Majoring in changing the world


August 25, 2010

ASU selected to join prestigious Changemaker Campus Consortium

Arizona State University students want to make a difference and change the world. Now, not after they graduate. Download Full Image

That passion and commitment to higher education as an agent for positive social transformation has earned ASU a coveted place in the Changemaker">http://www.ashoka.org/changemakercampus">Changemaker Campus Consortium, announced today by http://www.ashoka.org/" target="_blank">Ashoka U.

Ashoka U is a branch of Ashoka, a global non-profit network of more than 2,500 social entrepreneurs. Its mission is to support universities and colleges that seek to be leaders in social entrepreneurship education.

ASU, Duke University and Marquette University, also named as new Changemaker Campuses, join seven others – Babson College, College of the Atlantic, George Mason University, The New School, Tulane University, University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Maryland – previously chosen by Ashoka U to comprise its Changemaker Campus Consortium.

ASU is the first Changemaker Campus in the Southwest and brings important leadership to the region, as 80 percent of the leading social entrepreneurs in the United States are currently based on the east and west coasts.

"What makes Arizona State University unique is its combination of a bold vision for higher education and its wholehearted dedication to reaching that vision,” said Marina Kim, director of Ashoka U. “The leadership has already created radical structural changes to catalyze interdisciplinary solutions to world challenges, and they are committed to furthering this approach. Ashoka is proud to work with ASU as a leader among Changemaker Campuses."

Selected through a competitive application process, each Changemaker Campus has made a compelling case for moving its university towards becoming a hub of social innovation and an environment that enables everyone to become a changemaker.

According to Kim, Ashoka selected ASU because of its demonstrated commitment to creating and sustaining an environment where everyone has access to the resources, learning opportunities, role models and peer community needed to actualize their full potential as agents for change.

Ashoka also recognized ASU as a leader in the field, in part, because of its academic programs such as the new B.S. in technological entrepreneurship and management that gives students the option to specialize in social entrepreneurship.

“A powerful feature of the College">http://technology.asu.edu/">College of Technology and Innovation's social entrepreneurship curriculum is our problem-based learning approach in which students work in teams to identify community needs, design and prototype solutions, and implement the solution to build a sustainable venture,” said Mitzi Montoya, executive dean. “Project sites will be local and global, from Arizona to sub-Saharan Africa.”

As part of the Changemaker Campus Consortium, ASU will share its experience to help set a global standard for excellence in social entrepreneurship education. As a member of the Changemaker Campus Consortium, ASU will benefit from Ashoka training, network access, and best practices to advance ASU’s social entrepreneurship efforts in six areas of campus activity: teaching, research, applied learning, resources, role models and community/culture.

On Aug. 27 and 28, representatives from the Changemaker Campuses will participate in the Ashoka Fall Institute in Washington, D.C.

Charis Elliott is a graduate student in social justice and social entrepreneur who founded a fair trade nonprofit organization, Las Otras Hermanas (LOH), in March 2008 with support from ASU’s EDSON">http://www.studentventures.asu.edu/">EDSON Student Entrepreneur Initiative. Elliott is a member of the ASU Changemaker Advisory Board and will attend the Fall Institute.

“Social entrepreneurship is about bringing ideas with social value into a sustainable reality,” Elliott said. “I believe that ASU is full of creative thinkers and problem-solvers looking for tools and direction. The partnership with Ashoka will bring increased awareness of social entrepreneurship and will support students’ creativity, innovation and inspiration, which will ultimately make an impact in communities around the world.”

Richard Filley, director of ASU’s Engineering">http://engineering.asu.edu/epicsgold">Engineering Projects In Community Service (EPICS) program also is on the Ashoka Advisory Board. EPICS at ASU, he said, is one example of many social entrepreneurship programs that gives students the chance to get involved now and tackle real-world challenges faced by not-for-profit organizations of all types, both here and abroad. 

Students, faculty, and staff are invited to join the university in its efforts to champion solutions to today’s most pressing challenges by becoming a member of the Ashoka Advisory Board.

To learn more about the Ashoka partnership and for information about how to join the Ashoka Advisory Board, contact Jacqueline Smith, University Innovation Fellow in the Office of University Initiatives at Jacqueline.V.Smith">mailto:Jacqueline.V.Smith@asu.edu">Jacqueline.V.Smith@asu.edu.

Sharon Keeler

associate director, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

480-727-5618