Stories from Ashoka Fellows and Entrepreneurs

Liberating Women in Romania: Ioana’s Changemaker Journey

Starting in grade school, Ioana found her voice for standing up and speaking out for girls and women to live lives with dignity, choice, and power.
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A Job, A Risk, and A Movement: Ali’s Journey to Redefining Success for Young People

The story of how Ali Khan took an unexpecting job that led him on a journey to transforming the way children and young people grow up with a changemaking mindset across Pakistan.
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Mobilizing Harmonious Communities: Durukan’s Changemaker Journey

Durukan’s journey to discovering how people live in balance with nature through regenerative agriculture began in his teens when he began to mobilize his peers to build an eco-community. These early experiences while young were prescient to Durukan’s career as a leading social entrepreneur.
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Educating and Organizing: Nazma’s Journey to building a women and labor right’s movement in Bangladesh

Through finding her own power to create change at a young age, Nazma is redefining success for women across Bangladesh.
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Raising Changemakers: The story of Ashoka Fellow Gonzalo Muñoz and his family of changemakers

Ashoka turned to Ashoka Fellows Gonzalo Muñoz and Ximena Abogabir to understand what it takes to raise a family of changemakers.
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Sixto Cancel: Redesigning Foster Care

Sixto Cancel is redesigning foster care by putting young people's voices and choices at the center.
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At 17, Gino Tubaro started transforming kids with disabilities into super heroes

At the age of 17, Gino Tubaro received a letter from a desperate mother. “Please make my boy, Felipe, a hand,” it said. “We cannot afford a prosthetic.” Gino had been inventing things since the age of 13. His own mother had taken him to science fairs and invention workshops, pushing him to follow...
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Jeroo Billimoria: a global movement that started with a simple gesture in her teens

A social entrepreneur known for building huge, global coalitions, Jeroo first started in Mumbai, working with street children.
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Robin Chase: leading one entrepreneurial coup after another, like Zipcar

If anyone understands the profound transformation of society that is now upon us, it is Robin Chase. (See her admired book, Peers Inc.) She not only sees it clearly; but she also, in one entrepreneurial coup after another, is putting its new architecture in place. She co-founded Zipcar and was its...
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Anshul Tewari Created India’s Largest Youth Media Platform at Age 17

Anshul Tewari was dismayed that cultural taboos are producing “a culture of silence that is pushing an entire generation away from changemaking.”
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Revolutionizing emergency response: Eli's Journey

Starting at the age of 6, Eli Beer has been on a life-long journey to unite people in Israel and around the world.
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Dario Riccobono: mobilizing young Italians against the Sicilian mob in Italy since he was 13 years old

When Dario Riccobono was 13, his little-known hometown of Capaci in Sicily, Italy was suddenly thrust onto the world stage. A massive explosion orchestrated by the mafia took down a portion of the nearby highway and with it the renowned anti-mafia prosecutor, Judge Giovanni Falcone, who was driving...
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Peter Eigen: fearless since 13, he's changed the world’s mindset about corruption

Corruption long was a taboo subject. Bribes in some countries were tax-deductible. That mindset changed when Peter, having seen the untold damage it was doing, especially in his earlier work in development, founded and built up Transparency International. Transparency built chapters in almost every...
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Temple Grandin: “The thing about changing something is that it’s long, hard, sustained work.”

Temple Grandin, diagnosed with autism as a child, has revolutionized the livestock industry. By putting herself in the place of the cattle, she developed a series of equipment designs and a simple rating system to help the industry adopt new practices that reduce animals’ stress and injuries to both...
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#LeadYoung - How Kevin Ochi is Part of a Movement that is Transforming the Lives of 15,000 Young People in Argentina

Kevin spent his adolescence in an institution. Upon graduation, he realized that his experience could be useful to others. Together with his peers at Guía Egreso, a group of youth which arose from Doncel NGO, Kevin is transforming the lives of 15,000 young people from Argentina who, just like him...
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#LeadYoung - DIY Environmentalist

Forming global communities to protect the environment.
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Richard Branson: finding new ways to do business and impact the world since he was 16

There are few if any entrepreneurs who have ventured more successfully in more businesses than Richard Branson. And who can compete with him in terms of flair? As important, he has long brought this entrepreneurial energy and skill to bear on social problems as well as business. Inspired by Nelson...
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Where the wild things start: How Nicole Rycroft’s early love of nature inspired her environmental career

Ashoka Fellow Nicole Rycroft is protecting ancient forests by working with global book publishers, newspapers, magazines, and fashion brands to shift to alternative and sustainably produced wood-based fabrics and paper. Her environmental NGO Canopy counts more than 750 large customer companies from...
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Ximena Abogabir: "If you are deeply convinced that your child is a changemaker, he or she will become one"

As part two of this two-part LeadYoung series, Ashoka asks Ashoka Fellow Ximena Abogabir, mother to Ashoka Fellow Gonzalo Muñoz, about her childhood, her role as a mother and her philosophy for parenting Gonzalo and her two other changemaker children.
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