone a changemaker” world.

To serve this new historic reality, Ashoka just took a big step in that direction: it announced seven promotions to its “partners” levels.  They are all proven top-level entrepreneurs, have exceptional ethical fiber, and embody the kind of collegiality, clarity, and ability to see the future needed to build the Ashoka team of teams.

Recognizing their key contributions to date and their importance in driving the changemaker movement over the coming historic years, Ashoka promoted Mark Cheng, Arnaud Mourot, and Stuart Yasgur to its highest level, Leadership Group Member, and Marina Kim, Erin Krampetz, Ana Saenz de Miera, and Tom Bell to Senior Change Leader, which is also very much seen as a partnership equivalent level of skill and responsibility. 

“As the Ashoka community adds the work of helping the world say out loud that we are all now in an everything-changing and therefore ‘everyone a changemaker’ new strategic reality, it must expand its Leadership Group.” said Bill Drayton, CEO of Ashoka.   “Today we welcome seven colleagues into our leadership partnership -- all top, proven entrepreneurs who very generously serve this change and our whole movement and community.” 

About the newest Leadership Group Members, Ashoka’s top officers:

Arnaud Mourot - Leadership Group Member.  Arnaud will be leading innovation in building “everyone a changemaker” (EACH) companies and publishers, helping all the Francophone countries get to EACH, and serving as a global spokesperson for EACH.

Throughout his ten years with Ashoka, Arnaud has proven his ability to build key partnership relationships of many different types and also to position Ashoka as a thought influencer in France and beyond.  He took over a nascent Ashoka France and built it into a strong program sustained by a vibrant community of social and business entrepreneurs.  He expanded Ashoka to include Belgium and the French-speaking part of Switzerland and has been critical to the rebirth of Ashoka in Spain and Ashoka’s launch in Greece and Italy.

In addition to his country-level leadership, Arnaud has pioneered in Ashoka’s global efforts to identify and engage influential corporate partners aligned with Ashoka’s mission to build an “everyone a changemaker” world.  Core to this work is his creative and practical approaches for building teams across business and citizen sectors which has translated into millions of dollars in partnerships to contribute to Ashoka’s core mission of supporting social entrepreneurs globally.

Before coming to Ashoka, Arnaud founded Sports sans Frontiers (now Play International), an international organization that uses sports as an educational, therapeutic and awareness-raising tool for integrating marginalized groups in situations of poverty and conflict.  He also co-founded a temporary work agency fully dedicated to providing employment opportunities for disabled workers.  Arnaud holds a MBA from the Paris Management School, ESCP where he focused on “Innovation and Entrepreneurship”.

Mark Cheng - Leadership Group Member and the leader of Ashoka/Europe 

Mark has been a pioneer in structural financial innovations at the business/social frontier.  He joined Ashoka’s network in 2007 through a unique avenue: Drawing from 15 years’ experience in finance – working at Deutsche Bank and AMBAC Assurance and founding the social investment firm Chelwood Capital – he became an Ashoka Support Network member.  In this role, he advised some of Ashoka’s most distinguished Fellows, helping raise over $80 million to help scale their impact in areas of micro-finance, renewable energy, conservation, healthcare and education.  From that point he knew that he wanted to be part of Ashoka’s team.  In 2011 he became the leader of Ashoka UK. He quickly turned that program around by building a vibrant community of entrepreneurs, Ashoka Fellows, and partners.  Last year he became the leader of Ashoka/Europe and its hub in London.  Outside of Ashoka, Mark continues to serve as Board Member and Trustee for several social enterprises and is a business mentor for the Emerge Venture Lab, an incubator for UK student social ventures.

When he was notified of this selection, he said, “I am honored to be named a Leadership Group Member and feel humbled and amazed to be in the company of such incredible Ashoka Fellows and extraordinary staff.  In this team of teams structure where everyone leads, I am excited to play a leadership role that aims to help others flourish.”

Stuart Yasgur - Leadership Group Member and the leader of Ashoka’s Social Financial Services group

Stuart Yasgur leads Ashoka’s Social Financial Services. In this capacity, Stuart engages across Ashoka’s subject matter activity with a distinct focus on using market forces to address social challenges at large scale.  Stuart has demonstrated strong leadership over his seven years at Ashoka. He helped initiate efforts that have mobilized more than $500 million in funding for social entrepreneurs.  He also, working with Ashoka’s changemakers.com, helped the G-20 group of key national leaders discover and then fund new solutions from social entrepreneurs across the world to key issues such as financing small and medium enterprises.  This work served the G-20 summits in Toronto, Seoul, and Los Cabos.

