Beeta Ansari

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

Celebrating two years of partnership: PhotoWings and Ashoka U reflect on shared impact

PhotoWings and Ashoka U to launched several pioneering initiatives to advance photographic thinking and interdisciplinary collaboration across colleges and universities around the world.

The “Self-Discovery and Changemaking through Photography” webinar reached students of all ages through a virtual course that continues to inspire and educate learners around the world. We invite you to explore modules on the power of photography, visual literacy, critical thinking, inspiration and legacy to enhance social change work in communities. Successful photographers use many skills and modes of thinking that are valuable in many aspects of life. Some of these include: thoughtful, in-depth research; effective communication with their subjects and their audience; earning trust and building relationships; keen eyes for detail; the ability to synthesize complex information into compelling stories or ideas; and thinking outside the box. We shared webinar projects as a tool for social change through an AshokaUTEDx talk and video.

More recently, we launched the InSights grant program for universities that brought together diverse stakeholders (e.g. students, faculty, alumni, and trustees) to conduct innovative photography-based media projects to communicate a story, while articulating a vision for the future. The resulting projects from nine grantees can be seen in a compilation video here. Together, we made significant strides on bringing more awareness to the world on interdisciplinary, intergenerational, and intercultural understanding through the power of photography. Through the grantee projects, photography served as a universal language for people from all generations to employ as a conversation starter to connect and engage with the world.