Changemaker Campus Criteria

The Leading Designation for Social Innovation in Higher Education 

Ashoka U confers the Changemaker Campus Designation on leading institutions in social innovation and changemaking in higher education. These campuses are re-envisioning the role of higher education in society as major drivers of societal impact and are leading the way through the impact they have on students, and on both local and global communities. 

While they differ in terms of size, institutional type, geographic location, religious affiliation, and age, they are global leaders in social innovation and changemaking in, through, and for higher education. 

Changemaker Campus Designation Criteria are the result of years of work with dozens of first-mover institutions at the vanguard of growing and strengthening their social innovation and changemaking ecosystems. These criteria guide institutions as they embrace and activate social innovation and changemaking as an educational framework, and as a framework for re-envisioning the role of colleges and universities in society.

Overview

To become a Changemaker Campus, an institution needs to meet the following criteria for creating a strong campus-wide social innovation and changemaking ecosystem: 

I. Visionary Leadership: Senior leaders are committed, and Change Leaders are empowered, to embed and grow social innovation and changemaking across the institution and with major stakeholders at the local and/or global level. The institution embraces the vision of an Everyone a Changemaker World as key to its strategy and success.

II. Innovation and Excellence in Changemaking: Social innovation and changemaking are integrated into curriculum, pedagogy, co-curricular programming, and research. 

III. Institutional Culture and Operations: Demonstrated social and environmental consciousness, capacity to cultivate, hold, and lead community partnerships, a commitment to responsible social innovation and changemaking leading to positive societal impact.

IV. Institutional Field Building and Impact Influence: The institution leads and influences key partners across the higher education industry and beyond (e.g., with major institutional partners in business, media/publishing, government, etc..) to build a world where everyone is a changemaker. 

I Visionary Leadership

A. Change Leaders 

  1. The institution has two or three Change Leaders (faculty, staff and/or administrators) with complementary skills and influence to lead a Change Team and institution-wide changemaking strategies.
  2. The institution has two or three Change Leaders (faculty, staff and/or administrators) with complementary skills and influence to lead a Change Team and institution-wide changemaking strategies.
  3. Change Leaders have the institutional mandate, vision, and grit to support and advance social innovation and changemaking across the institution.
  4. Change Leaders have the following characteristics: 
  5. Alignment with Ashoka’s Everyone a Changemaker vision.
    • Intrapreneurial / entrepreneurial track record.
    • Experience in and commitment to social innovation and changemaking in higher education.       
    • Social and emotional intelligence.
    • Fluid or adaptive leadership.
    • Collaboration and team of teams orientation.
    • Ethical fiber / trustworthiness.
    • Self-definition, with the ambition for large-scale impact in higher education and beyond.
  6. Change Leaders have staff time adding up to at least one full-time equivalent.
  7. Change Leaders have the dedicated time and resources necessary to support and advance social innovation and changemaking across the institution.

B. Change Team

  1. The Change Team comprises a diverse range of stakeholders with diverse perspectives, lived experiences, and backgrounds and includes:
    • Faculty from diverse schools, disciplines, or programs.
    • Administrators / staff (such as service learning / civic engagement, admissions, alumni engagement, development).
    • Student affairs / student services representatives.       
    • Member with social innovation experience.
    • Community partner.
    • At least two students, from different programs and graduation dates.
  2. The members of the Change Team meet regularly.
  3. The members of the Change Team have clear roles for advancing social innovation and changemaking and are able to contribute 10-30% of their time.
  4. The Change Team is empowered and mandated to coordinate social innovation activities and resources across the institution, fostering alignment, clarity of messaging and pathways, and minimal duplication of efforts/programming.
  5. The Change Team's composition and size is appropriate given the institution’s structure, size and needs.

C. Senior Leadership 

  1. The institution’s senior leadership (e.g., trustees, president, provost, vice presidents, deans) fully supports social innovation and changemaking as a key priority of the institution.
  2. A team of leaders are fully committed to internally transforming their organization towards EACH Framework AND co-leading EACH. 
  3. The institution’s senior leadership publicly endorses ideas and values of social innovation and changemaking. They are serving as spokespeople and influencers across the higher education industry and/or with major institutional partners (e.g., leading businesses, media/publishing, government entities, etc..)

