The Leading Designation for Social Innovation in Higher Education 

As a social innovation organization, Ashoka U is not your traditional accrediting body with traditional goals. And, Ashoka U’s Changemaker Campus is not your average designation.  

Changemaker Campus is a community of leaders and institutions who work collectively to make social innovation and changemaking a new norm in higher education and beyond. The Changemaker Campus program seeks to select diverse institutions who: 

  • Represent higher education globally; 
  • Model campus-wide excellence in social innovation and changemaking; and 
  • Are committed to contributing to the field of social innovation and changemaking education and an Everyone a Changemaker™ world  

These institutions collaborate with each other and Ashoka to advance social innovation and changemaking across higher education so that one day together we will be graduating millions of changemakers. 

Currently approximately 45 colleges and universities globally are recognized as Changemaker Campuses. These institutions differ in terms of size, institutional type, geographic location, religious affiliation, and age, but are united in the extraordinary social innovation education they provide their students. Changemaker Campuses are the global leaders in social innovation and changemaking in higher education and represent a vision of what education and universities can be. 

Rather than being an “end” in itself, the Changemaker Campus designation serves a strategic role in enabling the campuses to work collaboratively towards systems-level change in higher education through creating and spreading ideas, models, and practices that further the spread of social innovation and changemaking education globally.  The designation process supports institutional transformation.

Ashoka U is currently on a strategic pause from selecting new Changemaker Campuses. (One exception to this is some limited and targeted selection in Canada given the strength of the nation-wide ecosystem and the potential to pilot systems-wide change across a country.)

Having reached our 10-year anniversary and nearly 50 campuses, we are taking some time to reflect on progress in our first decade and if and how selecting additional campuses fits into our larger Ashoka U strategy for systems-level change in the next phase. We are considering other possibilities for supporting institution-level changemaking in lighter-touch, more accessible ways. In addition, we are leveraging this unique moment in our history to invest in strategic initiatives to harvest key knowledge from the current Changemaker Campuses to codify and share the principles and practices of being a changemaker institution so that they can be more widely disseminated to scale changemaker education. Similarly, we are working to further activate those in our network and other senior leaders to better equip them as advocates for changemaking at their campuses and beyond. 

There are many other ways to engage with Ashoka U, including the annual Ashoka U Exchange, the Senior Leaders’ Experience (for associate dean-level leaders and above, including presidents and trustees), and our many resources. Looking to learn what might be best for you and your institution or other ways to partner with Ashoka U? Contact us here.