Marina Kim

Marina co-founded and leads Ashoka U, working with campuses to embed social innovation as an educational focus and core value of the university culture.

2017: A Year in Review

Dear Friends,

As 2017 comes to a close, we wanted to step back and reflect on the past year. It has been a year of many changes and much strife in the world. Increasing levels of polarization and marginalization point to broken social relations and growing distrust between people and across sectors.

Ashoka believes that much of this chasm is caused by the lack of agency and powerlessness that so many people feel. However, we also believe the solution lies in helping to unlock every individual’s power to create change for the good of all.

This is a world where everyone is a changemaker.

At Ashoka U we see higher education as a key driver to achieving this vision and it requires a lot more than just launching social innovation courses, programs, and centers.  It’s about building an entire changemaker education system.

If we want our future to be one where people show compassion towards each other, where they can disagree with respect, and where more people feel understood, then we need young people – especially those who will eventually be in positions of power – to master changemaking skills.

We know that all of you are pushing forward your initiatives to educate changemakers in your own classrooms and educational settings. We feel privileged to be on that journey with you and supporting your important work.

Below you’ll find a few highlights from this year at Ashoka U.

Wishing you a joyful, rejuvenating, and inspiring holiday season.

Marina & the Ashoka U Team


Network & Capacity Building

9 New Changemaker Campuses

With four new campuses in Canada, three in the US, one in Chile, and one in Columbia. This increases the size of our network to 45 leading institutions.

See the list of new campuses here

Ashoka U Outcomes Measurement

For the first time we did pre- and post- surveys to measure outcomes from the Commons and the Changemaker Campus Selection Process. On average participants reported a 23% increase in cross-campus engagement after participation.

Full results and methodology here

2017 Exchange at Miami Dade

We were blown away by the power of our community at the Exchange this past March.  There were 674 attendees from 148 institutions – the making of a movement!

Relive the 2017 Exchange experience on Storify


Thought Leadership

Coming Soon: Changemaker Institutions

We wrote a strategic brief for senior leaders in higher education making the case for social innovation as both an educational framework and set of operating principles.  Stay tuned for the release in the new year!

Learn more about our new publication & get early access

Changemaker Learning Outcomes

We launched a new initiative to collect and analyze changemaker learning outcomes.  We’ve been overwhelmed by the interest in this so far!  Thank you to everyone who has already contributed.

Learn more about our Learning Outcomes project


New Team Members

Jessica Lax – Growth & Partnerships Director

Jessica’s focus is on increasing Ashoka U’s breadth of impact. She leads Ashoka U’s thought leadership and outreach strategy, refining Ashoka U’s messages to reach new audiences.  Joining us from Ashoka Canada, Jess is based in Ottawa.

Learn more about Jess

Luciana Goles – Exchange Manager

Luciana is focused on building a high impact Exchange experience for attendees. If you will be joining us in Boston this April you’ll get to experience some of her work, as well as get to know her between now and then! Luciana started her Ashoka journey in the Chile office in 2014, and continues to lead our partnerships in Latin America.

Learn more about Luciana


“Ashoka U is important for all of us in higher education because we are being disrupted and disrupted quickly. We need to be radical,

energetic change agents to create our future, not be defined by tradition that has led us to where we are today.

Ashoka U is more important today than ever before because we need to provide new value and new values to our students, faculty and staff.  

CHERYL KISER

Executive Director of the Lewis Institute, Babson College