Beeta Ansari

Beeta is Ashoka U’s Exchange Director, the world’s largest global convening for social entrepreneurship education.

Announcing the 2014 Ashoka U – Cordes Innovation Award Winners

December 19, 2013

As more and more colleges and universities seek to launch and grow social entrepreneurship programs on campus, there is an even greater need to share expertise, challenges, and inspiration for creating positive social and environmental impact.

The Ashoka U Exchange, hosted at Brown University from February 20 – 22, 2014 seeks to address this need by bringing together over 150 colleges and universities representing forty countries to share best practices and advance collaborative projects both across campuses and with social entrepreneur practitioners.

To highlight some of the most high-impact and replicable innovations, Ashoka U and the Cordes Foundation will recognize six promising educational approaches in social entrepreneurship with the Ashoka U – Cordes Innovation Awards. The six awardees are:

Social Innovation Fellowship & Leading Social Ventures at Brown University led Alan Harlam, Director of Social Entrepreneurship, Lizzie Pollock, Assistant Director of Social Entrepreneurship, and MJ Kaplan of Adjunct Professor of Public Policy. This innovative co-curricular approach to supporting social entrepreneurship provides 15-20 undergraduates with a unique combination of extra-curricular and curricular support. The Fellowship offers funding that allows students to work on the venture full-time during a summer, intensive skills training, mentorship and a supportive peer community. Leading Social Ventures is an action learning entrepreneurship course where ideas learned in the classroom can be immediately applied to their ventures.

Echoing Green’s Work on Purpose program developed by Lara Galinsky, Senior Vice President, Echoing Green and Linda Kay Klein, Director of Work on Purpose, Echoing Green. Echoing Green’s signature Work on Purpose curriculum & training teaches ten research-based principles through illustrative stories and interactive workshops that young people can use to find their place in the ecosystem of social impact work.

NexGen Fellowship Program led by Ramon Marmolejos, Executive Director of Emzingo Group, and Daniel Pulaski, Director of Academic Services at Emzingo Group. The Emzingo Group’s NexGen Fellowship combines innovative leadership training with social impact consulting projects in emerging markets. Emzingo takes the experiential learning model a crucial step further by intertwining training and development, professional coaching, reflection, and mentoring.

CityStudio Vancouver is Co-Founded and Co-Directed by Dr. Janet Moore and Duane Elverum. CityStudio is a globally unique hub of learning and leadership inside Vancouver’s City Hall where students gain hands-on experience with complex real world problems, while co-creating solutions on the ground with City staff. After 3 years CityStudio has involved 1616 students contributing 53 projects on the ground and 50,000 hours of research, learning and action to the City.

Center for Design Practice (CDP) at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), established by Mike Weikert. CDP is a multi-disciplinary, social design studio dedicated to preparing the next generation of creative changemakers. CDP brings MICA students from different disciplines together with faculty and outside partners from government, nonprofit and business sectors to collaborate on the development of innovative solutions to complex social problems.

MiddCORE at Middlebury College led by Jessica Holmes, Director of MiddCORE. MiddCORE is a mentor-driven, experiential learning program designed to build skills, create opportunities, and expand networks for tomorrow’s leaders and innovators. Skills developed include leadership, collaboration, idea creation, strategic thinking, empathy, persuasive communication, design-thinking, ethical decision-making, negotiation, crisis management, financial literacy and self-reflection.

The 2014 Ashoka U – Cordes Innovation Awardees demonstrate how students, faculty, and community members can achieve social impact through colleges and universities – from admissions, curriculum, and career services, all the way to community and alumni engagement.

These six Ashoka U – Cordes Innovation Awardees will be recognized by Ron Cordes, the Co-Founder of the Cordes Foundation and Diana Wells, President of Ashoka, in a plenary session on February 21, 2014 at the Ashoka U Exchange to an audience of over 650 participants. Resources to support collaboration and replication of the awarded innovations will be available through Ashoka U’s online Innovation Award Portal.