D. Strategic Alignment

  1. The institution's vision, mission, and strategic plan are aligned with social innovation and changemaking values and priorities.
  2. Social innovation and changemaking is embedded into strategic plans, institutional policies, and programs
  3. Institutional communications emphasize social innovation and changemaking.
  4. Budgets and resources are mobilized and allocated to support and advance social innovation and changemaking.

II. Innovation and Excellence in Changemaker Education

A. Changemaker Skills, Mindsets, and Competencies 

  1. The institution includes changemaking competencies in learning outcomes for students in the introductory or advanced courses on social innovation.
  2. The institution uses learning outcomes to build educational experiences that cultivate students as changemakers.

B. Changemaker Pedagogies

  1. The institution demonstrates the use of pedagogical practices that help students grow in their changemaker mindsets, knowledge, and skills.
  2. Changemaker education is designed responsibly and avoids unintended harm or consequences to the community, students, and the institution. 
  3. The institution offers a broad range of social change methodologies, educational approaches, and learning experiences to support student growth toward changemaker qualities.

C. Learning Journeys

  1. The institution provides clear student changemaking pathways across the curriculum and co-curriculum.
  2. The institution fosters student learning journeys by mapping and communicating educational opportunities and supporting students in charting and navigating their own development as changemakers.

D. Curriculum

  1. The institution offers a balance of breadth and depth in social innovation curricular programming which embraces experiential learning opportunities.
  2. The institution has at least two introductory courses to social innovation and/or changemaking that is open to all students and has been in place for at least 6 months.
  3. The institution has at least two advanced courses on social innovation and/or changemaking that is open to students from at least two different departments that have been in place for at least 6 months.
  4. The institution has social innovation course sequences that offer academic pathways for student involvement and development over time.
  5. The institution embeds concepts of social innovation and changemaking into a variety of other disciplines across the institution.
  6. Social innovation and changemaking programs embrace systems change education and infuse systems thinking, ecosystem mapping, and adaptive leadership concepts and skills into existing venture offerings.

E. Co-Curriculum

  1. The institution has at least two co-curricular social innovation programs that have been in place for at least 6 months.
  2. The institution provides a broad array of co-curricular programs and experiences to support a diverse range of student interests, needs and availability including:
    • Internships and fellowships.
    • Venture-based programming, accelerators, and incubators.
    • Centre's, labs, and hubs.
    • Changemaker leadership programming.
    • Events.
  3. The institution attends to the accessibility of co-curricular programming in social innovation and changemaking to ensure the widest possible participation of its students.

F. Research

  1. The institution encourages and produces research and thought leadership in social innovation and/or changemaking.
  2. The institution provides financial support and/or academic incentives to faculty, staff, and students to conduct applied and cross-disciplinary research.
  3. The institution translates and mobilizes the changemaking research and knowledge that it produces.
  4. The institution demonstrates best practice in community-led research partnerships for social impact.

III. Institutional Culture and Operations

A. Alignment, Awareness, and Engagement

  1. The internal campus community is aware of and supports social innovation and changemaking.
  2. Changemaking is a core part of the institutional identity and identity of students, faculty, administrators, and staff.
  3. The institution has a unified language and understanding of social innovation and changemaking.
  4. Cross-disciplinary and cross-departmental collaboration are a core part of how the institution operates, and the institution fosters collaboration through communication channels, physical and virtual spaces, events, and programming.
  5. There is demand for and engagement in social innovation and changemaking programming and experiences at the institution.
  6. Faculty, staff, and administrators actively empower students and recent alumni to lead and be changemakers.
  7. Student leadership is recognized, celebrated, and rewarded.

B. Coordinating Structure for Social Innovation and Changemaking

  1. The institution has an institution-wide coordinating structure for social innovation and changemaking activities that ensures all related activities are aligned, connected, and embedded across the institution.
  2. The institution has a communications strategy and has activated strategic communication mechanisms to communicate with key stakeholders around social innovation and changemaking.
  3. The institution has open communication and collaboration across all key stakeholders related to social innovation and changemaking.

