Exchange Highlights

On this page you’ll find the signature features that make the Exchange one of the top gathering places for social impact educators. Check them out!


Networking Lounge – Take some time to connect with other attendees in the Networking Lounge, housed in the center of the conference. The Lounge will be open and available for you throughout day one, day two, and day three of the Exchange.

Exhibitor Hall – Looking for leading organizations in the field? Look no further than the Exhibitor Hall, which features interactive booths through day one and two. Learn how to become an exhibitor here.

Community Lunches – Looking to find people who share your interests? Community Lunches are small discussions, taking place during lunch on day one and two, about fun, interesting topics you won’t find on the agenda. Each lunch if lead by a selected facilitator. No pre-registration required.

Peer Huddles – At first glance the Exchange is BIG. But the layers are being peeled away with our Peer Huddles! Exchange participants can sign up to be part of a Huddle of 5-8 people including a Peer guide. Huddles will meet 2-3 times throughout the Exchange to check-in, debrief, and make the most of the time together.

Best Practice Sessions – Best Practice sessions are the bread-and-butter of the Exchange, featuring 3-4 speakers, often from different institutions, as they discuss the “how to’s” of social innovation education. They each offer a variety of audience engagement opportunities including Q&A, breakout groups & discussions. They have been grouped into content tracks including:

Keynotes – Our keynotes ensure you start each day of the Exchange centered and inspired. You can count on visionary speakers in social innovation, such as Bill Drayton, Ashoka Fellows, and other higher ed leaders. Read about the full list of keynote speakers here.

Big Idea Talks – Big Idea Talks showcase well-formed ideas that inspire in just 12 minutes. In each talk you’ll hear 3-5 stories, all united by a general theme, with a Q&A at the end. You’ll find five Big Idea Talks throughout the agenda including:

Site Visits – Boston is a hub of social innovation. This year we’ve lined up a number of site visits, in partnership with Babson, to showcase the inspiring work happening around the city.  Pre-registration, opening the week of March 19, required for the Site Visits. Visits include:

  • Artists for Humanity – an organization that uses creative entrepreneurship to help youth bridge economic, social and racial divides
  • Bridgespan – a leading consulting group that works with mission-driven organizations
  • The BASE – an urban youth training organization that uses baseball to change minds and lives 
  • The Daily Table – a new model for a non-profit grocery store (started by the former president of Trader Joe’s) that is making healthy eating within reach of all families
  • Haley House – a community organization that uses food and the power of community to break down barriers between people, transfer new skills, and revitalize neighborhoods
  • InnerCity Weightlifting – a groundbreaking gym that works with the 1% of Boston youth who are responsible for 50% of Boston’s gun violence and homicides
  • UTEC, Inc – a community organization that works with disconnected young people to trade violence and poverty for social and economic success

Innovation Award Ceremony – The Innovation Award is Ashoka U’s top honor for premiere higher education programs in social innovation education. The Award Ceremony, taking place at lunch on April 6, recognizes the 2018 Innovation Award winners. Read about the semi-finalists here.

Ashoka Track – Curious about what Ashoka’s up to and how to be involved? New to the Exchange, the Ashoka track will feature seven sessions that each highlight the mosaic of programs aiming to achieve an Everyone a Changemaker World, and deepen participants understanding of Ashoka’s system changing vision. Participate in one (or all) of the sessions in this track will have the opportunity to spark partnerships and points of collaboration with Ashoka. Read more about the track here.

Law and Social Innovation Track – The second annual Law and Social Innovation Track, brought to the Exchange with the support of the Grunin Foundation, will bring together a community of thought leaders and innovators in the field of legal education. Together they will explore the role of legal education in creating the next generation of changemaker lawyers. Track participants will have access to 4+ hours of special, invite-only content in addition to programming throughout the Exchange. Email for more information.

Canada Day – Taking place on April 4 for Exchange participants from Canada, Canada Day, hosted by RECODE and Ashoka Canada, will be a day dedicated toward developing, aligning, and growing the network of peers working across the Canadian post-secondary system. For more information please reach out to  Jennifer Lockerby at 

LatAm Pre-Day – Taking place all day on April 4 for Exchange participants from Latin America, attendees will discuss and work on changemaker education challenges faced in Latin America. Content will focus on collaboration opportunities to scale LatAm’s collective impact. For more information email Luciana Goles,