Real Leaders

A Journey of Change: From Gangster to Social Entrepreneur

The story of Junior Smart. Pulled into the world of offenders and now helping the very people he once was. The first, most important thing I could say (especially as an ex-offender) was that my upbringing was not too dissimilar to the lives of many of our clients I serve today. I was raised in […]

Occupy, Entrepreneurship, and Why Businesses Must Evolve

In September 2011 what started as a social movement in a public space at Zuccotti Park in New York City, became an opportunity for those unsatisfied with the way things were to speak out and demand change. At the Ben & Jerry’s Board of Directors (which, by the way, is full of activists who first […]

4 Ways to do Good Business

The term “breaking down the silos,” is commonly used in business to illustrate how a task can avoid or reduce duplication of effort. By taking two teams, for example, that might compete on a project and instead get them to work together and collaborate, the hope is that you’ll get a better output; one that […]

Microfinance – a Local Solution to a Local Problem

Lily Lapenna spent thousands of Pounds on her education growing up but had no clue on how to manage her finances as an adult. Sound familiar?  She gives a first-hand account of setting up MyBnk, a London-based social enterprise that works with young people to build the knowledge, skills and the confidence to manage their money effectively. The […]

A Revolution in Healthcare – Viewing Patients as Assets, Not Liabilities

Mohammad Al-Ubaydli, founder of Patients Know Best, examines attitudes towards healthcare and argues that prevailing views miss an opportunity to invest in patients. Patients are not the problem, he asserts, they are the solution. My parents were exiled from Bahrain as prodemocracy activists, so I spent my childhood in many countries. At the age of ten we arrived in the […]

Empathy in Action

Empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, is a key skill for entrepreneurs that want to create impact. Without this foundational skill, we will hurt people and disrupt institutions. Everyone needs the empathic skill in order to adapt, make good decisions, collaborate effectively and thrive. Research in cognitive neuroscience has shown […]

Three Tips For Successful Systems Of The Future

When looking at the future, social entrepreneurs often talk about a “systems change” – about a vision for a healthier, happier, more productive and symbiotic world. But what is the difference that will make the difference? When looking into the crystal ball of the future, how can business tip the system in our favour? Here […]

5 Ways To Make An Impact

The recent Ashoka Change Week saw two hot topics being debated: social enterprise and how to create a “triple bottom line.” The emerging movement of social enterprise around the world has compelled a growing number of businesses to consider their social impact. Both traditional businesses and citizen sector organisations are increasingly taking on the mantra of […]

Technology and Transparency

Eric Clayton, an Ashoka Changemaker, examines how transparency and technology can benefit society for the better and ponders on a few examples. At their annual G8 summit meeting, world leaders reacted to the world’s most pressing issues, such as the ongoing tragedy in Syria. At the same time, thoughtful citizens and social innovators were gathering […]

Timewise Jobs: Making Part Time Work

Why Karen Mattison refused to be boxed in by inflexible work hours and how she gave thousands of household women their professional, part time careers back. I grew up in Liverpool. Like many children, I was bought up to believe that ‘anything is possible, as long as you work hard enough for it’. This belief […]