Beeta Ansari

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

Ashoka U Changemaker Campus Consortium Grows to 29

Arlington, VA (October 1, 2014) – Ashoka U announced today that it has selected Glasgow Caledonian University, Hamilton College, and Western Washington University to join the Changemaker Campus consortium. The consortium now stretches across 29 campuses in five countries and is comprised of leaders in advancing social innovation as an institutional priority in higher education.

“The Ashoka Changemaker Campus initiative is engaging students in the kind of work that will be necessary to confront the social challenges of today and those of tomorrow…Educators have the privilege of supporting the growth of America’s young people and therefore America’s future. As an educator, I am thrilled to see Ashoka’s Changemaker Campus helping to make that happen,” says Aleta Margolis – Executive Director at Center for Inspired Teaching and an Ashoka Fellow.

To receive the Changemaker Campus designation institutions typically spend over a year navigating a very rigorous selection process. They are evaluated and coached on a wide range of criteria that include the strength of the team behind social innovation initiatives, the availability and accessibility of a variety of social innovation opportunities for students, genuine senior leadership support, and commitment to advancing the field.

The latest additions to the consortium each bring unique strengths. Glasgow Caledonian University boasts the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health, one of the strongest social innovation research centers in the world, as well as a host of global partnerships and programs. Hamilton College brings consistent strength across departments and a rich relationship with their surrounding community, one example being post-graduate fellowships for students working in social change locally. Western Washington University adds to a growing social entrepreneurship network in the Northwest United States and is a clear leader in sustainability programming.

Susan Mason, the Director of Education Studies at Hamilton College reflected on becoming a Changemaker Campus: “Over the years so many really fine initiatives have moved forward and people have been engaged but there was no centralizing identity for these activities. And that’s one of the more exciting things about being a Changemaker Campus for me – it really allows us to see all of the work that we do that is coherent and consistent with what we want to get done with a liberal arts education.”

Led by Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs, the Changemaker Campus designation aims to develop new models for higher education, envisioning a day when universities everywhere serve as an enabling environment where every individual has access to the resources, learning opportunities, role models, and peer community needed to actualize their full potential as changemakers. The program gives students and faculty alike the skills and mindset they need to tackle systemic problems and effect positive social change regardless of their discipline.