C. Financial Resources

  1. The institution has sufficient resources to support the growth and long-term sustainability of social innovation across the institution.
  2. The institution has social innovation/changemaking as one of its development campaign priorities and/or has an endowed professorship in social innovation.
  3. The institution provides financial resources to support social innovation’s growth, the hiring of staff, and the development of coordinating mechanisms.
  4. The institution has a robust, multi-year funding model to support social innovation and changemaking in future years.

D. Faculty and Staff Support for Changemaking Education

  1. The institution has structures and incentives that encourage the development and embodiment of changemaker mindsets, knowledge, and skills. This may include: 
    • Trainings and grant support.---
    • Awards and recognition.---
    • Permission to create or adapt curricular and co-curricular programming.---
    • Support to collaborate across disciplines and departments.---
    • Performance and tenure processes that support at least accommodate changemaking activities (e.g., applied research).---
  2. The institution supports educators to develop innovative and inclusive changemaker education.
  3. Faculty and staff are aware of support available.
  4. The institution helps to mitigate any barriers to access these supports.

E. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

  1. The institution demonstrates principles and practices that support equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  2. Equity, diversity, and inclusion inform the design and delivery of social innovation and changemaking programs (including curricular, co-curricular, research or other institutional initiatives).

F. Sustainability

  1. The institution demonstrates principles and practices to support sustainability.
  2. Sustainability informs the design and delivery of social innovation and changemaking programs (including curricular, co-curricular, research or other institutional initiatives).

G. Community Engagement

  1. The institution prioritizes reciprocity and mutual benefit in its community relationships and partnerships.
  2. Community relationships and partnerships inform the design and delivery of social innovation and changemaking programs (including curricular, co-curricular, research or other institutional initiatives).

H. Commitment to Leading Positive Societal Impact Initiatives

  1. The institution demonstrates a commitment to fostering initiatives leading to positive societal impact
  2. A commitment to leading positive societal impact inform the design and delivery of social innovation and changemaking programs (including curricular, co-curricular, research or other institutional initiatives) and institutional measures to track the impact of the institution on society.

I. Learning, Iteration, and Impact Measurement

  1. Social innovation and changemaking impact measurement are a priority for the institution.
  2. The institution shows evidence of rapid learning and feedback loops when creating new initiatives, improving, or creating new curricular and co-curricular programming, measuring impact, and tracking student learning outcomes.
  3. The institution tracks the impact of Changemaker Campus designation and the effectiveness or changemaker education programming over time.
  4. The institution is willing to collaborate with Ashoka and the Changemaker Campus network for evaluation of the long-term impact and effectiveness of Changemaker Campus initiatives.

IV. Institutional Field Building and Impact Influence

A. Major Contribution and Field Building

  1. The institution is able to make a major contribution to the Changemaker Campus Network through its institutional perspective, culture, and operations and/or social Innovation programming.
  2. The institution is eager and able to make a major commitment to field building activities within at least one year of joining the Changemaker Campus Network.
  3. The institution is influencing key partners across the higher education industry and/or with major institutional partners (e.g., leading businesses, media/publishing, government entities, etc..) to help develop a world where everyone is a changemaker (EACH).

B. A Commitment to an Everyone a Changemaker World

  1. The institution is committed to collaborating with the Changemaker Campus Network, other institutions, and Ashoka to contribute to an “Everyone a Changemaker” world.
  2. The institution has a track record of deep engagement with the Ashoka global community.
  3. The institution models systems leadership and embodies “team-of-teams” collaboration as it partners with other post-secondary institutions, associations, centers, and community partners to advance changemaking education.
  4. The institution is committed not only to fostering changemaker graduates, but also to being an “agent of change itself” by leveraging its resources and partnering in mutually beneficial and reciprocal ways with the community to co-create positive, social impact.
  5. The institution has a commitment to reframe the role of universities and colleges as a force for social impact and advocate for specific changes at the systems level.