Jessica Lax

Increasing Ashoka U's breadth of impact

Commitments to spark and accelerate more than 200,000 changemakers

Washington, DC, July 19th, 2019 —Leading academic institutions, ecosystem building organizations, and individuals across 14 countries announce today a total of 73 commitments to activate #MillionsofChangemakers.

These new commitments will directly spark and accelerate more than 200,000 changemakers and indirectly impact millions more.  The commitments represent some of the most innovative work being done across higher education to graduate the changemakers the world needs.

The announcements are being made as part of Ashoka U’s #MillionsofChangemakers campaign, launched with support from Schmidt Futures.  The work of each commitment maker contributes to Ashoka’s vision of creating a world where everyone is a changemaker.

In an Everyone a Changemaker™ world, all people have the confidence, skills, and freedom to create change for the good of all. The world is both more resilient and more inclusive because each person – regardless of age or background – plays a role in shaping the future.

This announcement showcases the critical role that colleges and universities play in helping society achieve this vision. The commitments announced today represent deep partnerships across and between institutions and their communities, and a commitment to work together to collectively spark and accelerate #MillionsofChangemakers.

Commitments include the engagement of:

  • 203,000 individuals in changemaker experiences that spark a sense of motivation and empowerment to take action for the greater good,
  • 13,000 students who will also have an opportunity to practice changemaking as part of their college or university experience.
  • 26 institutions making commitments that will make their campus an environment where more changemakers can thrive, and
  • 12 organizations making commitments to strengthen the changemaker ecosystem in higher education.

A sample of commitments includes:

  • The University of New Hampshire in the U.S. committing to grow participation in changemaker curricular and co-curricula programs to 25% of all UNH students (4,000) by 2025.
  • Ashoka Canada, Colleges and Institutes Canada, McConnell Foundation (Re-Code), and Universities Canada committing to forming the Canadian Post-Secondary Education Collective (CPSEC) to foster collaborative approaches to social impact/changemaking within the post-secondary ecosystem in Canada.
  • Tecnológico de Monterrey’s HUB for innovative social entrepreneurship at Guadalajara in Mexico committing to a 7 city expansion of their Changemaker Day festival – a two-day event that engages hundreds of students to celebrate changemaking.
  • The University of Evansville in the U.S. committing to offer over $1M in changemaker scholarships annually to 75 students (from $18,000/yr for 4 years, up to full tuition for 4 years) who participate in their High School Changemaker Challenge.

“These commitments represent only a fraction of the incredible work happening at each of these institutions, and at many more not recognized here” said Jessica Lax, Ashoka U’s Growth & Partnerships Director. “But there is still much work to be done.  Today we recognize and celebrate the work of these commitment makers and call on all post-secondary institutions to consider how they can use their assets to help solve global problems and support students to thrive in a rapidly changing world.”

The list of 2019 commitment makers is included below. View complete commitments sorted by country or focus area here.


Agnes Scott College

Oberlin College

Algonquin College

Peter Milley, Associate Professor, University of Ottawa

Antonio Meneghetti College

Ohio State University

Ashoka Canada

Presidio Graduate School

Ashoka Mexico, Centroamerica y el Caribe

Project Invent

BRAC University Centre for Emotional Intelligence & Innovation

Project Wayfinder

Capilano University, IDEA School of Design

RE-CODE, McConnell Foundation

Carnegie Mellon University, Integrated Innovation Institute Silicon Valley Campus

Red Rocks Community College

Centennial College, Centre for Global Citizenship Education and Inclusion

Rochester Institute of Technology

Coding it Forward

Rollins College

College for Social Innovation

Santo Tomás University

Colleges & Institutes Canada

SIMA Classroom

Dibyabhumi Multiple College affiliated to Tribhuvan University

Simon Fraser University

Drake University

Social Change Innovators

Elon University

Social Entrepreneurship Akademie

Florida International University

SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities

Fordham University

Tecnológico de Monterrey, Guadalajara

Georgian College

Texas A&M International University

Global Citizen Year

The Evergreen State College

Hanyang University

Universidad de Monterrey

HKUST Connect, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Universidad del Desarrollo

Impact Labs

Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP)

Koc University

Universities Canada

Loyola University Chicago, Baumhart Center

University of Evansville

Marymount University, Saints’ Center for Service

University of Florida

Memorial University, Faculty of Business Administration

University of Houston, SURE Program

Miami Dade College

University of New Hampshire


University of Northampton, Changemaker Hub

Mount Royal University

University of Rochester, Barbara J. Burger iZone

National Science Policy Network

University of San Diego

Nazareth College

University of Virginia

North Carolina State University

Valencia College

North Central College

Watson Institute

Wingate University

Read their full commitments here.



About #MillionsofChangemakers

#MillionsofChangemakers is Ashoka U’s global call for colleges, universities, and higher education innovators to make commitments to spark and accelerate changemakers of all kinds.  Commitment makers will submit progress updates in February 2020, and exceptional commitment makers will receive awards at the 2020 Ashoka U Exchange.

About Ashoka U

Ashoka U is the higher education initiative of Ashoka – the world’s largest community of changemakers. Since 2008, Ashoka U has worked with more than 500 colleges and universities to help build a world where everyone is a changemaker. 

About Schmidt Futures

Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative, founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, that bets early on people who will make our world better — helping people to achieve more for others by applying advanced science and technology thoughtfully and by working together across fields. 


Jessica Lax, Growth & Partnerships Director, Ashoka U

[email protected]


Join many of the commitment makers at the Ashoka U Exchange – an annual conference that brings together 700+ higher education innovators, or in the Ashoka U Commons – an online virtual accelerator designed for faculty and staff.

Sign up here to be notified for application deadlines, including the opportunity to submit your commitment as part of the 2020 #MillionsofChangemakers campaign.