Erin Krampetz

Erin fosters the strategic development and growth of the Ashoka U community of practice with the goal of supporting colleges and universities everywhere to become hubs of social innovation.

Ashoka U and Cordes Foundation Recognize 2012 Innovation Award Winners

Ashoka U, Ashoka’s initiative for social innovation in higher education, and the Cordes Foundation, an organization that equips the next generation of social entrepreneurs, recognizes the 2012 Ashoka U – Cordes Innovation Awards winners.

The Award highlights teaching and partnership practices that are innovative, replicable, and that make a significant impact on society.

  • University Innovation Fellowship for institutional innovation created and led by Kimberly de los Santos of the Arizona State University Office of University Initiatives.

From over 80 award nominations submitted, a prestigious panel with significant experience in both social entrepreneurship and leadership development selected these top six innovations. The panel consisted of Tim Brodhead, former President of the J.W. McConnell Foundation; Christy Chin, Portfolio Director at the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation; Judith Cone, Special Assistant to the President for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Ron Cordes, Co-Founder of the Cordes Family Foundation; Jorge de la Torre, Director of Institutional Relations at Santander; Derek Ellerman, Ashoka Fellow and founder of the Polaris Project; Rich Leimsider, Director of Fellow and Alumni Programs at Echoing Green; David Lipkin, Principal of Business Development at Method; Jennifer Ratay, Program Director for the Hewlett Foundation; and Diana Wells, President of Ashoka.

At the cutting edge of disruptive innovation in higher education, the 2012 Ashoka U Innovation Awards distinguish themselves by embracing innovative community partnerships, online open courseware, and large-scale institutional change for maximum social impact.

Connecting Campus and Community  ||  Tony Brown and Stephanie Barksdale

Tony Brown of Duke University’s Hart Leadership Program had a vision to move beyond the theory of social change and use social entrepreneurship as a vehicle for student and community development. His course, “Social Entrepreneurship in Action,” helps students combine analysis, action, and personal passion to develop new social initiatives. Supporting and guiding students through the challenge of creating real results – and holding them accountable for doing so – can lead to meaningful development in the areas of agency, efficacy, and changemaker identity. In its twelfth semester, Duke celebrates nearly 60 student-led social ventures that benefit the Duke and Durham communities, many of which are still active today.

Tulane’s Urban Innovation Challenge (UIC), led by Stephanie Barksdale, has also built a strong connection between the university, individual innovators university and the community by supporting and funding community partners to further develop their social change ideas., and community improvement. Launched in 2011, UIC the program selected their first four “Urban Innovators” to research, test, and develop solutions to social challenges in the New Orleans community. Innovators’ funds are contingent upon the execution of their accountability plans, and Tulane staff and other mentors meet with them quarterly to give feedback and advice. UIC With support from Tulane, these fellows are making a big impact, and they have proof to show it: Its potential is tangibly measured by jobs created, pounds of food produced, dollars saved on retirement benefits, and houses rebuilt.

Student Innovation in Developing Countries  ||  Saul Garlick and Stefano Guidotti

Saul Garlick’s ThinkImpact Innovation Institute teams up hundreds of students with entrepreneurs in rural Africa to develop a sustainable local economy. Together, visiting students and entrepreneurs identify resources, brainstorm life-changing solutions and ultimately create and test new products and services that can be sold locally. The entrepreneurs will continue to build these enterprises long after students complete their Institute. Based on the values of empathy, curiosity, and asset-based venture creation, this unique model extracts inherent local resources and talent. ThinkImpact brings students from universities across the country to the convergence of cultures, languages and histories. Through ThinkImpact, economic development inspires true global collaboration on a face-to-face level.

The ALTIS MBA in Social Entrepreneurship and Management, founded by Mario Molteni, Frank Cinque and Stefano Guidotti, leverages a “joint venture” model among three academic institutions from Italy, India, and Kenya. Selected based on the strength of their proposed business idea, MBA candidates from Sub-Saharan Africa take a mix of distance learning courses with lecturers from around the world. In lieu of the pencil-and-paper final exam, students present a fully-fledged business plan to partners and investors in Nairobi. To date, the program has launched 38 entrepreneurial activities by students from 14 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Programs include the empowerment of coffee farmers in Uganda, the production of bio-fertilizers in Ghana, the creation of sustainable bamboo furniture in Ethiopia and micro-health insurance in Nigeria.

Scaling Social Entrepreneurship Education  ||  Sean Foote

Sean Foote, creator of the Berkeley MBA Microfinance Simulcast Course, coupled the advent of online learning with the growing international interest in social entrepreneurship education.  Foote, an experienced venture capitalist and professor of entrepreneurship at Berkeley, saw that many universities lacked access to social entrepreneurship education resources. His online microfinance course has filled this void in over 100 universities for the past five years. Students can run stand-alone sessions, or it can supplement existing coursework on any campus. Foote plans to expand the model to other subjects such as impact investing.

Crafting a Culture of Innovation  ||  Kimberly de los Santos

At Arizona State University, Kimberly de los Santos seeks to lead a cultural revolution through the University Innovation Fellowship, which brings the best and brightest “Innovation Fellows” to serve as the entrepreneurial arm of the ASU president’s office. These catalysts for change are selected from a pool of high performing policy makers, researchers, writers, and designers, forming a cross-disciplinary team to advance ASU’s vision of a New American University. The Fellows’ main goals are to meet the needs of Phoenix, catalyze social change, encourage innovation, conduct solution-oriented research, focus on student success, transcend academic silos, advance social embeddedness, and engage globally.

These six Ashoka U – Cordes Innovation Awardees were recognized by the president of Ashoka, Diana Wells, and Co-Founder of the Cordes Foundation, Ron Cordes, on the evening of February 11th at the Ashoka U Exchange, to an audience of over 400 participants representing 100 colleges and universities from over 15 countries.

The bar has just been set.