social entrepreneurs developed clear and robust systems change strategies
Systems like health care, education, environmental protection, and others are human-made systems that often do not serve the good of the many, even when created with the best of intentions. However, where governments are too slow to innovate and companies do not see a business case, there are teams of changemakers who take on the responsibility to improve systems for the good of the many.
Ashoka calls the initiators of these teams systems-changing social entrepreneurs. For the last 40 years, the Ashoka team has been identifying and selecting such social entrepreneurs as Fellows to help them increase the positive impact of their work in the world.
We launched Ashoka Globalizer in 2010 to support Fellows to take their work global. Shortly after launching, we recognized the need to focus on spreading ideas instead of growing organizations. Finally, we saw a gap in identifying root causes and the systems that create problems, and began to support Ashoka Fellows to recalibrate their strategies or build entirely new ones based on systems analysis.
Working alongside leading social entrepreneurs across topics and countries for years, we started noticing patterns in how they go about improving systems and creating more changemaker opportunities. We realized that this knowledge, if captured, could serve many more changemakers working on improving systems than our team could ever serve directly.
For this reason, in 2018 we emphasized creating open knowledge products on how systems change happens. Our priority is to make the learning process well-structured, fun, free and accessible for anybody in the world.
Our knowledge products take the form of animated online courses, podcasts, reports, articles and keynote speeches. Thousands of changemakers across the citizen sector, companies, and governments are already using this knowledge to improve systems and engage more changemakers in North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Co-creating a supportive environment for all changemakers
With time we have come to realize that for changemakers to successfully implement systemic changes, they need more than strategic support and knowledge. They need an entire supportive environment – including funders who understand why and how to finance systems change efforts and intermediaries (incubators, accelerators, networks and door-openers) who are willing and able to offer suitable support.
We have thus started our ecosystem endeavors to unlock more funding for systems change initiatives and enable intermediaries to effectively support changemakers in their systems change work.
What changemakers and peers say about our work
Globalizer was an excellent experience; it allowed me to scale the impact of my organization from 10,000 people to 4.5 million. It was one of the most important professional growth experiences and came at a difficult time that allowed us to keep our organization alive and fulfill our mission.Gaby Arenas de MenesesAshoka Fellow from Venezuela | Founder of Fundacion TAAP | Cohort Participant 2018
The key change was in moving from a micro to a macro level goal, perspective and strategy - from being content with dealing with a few farmers to having a goal and strategy to transform the life of all farmers in the sector.John JohnAshoka Fellow from India | Founder of Grassroot Tea Corporation
I previously looked at our social impact at IKEA as having a one-way focus from corporate to social change and mostly as donation of product, money or time. Now I see it as a two-way street where we collaborate to create win-win solutions that make society better.Rob OlsonCOO at IKEA USA | Thought Partner in our Process
The Globalizer materials were greatly relevant and helpful for me and our work. They highlighted how important it is for everyone to have a role in changemaking and encouraged us to set up a meeting with multiple stakeholders and establish the tone of their participation as active participants.Ximena AbogabirAshoka Fellow from Chile | Founder of Casa de la Paz | Participant of our Online Course
The Mindset Shift course contains such good, thought-provoking content. When you link it up with Ashoka Globalizer’s other resources on systems change, working with government, scaling and funding, it adds up to a very practical ecosystem of support for social entrepreneurs.Brendan DunfordAshoka Fellow from Ireland | Founder of the Burren Programme | Participant in the Mindset Shift Course
The people behind the work
We are an eleven-person close-knit global team sharing a mutual passion for systemic social impact and the activation of changemaking around the world. Amongst us you'll find enthusiastic strategists, authors, philosophers, diplomats, psychologists, social economists, and teachers.
We work remotely out of 9 different countries meeting on screens and in person as well as in virtual reality!
Lead of Finance
Eda Yurt was born in Ankara in May 15th, 1979 is the Ashoka Globalizer and Ashoka Turkey Finance and Operations Manager.
After graduating from high school at TED Ankara College, Eda Yurt received a Bachelors degree in Economics and a Masters degree in Finance from A.Ü Social Sciences Faculty.
She started to work at ING Bank as an Auditor. She worked as a specialist and mid-level manager in Oyak Head Quarter, Hobby Cosmetics and Allianz Sigorta A.Ş. companies. She changed her career path towards the third sector, where she eagers to make different contributions. She became a co-founder of Temiz Hasat Consumption Cooperative, Riva Woman Cooperative, and she volunteered for Mame Woman Cooperative.
She had individual contributions to the volunteer movements of non-governmental organizations such as; İz Movement, Democratic Objection Movement (DIH), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Vote and Beyond (O&O), AIESEC, SPoD. Eda Yurt is fluent in English, she held CPA certificate (SMMM), Independent Auditor License and Capital Market licenses.
Team Council | Systems Thought Partner | Lead of Knowledge Dissemination
Florentine is COO of the Systems Change Research Lab at Ashoka Globalizer, Co-lead of the Systems Change Module at Europe Fellowship, and Partner at Ashoka Germany.
Since 2018, the core of her work is to directly and indirectly motivate, empower and equip social entrepreneurs worldwide to effectively and efficiently address the root causes of social problems.
Currently, she does so by guiding leading social entrepreneurs through strategy development processes and by co-developing and disseminating knowledge products on systems change among changemakers around the world.
