Kristen Nixon

Tech and Changemaking Resources: For Professors + Universities

Universities have the power to touch students at a highly influential point in their lives and empower them to live their life and build a career in a way that makes world a better place.  Imagine the scale of impact of a professor over the span of their career if they left students simply with the idea that they can do significant good in the world with their career, in addition to the rigorous technical skills needed.

These resources have been curated for faculty and staff as they teach and shape future STEM changemakers. They include top books, conferences, programs, and funders at the nexus of STEM and Changemaking. We encourage you to browse and utilize at will. If you have any additional resources you would like to include, please email Beeta Ansari, Ashoka U COO, at

Books and Research

  • A Whole New Engineer “Far more than an inspiring story about the transformation of engineering education, this remarkable book serves as a call to action and blueprint for reinventing all education for the 21st century. Everyone concerned about the preparation of the next generation for their – and our – future should read this important book.”   -Tony Wagner, Harvard University
  • Engineering Justice: Transforming Engineering Education and Practice. Shows how the engineering curriculum can be a site for rendering social justice visible in engineering, for exploring complex socio-technical interplays inherent in engineering practice, and for enhancing teaching and learning.
  • Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change The World. From a prominent educator, author, and founder of Harvard’s Change Leadership Group comes a provocative look at why innovation is today’s most essential real-world skill and what young people need from parents, teachers, and employers to become the innovators of America’s future.
  • Education in a Time Between Worlds: Essays on the Future of Schools, Technology, and Society. Our world is currently undergoing major transformations, from climate change and politics to agriculture and economics.  Education in a Time Between Worlds seeks to reframe this historical moment as an opportunity to create a global society of educational abundance.
  • Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach by Heidi M. Neck, Patricia G. Greene, Candida G. Brush Teaching Entrepreneurship moves entrepreneurship education from the traditional process view to a practice-based approach and advocates teaching entrepreneurship using a portfolio of practices, which includes play, empathy, creation, experimentation, and reflection. Together these practices help students develop the competency to think and act entrepreneurially in order to create, find, and exploit opportunities of all kinds in a continuously changing and uncertain world.
  • Data & Society:  an independent nonprofit research institute that advances public understanding of the social implications of data-centric technologies and automation.



Diversity and Inclusion

  • Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life).  How inclusive methods can build elegant design solutions that work for all.
  • The Algorithmic Justice League is a collective that aims to highlight algorithmic bias through media, art, and science, provide space for people to voice concerns and experiences with coded bias, and develop practices for accountability during the design, development, and deployment of coded systems.
  • Data for Black Lives: Data for Black Lives is a group of activists, organizers, and mathematicians committed to the mission of using data science to create concrete and measurable change in the lives of Black people.
  • The Grand Challenges for Engineering inspire engineering careers among students from diverse backgrounds, especially women and underrepresented minorities, who constitute more than half of the students in the program, although they account for about a quarter of the US engineering student population.


  • Schmidt futures: Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative that seeks to improve societal outcomes through the thoughtful development of emerging science and technologies that can benefit humanity.
  • NSF
    • Social & Economic Sciences (SES): includes Cultivating Cultures for Ethical STEM; Science, Technology, and Society; and Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace.
    • Division of Engineering Education and Centers: invests in the creation of 21st century engineers and the discovery of new technologies through transformational center-based research, research in education and inclusion, and research opportunities for students and teachers.
    • Education and Human Resources (EHR): to achieve excellence in U.S. STEM education at all levels and in all settings  in order to support the development of a diverse and well-prepared workforce
    • Omidyar Network
    • Is there something you would like to add to the list? Email Beeta Ansari, Ashoka U COO, at

      Kristen Nixon is a rising senior at Johns Hopkins University where she is studying engineering. She served as an Ashoka U summer intern from June – August 2019. Read more about her experiences in this blog