Ashoka CEO Bill Drayton, in announcing Stuart’s promotion, stated with feeling, “Stuart’s intelligence and his impact speak for themselves.  However, let me describe something very special that goes beyond that.  Over the last two years, he has shown us all an unequalled level of commitment and deep colleagueship.”

As leader of Ashoka’s Social Financial Services, Stuart is now incubating a new strategic focus for Ashoka. “Social Financial Services builds on one of the most powerful cohorts within Ashoka’s global fellowship, social entrepreneurs who are harnessing the power of the market to improve the character and quality of people’s lives. Our financial and market systems are changing at an unprecedented rate, and this will have a tremendous effect on the shape of our lives. It is more important than ever before to ensure that our financial and market systems work for everyone” said Yasgur.

Before joining Ashoka, Stuart was a founder and Managing Partner of a New York-based consultancy and has more than a decade of experience working with start-up and growth stage companies.  Stuart frequently speaks on the role of social innovation and has taught at New York University and the London School of Economics (LSE). Stuart received a PhD from the LSE, a Master’s degree from Columbia, and a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. 

About the newest members of Ashoka’s Senior Change Leader group: 

Ana Saenz de Miera - Senior Change Leader, leader of Ashoka Spain and PortugalAna is a serial entrepreneur who started her first venture at 16 years old.  Her participation in the Scouts movement as a child instilled in her a can-do attitude and the drive to see things through.  She wanted younger children to have that same experience and therefore led a team to expand the age and programming for children age 6-8 to join the Scouts program across Spain.

This early experience in changemaking led her to innovate solutions throughout her career.  Through the citizen organization Fundeso, Ana developed innovative youth empowerment programs and created the first Ana es Licenciada en Psicología por la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, y Diplomada en Social Sciences por la University of Kent, Canterbury. Hispanic-African Center and movement in Madrid.

In 2013, Ana joined Ashoka and quickly assumed leadership of Ashoka/Spain.  In just two years, Ana has turned around Ashoka/Spain and revitalized its program in Portugal.  She demonstrates a profound ability to inspire trust in others – both internally within Ashoka and externally with Ashoka’s partners.  This has allowed her to build a strong team that effectively engages a powerful community of partners, experts and supporters across Spain and Portugal. In recognition of her positive influence and impact, she was recently named one of the most 100 influential women in Spain.

While building a strong country and regional program, she has also succeeded in engaging partners to support Ashoka’s work globally, particularly in Latin America. Her ability to work across Ashoka's global team of teams has allowed her to secure the first global partnership for Ashoka with a Spanish company and to lead new initiatives across borders.  Her success in supporting Ashoka’s core work to elect leading social entrepreneurs and showcasing the importance of changemaker skills in schools has made her a much sought after team member.

From the first day Ana arrived at Ashoka, she accepted both the challenge and responsibility for being part of the “everyone a changemaker” movement.  To her, a strong team is everything.  She sees Ashoka’s role as leading a greater understanding of the kind of organization that empowers everyone to lead and she is determined to continue to break down walls and silos to do so.

Ana holds degrees in Psychology from the Autonomous University of Madrid and Social Sciences from the University of Kent, Canterbury.  She holds Master’s degrees in Humanities from the University Francisco de Vitoria and Clinical Psychology and Health from the Complutense University of Madrid.

Tom Bell - Senior Change Leader, leader of the Integrated Technology Initiative

Since joining Ashoka in 2010, Tom Bell has led Ashoka's global technology team, a core group that develops, tests, and rolls out technology solutions that enable the organization's "team of teams" systems and behaviors.

In this key role, Tom leverages technology to increase efficiency, harnesses solutions available through the Cloud, and inspires collaboration as Ashoka evolves to be a model changemaker organization: decentralized yet integrated, ideas coming from anywhere, few hierarchies, colleagues co-creating and helping one another to have bigger impact than any one person could achieve alone.  Year after year, Tom’s group gets the highest ratings from all of the parts of Ashoka that use his and other shared services.

Tom's focus on unlocking potential by breaking down silos emerged while in grad school in Hawaii.  A student of Southeast Asia studies, he found creative colleagues in diverse fields of history, archeology, drama, music, language, and many more.  Yet he saw few avenues in the existing university structure for sharing research and insights in order to spark fresh ideas and collaborations that moved everyone forward. In this professor-centered environment, he initiated a journal for peer sharing and developed the editorial board, attracted initial funding, secured institutional buy-in and set the whole thing in motion while preparing for his own exit upon graduation.  The initiative continues – as does Tom's passion for unlocking the potential in people and groups through well-designed infrastructure and systems and the practice of continuous improvement and inquiry.

