Beeta Ansari

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

Ryerson University Becomes First Canadian Changemaker Campus

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ashoka U Selects Ryerson to Join Cohort of Institutional Leaders in Social Entrepreneurship Education

Arlington, VA – Ryerson University of Toronto, Canada has been selected by Ashoka U to join a global consortium of leaders in social entrepreneurship education. This cohort of Changemaker Campuses consists of 24 diverse colleges and universities committed to advancing social innovation initiatives on their campuses and catalyzing change in higher education. These dynamic institutions encourage student innovation for social and environmental good through robust course curricula related to social entrepreneurship, numerous incubators and fellowship opportunities, and extensive support from administrators and faculty members across disciplines. Ryerson University joins this network now after completing a rigorous selection process involving months of assessments, interviews, site visits, and strategy sessions.

Ryerson University was designated as a Changemaker Campus because of its unique contributions to the field of social entrepreneurship education. Ryerson, a public university in downtown Toronto with a unique mission to serve societal needs, is committed to equipping its students to generate real social impact both in the city and in their individual communities. “Ryerson’s unique “zone learning” model of education provides the space and support needed to encourage student innovation and cross-disciplinary collaboration,” says Changemaker Campus director, Michèle Leaman. “It’s an exemplary experiential learning model that encourages creative, systems-wide thinking in students.” Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone offers infrastructure, just-in-time training, coaching, unparalleled networking, and media exposure to budding entrepreneurs with business and social objectives.

Ashoka U aims to grow the Changemaker Campus consortium to at least 30 diverse institutions by 2015, and has already met its goal of designating five institutions outside of the U.S. by 2015. By continuing to support diverse institutions committed to changemaking, Ashoka U strives to demonstrate that a more entrepreneurial, innovative, and world-changing higher education sector is possible.

About Ashoka and Ashoka U

Founded by Bill Drayton in 1980, Ashoka has elected and supported over 3,000 social entrepreneurs – individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems – in over 70 countries. In Canada, Ashoka has elected 49 Fellows across the country since 2002. Ashoka provides start-up financing, professional support services, and connections to a global network across business and social sectors to individuals putting systems-changing ideas to work. Ashoka envisions an Everyone a Changemaker world, capable of responding quickly and effectively to social challenges, and in which each individual has the freedom, confidence and societal support to address any social problem and drive change.

Ashoka U – the university initiative of Ashoka – seeks to catalyze innovation in higher education by fostering a thriving global network of students, faculty and community leaders committed to solving the world’s most pressing problems. Ashoka U’s annual Exchange is a global convening for social entrepreneurship education, bringing together 650 individuals representing over 150 institutions from 40 countries to share action-oriented best practices on how to foster a campus-wide culture of social innovation.

About Ryerson University
Ryerson University is Canada’s leader in innovative, career-oriented education and a university clearly on the move. With a mission to serve societal need, and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community, Ryerson offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. Distinctly urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to more than 38,000 students, including 2,300 master’s and PhD students, nearly 2,700 faculty and staff, and more than 140,000 alumni worldwide. Research at Ryerson is on a trajectory of success and growth: externally funded research has doubled in the past four years. The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada’s leading provider of university-based adult education. For more information, visit