Exchange Program


The Ashoka U Exchange program highlights innovative and inspirational examples of education that fuels social change, on campus and beyond. On the agenda, you’ll find:

  • Best Practice Panels
  • Community Lunches
  • An Innovation Marketplace
  • Keynotes
  • Masterclasses
  • Site Visits
  • Workshops

Reflecting the values of Ashoka U, we believe participants bring an array of expertise and knowledge to share. Each year about 75% of the content is sourced from the Exchange community.

The 2017 Exchange agenda will feature three key content pillars:

  1. Developing Individual Skillsets to Lead Transformative Change

  2. Learning and Implementing Programmatic Best Practices

  3. Advancing Social Innovation as a Field In Higher Education

Participating on the Agenda

To be considered for the agenda, applicants must submit presentations related to the three content pillars. The Exchange team will select 50-60 sessions to feature throughout the three days. Each year about 75% of the agenda is driven by Exchange attendees.

All presentations must be submitted through the general Exchange application.  The application includes questions requesting specific details about your topic. We do not request presentation abstracts. 

  • Presentation Application opens: August 1, 2016
  • Presentation Application closes: October 5, 2016

On the application, you will be prompted to submit presentations related to the topics listed below: 

Change Leadership Masterclass: Developing Individual Skillsets to Lead Transformative Change

Masterclasses at the Exchange are professional development opportunities that will teach focus on the “how tos” and skillsets higher education innovators need to drive long-term innovation on campus and beyond.  Masterclasses will feature one speaker teaching a specific skill. CLICK HERE TO SEE QUESTIONS

Prioritized topics include:

  • Intrapreneurship
  • Collaboration and Partnerships
  • Storytelling
  • Empathy
  • Systems Thinking

Best Practice Session: Learning and Implementing Programmatic Best Practices

Best Practice sessions will highlight innovative models that are transforming higher education into a tool for social change. As the quintessential Exchange session, Best Practices feature 3-4 speakers plus a facilitator and are specifically designed to showcase a diversity of viewpoints and experiences on a singular topic or theme. CLICK HERE TO SEE QUESTIONS

Prioritized topics include:

  • Courses and syllabi
  • Course sequences
  • Raising awareness about social innovation across campus
  • Co-curricular experiences
  • Funding models
  • Student pathway maps
  • Community partnerships
  • Student services
  • Equity-minded practices

Field Building Design Lab: Advancing Social Innovation as a Field In Higher Education

Discussions and design labs will address the most pressing topics in our work to advance social innovation as a critical field in higher education. Field Building Workshops will feature 1-2 project leads and conversation facilitators. CLICK HERE TO SEE QUESTIONS

Prioritized topics include:

  • Definitions – How do we collectively define the terms social innovation, social entrepreneurship and changemaking so they provide a strong, unified foundation to build upon across disciplines?
  • Related Fields – What are the overlaps and synergies between social innovation, social justice and civic engagement?
  • Impact Measurement and Learning Outcomes – How can we that prove the efficacy of social innovation education?
  • Research Publications – How can we get more research publications to provide publishing outlets for research related to social innovation?
  • Incentives/Tenure and Promotion – How can we align faculty incentives to ensure faculty are rewarded in the academic system for social innovation leadership, research and teaching?
  • Rankings and Accreditations – How do we advocate to ranking and accreditation bodies to embed metrics related to social innovation?

Download programs from previous years to see highlights and speakers:

2016 – at Tulane University; New Orleans, Louisiana

2015 – at University of Maryland; Washington, DC

2014 – at Brown University; Providence, Rhode Island

2013 – at University of San Diego; San Diego, California

2012 – at Arizona State University; Phoenix, Arizona

2011 – at Duke University; Durham, North Carolina