Prior to Ashoka, she conducted and published research on value systems in social entrepreneurship and managed social projects in Peru. She is a graduate of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University with a bachelor's degree in International Business, a Master of Science in Business, Language, and Culture from the University of Southern Denmark and a Master of Arts in International Management Studies from the European University Flensburg.
Lead of Impact Evaluation | Team Operations
Ina is a Team Operations Lead at the Ashoka Globalizer team developing and implementing processes and structures that provide everything for a team to thrive. Ina takes care of the team culture and co-leads the Team Development area.
Another passion of Ina is impact measurement and data management; thus, she leads on the development of the Ashoka Globalizer impact measurement strategy.
Ina holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Education from the Spanish University of Distance Education (UNED) and a post-degree in Social Innovation management from Amani Institute.
Prior to Ashoka, Ina gained extensive experience in the hospitality industry across Spain. Ina calls home both, the Basque country coast by San Sebastián and the Black Sea coast in Varna.
Co-Founder | Co-Lead of Partnerships | Lead of ASPIRe
Maria has been focused on the field of scaling social impact for the last decade. She co-founded The Globalizer (Ashoka´s flagship accelerator on scaling impact) and is now the Executive Director of ASPIRe, Ashoka´s global initiative exploring innovative ways in which social entrepreneurs can make systemic impact using platform thinking supported by technology.
Maria joined Ashoka in 2003 to launch Ashoka Spain and to support the setup of Ashoka in Western Europe. Prior to that, Maria worked for over eight years in General Electric across different countries and businesses.
She has co-authored recently an article on SSIR “Thinking and Acting Like a Platform Will Help Social Entrepreneurs Create Impact at Scale” and this paper “Leveraging Platforms for the Good of All”.
Lead of Collaboration in Systems Change (currently on Maternity Leave)
Team Council | Systems Thought Partner | Lead of Team Development
Nadine has over 20 years of experience working closely with social entrepreneurs. Through the Globalizer she has helped build and hone an innovative process that places leading social entrepreneurs together with other experts to develop effective strategies to spread social impact and create long term systemic change.
Before joining the Globalizer team Nadine led Ashoka’s Andean Region and Latin America Fellowship programs, contributing to establishment of social entrepreneurship as a critical field in the region.
Prior to joining Ashoka, Nadine was Director of Programs at South North Development Initiative where she helped to create some of the first impact investment funds in southern Africa and Latin America.
Nadine, former teacher, is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Washington University with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Spanish and an M.B.A. from the Anderson School at U.C.L.A
Systems Thought Partner | Lead of Ecosystem Work
Partner at Ashoka Germany and Co-Lead of the Systems Unit, Odin has been developing such strategies with over 100 leading social entrepreneurs, as well as many of the tools that Ashoka uses in the area of systems change.
He published several reports on the topic. His articles appeared both in sector magazines (SSIR, SIJ) and in outlets for the general public (WEF Agenda, ZEIT).
Before Ashoka, Odin was a consultant at McKinsey & Company and co-founded two social ventures. He got Masters in Philosophy, Logic, and Political Sciences with studies in Munich, Oxford, and Cambridge.
Team Council | Systems Thought Partner | Lead of Knowledge Production
Olga leads knowledge production in our team and at Ashoka globally. In this capacity, Olga has developed multiple online courses and case studies on systems change, as well as on working with government and mindset shift as key pathways to systems change.
Olga is also one of the most experienced strategy thought partners in Globalizer’s accelerator, having facilitated the development of systems change strategies with over 40 Ashoka Fellows across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas since the moment she joined Ashoka in 2012.
Prior to her current roles, Olga was building up the Czech office of Ashoka. She was also responsible for selecting Ashoka Fellows in Central Europe, building up the Czech national support ecosystem for social entrepreneurs – along with biggest foundations and social ministry, and designing multiple peer learning programs for social entrepreneurs – one on impact evaluation and one on advocacy.
Independent from Ashoka, Olga has also founded and co-led multiple social and environmental ventures in her home region, and provides systems thought partnership to foundations and social entrepreneurs from diverse countries and topics.
Olga holds a BA and MSc degree in Diplomacy/ International Relations from MGIMO, Russia and speaks 6 languages.
Santiago Del Giudice
Lead of Accelerator Operations
Program Manager at the Globalizer team and East Africa Venture Representative, Santiago brings the power of coordinating different processes in the team such as programs, knowledge products and events.
As Venture Representative, he is in charge of searching social entrepreneurs and championing them in their journey to become Ashoka Fellows.
Before joining Ashoka, he worked as a consultant in the intersection of tech and the humanitarian sector in Washington DC.
Santiago loves spending time in nature, whether on the beach or in the savannah.
Team Council | Systems Thought Partner | Co-Lead of Partnerships
Stella has been with Ashoka in different capacities, starting from the Greek local office in 2017 and transitioning to the Globalizer team.
Deeply interested in supporting people and organizations in the journey to find and fulfill their vision, her focus areas are strategy development with social entrepreneurs accross the globe, building partnerships between the business and social sectors and designing employee engagement and development journeys.
Before Ashoka, Stella was a psychologist working with children and adults and founded a center offering psychological and other services to children, adolescents and parents.
She studied Psychology (BSc, MSc) and Entrepreneurship (MSc) in Athens and London.