Ashoka is the global association of more than 3,000 of the world's leading social entrepreneurs - men and women with systems changing solutions to some of the world's most critical social problems.Rather than leaving societal needs for the government or business sectors alone to address, social entrepreneurs are creating innovative solutions, delivering extraordinary results, and improving the lives of millions of people through their own drive and initiative. Blending idealism with practicality and determination, social entrepreneurs are taking new ideas for change and spreading them on a global scale.
In the past three decades, the global citizen sector, led by social entrepreneurs, has grown exponentially. It is this insight into the power of social entrepreneurs that led Bill Drayton to found Ashoka in 1980, and that continues to guide Ashoka today.
Beginning with the first Ashoka Fellows elected in India in 1981, Ashoka has grown to an association of over 3,000 Fellows in 72 countries on the world's five main continents. Since our start in the developing world, Ashoka has expanded in size as well as scope - moving into Western Europe, East Asia, and the Middle East as well as into new programs and initiatives to enrich the sector.
We are constantly innovating new programs that advance our field, using our long history and broad geographic reach to lead the transformation of the citizen sector and create a world where everyone can be a changemaker.