Prior to joining Ashoka, Tom worked in Africa with Grameen Technology Center to initiate joint ventures and micro-franchises around mobile technology.  He was self-taught in many of these endeavors and developed expertise not from formal training but guided by his natural curiosity, attention to excellence and impact, and applied empathy.

Marina Kim – Senior Change Leader, Co-founder of Ashoka U

Marina’s work in social entrepreneurship dates back over a decade. She started at Stanford University, leading the Future Social Innovators’ Network, the Social Entrepreneurs’ Challenge, and co-founding with Erin Krampetz the university’s first minor in social innovation.  Marina came to Ashoka and helped create a documentary series on the members of Ashoka’s Global Academy of Social Entrepreneurship.  This experience highlighted the need not only to develop case studies and materials about social entrepreneurs to increase understanding of the field and its leaders but also the need to change the way people learn about social innovation.  Given her experience at Stanford, she saw both the need and the possibility to change the structure of universities to embed social innovation in the way students learn to value experiential learning, student driven efforts and connection to the community.  This insight led her to cofound the Ashoka U program which she leads today, working with campuses to embed social innovation as an educational focus and core value of the university culture.

Ashoka U under Marina and Erin’s leadership has consistently led Ashoka’s organizing learning curve.  For example, Ashoka U will not recognize let alone invest in a campus unless it has a broad-based team that fully shares our goals and has demonstrated that it will deliver.  Other parts of Ashoka are learning to apply those tests in overall partnership management.

Ashoka U is also changing in response to Ashoka’s new framework changing jujitsus, e.g., the new measures of success in growing up that are required in a world defined by change, not repetition.  The Ashoka U partnership bridge now brings each of these new areas of knowledge and enquiry to the universities and new tools and powerful dissemination in return to Ashoka.

Marina’s work has been featured on Social Edge and change.org and in the Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times.  Marina was named in the Forbes 30 Under 30 for Social Entrepreneurship, recognizing her work with Ashoka U.

Erin Krampetz – Senior Change Leader, Co-founder of Ashoka U

Erin fosters the strategic development and growth of the Ashoka U community with the goal of supporting colleges and universities everywhere to become hubs of social innovation.  As a student at Stanford, she co-created with Marina Kim the first minor in social innovation and through this experience realized it was possible for students to change universities in new and positive ways.  After graduation Erin became the Program Director for Escuela Nueva International, created by Ashoka Fellow Vicky Colbert, coordinating collaborative partnerships for global expansion.  Her time with Escuela Nueva showed her the value of gaining on-the-ground experience, which inspired her further focus on social entrepreneurship education to promote meaningful experiential learning opportunities.

Erin came to Ashoka in 2008 to help launch Ashoka U which has grown to an international network of Changemaker Campuses.  She is grateful both for the team members who she learns from every day and Ashoka’s global leaders who have given her the greatest opportunity to grow her own leadership.

Erin holds a BA in International Relations and an MA in International Educational Administration and Policy Analysis from Stanford University.


Ashoka is the largest network of social entrepreneurs worldwide, with over 3,000 Ashoka Fellows in 90 countries putting their system changing ideas into practice on a global scale. Founded by Bill Drayton in 1980, Ashoka has provided start-up financing, professional support services, and connections to a global network across the business and social sectors, and a platform for people dedicated to changing the world. Ashoka launched the field of social entrepreneurship and has activated multi-sector partners across the world who increasingly look to entrepreneurial talent and new ideas to solve social problems.

Ashoka Fellows remain the core of our community, and their insights show us how the world is moving and what is needed next. Ashoka's mission has evolved beyond catalyzing individual entrepreneurs to enabling an "everyone a changemaker" world. This means equipping more people – including young people - with the skillset and a connection to purpose so that they can contribute ideas and effectively solve problems at whatever scale is needed in their family, community, city, workplace, field, industry, country. This evolution comes from the urgent realization that the pace of change is accelerating in an increasingly complex and interconnected world. Our strategic initiatives focus on setting in motion the people, resources and ecosystems that will bring about a social revolution where everyone contributes to change for the good of all. Working in partnership with private, philanthropic and citizen sector players we are achieving large-scale social innovation that is grounded in decades of entrepreneurial experience.

For more information, please contact:

Terry Donovan Senior Press Advisor
Phone: +15084350045


Issuers of news releases and not csrwire are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content