Higher education is experiencing an unprecedented crisis of identity, relevance, and responsibility. Launched in 2008, the Ashoka U initiative seeks to develop the next generation of social entrepreneurs and "Changemakers" – and to leverage the entire higher education ecosystem (ex., admissions, research, career services, and alumni) to catalyze large-scale social impact.
Ashoka U works with faculty, administrators, students, social entrepreneurs, and employers who all share a vision for transforming the university experience into a world-changing experience. Collectively, Ashoka U strives for universities to become hubs of social innovation that leverage the entire spectrum of institutional resources for social impact. To get there, the Ashoka U network focuses on three systems-change goals:
1) Develop and empower higher education change leaders: Change Yourself
2) Advance universities as campus-wide hubs of social innovation: Change Your Campus
3) Catalyze universities as co-creators of social change: Change Your World
ChangeLabs worked with Ashoka U in a cross-sector collaboration to find ways to enable higher education to play a more significant role as a driver of positive social change and innovation.
A team was tasked with creating an actionable paradigm and strategy for an academic institution to become an agent of large-scale social and environmental change. The team focused on formulating, initiating and launching a new Changemaker location for Ashoka U. The team crafted a strategy, vision, and a plan to delivers lasting and increasing value at a large scale on the social, economic and environmental vectors.