LeadYoung stories shine a light on great changemakers who have led young and practiced early changemaking.

LeadYoung Frequently Asked Questions

What is Lead Young?

LeadYoung is a storytelling initiative that demonstrates the power of a young person who has identified a problem, formed and led a team and created a solution. We collect stories from these young changemakers (and those who started young) to show other young people how capable they are of creating change. These stories help everyone see the new reality-- that everything is changing, and that requires redefining what “growing up” means. This highlights the new framework for navigating the 21st century: where every person is practicing empathy, teamwork, new leadership and changemaking.

What is a changemaker?

Creating change isn’t just the work of idealists or people starting companies. Our towns and cities, schools and workplace come alive thanks to people like you. Changemakers are people who care. People who see past the problems to the solutions. The fixers. The doers. The slightly restless.

Why do we need Lead Young?

The rate of change is accelerating exponentially. The old ways of organizing for repetition are fast fading. The nature of work itself is changing. But young people are not being equipped with the tools to thrive in disruptive change. They continue on an assembly line designed to get them to adopt vocations which are now phasing out-- a vestige of the past. Today’s society needs everyone to be a changemaker. It needs every young person, parent, and educator to grasp that a new learning framework is needed for navigating the world successfully.

Why young changemakers?

In this rapidly changing world, we all need a new set of competencies: empathy, co-creative teamwork, a new leadership style where everyone is empowered to lead, and changemaking for the good of all. To master these competencies takes practice from a young age. We believe that young people have the power. All they have to do is give themselves permission to solve the problems they see in their communities. But we are not just calling out to young people. To solve these problems, young people also need support from society--their parents, teachers, peers, and other adult allies.

How do I get involved?

We suggest getting started with our LeadYoung Toolkit. You can submit your own LeadYoung story (email us your story at [email protected]). You can also look at our LeadYoung story collection to get inspired about the types of problems that young people have already started working to solve. You might even want to get involved with one of their projects!

What if I’m too old to lead young?

You can’t age out of changemaking. We encourage leading young because the earlier you find your power, the longer you have to build this new collection of skills—to learn how to collaborate and empower others to lead.

Anyone can be a changemaker. This campaign showcases young people specifically to demonstrate that age is no barrier to changemaking. Joshua Williams of Joshua’s Heart started changemaking at four and a half years old. But you’re never too old to become a changemaker—all it requires is taking a good hard look at the problems around and making the decision to solve one, building your team and changing your world. And every one of us, young and not so young, can make a critical impact in the world by helping all young people have the space and support to lead young.

How can I get in contact with the Ashoka LeadYoung team?

You can email us at [email protected]