1. What is the Changemaker Campus Designation? What is a Changemaker Campus?  

The Changemaker Campus Designation is for the most advanced institutions in social innovation and changemaking who are interested in building the field of social innovation and changemaking in higher education and re-envisioning the role of higher education in society in partnership with the Changemaker Campus Network and Ashoka.

Ashoka U believes that in order to prepare students and universities to thrive in and make a positive contribution to today’s world, higher education needs to shift from traditional (i.e. slow to change, siloed, risk-averse, hierarchical, rigid, bureaucratic) to more innovative and entrepreneurial (i.e. open to change, creative, collaborative, everyone contributing ideas). With increasingly rapid change in higher education, such as the proliferation of online learning and students’ desire for action-oriented education, universities need to adapt their ways of organizing and leading to stay relevant.

Changemaker Campuses empower students and all university stakeholders to be changemakers, firmly embed changemaking into their culture and operations, and work to address both local and global challenges.

Changemaker Campuses are leading the movement of millions of students, faculty, staff and administrators to bring the skills of changemaking to their education, research, work, and communities worldwide. As a network of over 40 diverse institutions globally, they are re-envisioning the role of higher education and the university in society at the systems level.

Changemaker Campuses believe in:

  1. Advancing higher education as a force for social impact;
  2. Empowering students to lead and develop the skills of empathy, distributed leadership, collaboration and creative problem solving;
  3. Investing in the continuous development of faculty and staff as educators and changemakers;
  4. The importance of empathizing, listening and communicating;
  5. Building mutually beneficial partnerships with local and global communities;
  6. Operating in socially and environmentally conscious ways to model changemaking for students and other institutions and contribute to the vitality of people and the planet;
  7. Leading by example and actively sharing their learnings and best practices;
  8. Measuring their impact and sharing results to advance the field of social innovation and changemaking in higher education;
  9. Actively supporting each other and participating in new collaborations advancing the field of social innovation and changemaking in higher education that emerge out of the Changemaker Campus Network;
  10. Contributing to an Everyone a Changemaker world.

2. How do social innovation, changemaking, and social entrepreneurship differ?

Social innovation is a methodology to create social value and potentially economic value at the systems-change level, which addresses the root cause of a problem. It includes new strategies, concepts, ideas and organizations that address social and environmental needs of all kinds – from working conditions and education to community development and health.

Social entrepreneurship is a market-based, usually sustainable methodology to create social value at the systems-change level.

Finally, changemaking is effective organizational or societal change of any kind. Ashoka U typically considers social entrepreneurship to be one component of social innovation, which is one component of changemaking. In the context of higher education, changemaking also includes service learning, civic engagement, social justice, and philanthropy.

Check out our blog post on The Reality of Terminology for more of Ashoka U’s perspective on how these terms relate to one another.

For more questions, please review Ashoka U Working Definitions for key terminology.

3. How does a university become a Changemaker Campus? How long does this process take?

The Selection Process consists of being invited to and submitting an application and three phases. Candidate Campuses usually take 1 to 1.5 years but may take longer depending on institutional context and readiness to complete the process. Candidate Campuses only move on to the next phase of the process if the current phase has been sufficiently satisfied.

  1. Invitation to Apply & Application: In order to begin the 360° Campus Scan process, an institution must already have a foundational social innovation and changemaking ecosystem, including Change Leaders, a Change Team and senior leadership support, in place.
  2. Phase 1 – 360° Campus Scan: A semester-long, online, peer-to-peer learning experience with coaching from Ashoka U that helps two to three Change Leaders from a Candidate Campus assess their current ecosystem for social innovation and changemaking and build out a cohesive vision and action plan.
  3. Phase 2 – Site Visit: Up to two Ashoka staff and a visiting Change Leader from a current Changemaker Campus conduct a two-day Site Visit. They meet with students, faculty, and staff, as well as the President or Provost, offering advice and learning about the state of social innovation at the institution.
  4. Phase 3 – Panel: Representatives from each Candidate Campus participate in a day-long series of interviews with expert panelists— including current Change Leaders, Ashoka fellows, and social entrepreneurs— who determine whether the institution becomes a Changemaker Campus.

After successfully passing the Panel, Ashoka U works with the new Changemaker Campus to introduce them to the Changemaker Campus Network and opportunities for engagement and collaboration.

Every four years, current Changemaker Campuses go through the Renewal process to formally re-commit as an institution to social innovation and changemaking as core values. Renewal ensures that campuses in the Changemaker Campus Network continue to be at the forefront of social innovation and changemaking in higher education.

More information about the Selection Process is available here. To nominate a potential Changemaker Campus Candidate, please complete this form

4. What are Change Leaders? What is a Change Team?

Change Leaders are faculty, staff and/or administrators with complementary perspectives and influence, and the institutional mandate, vision and grit to advance social innovation and changemaking across the institution and beyond. To become a Changemaker Campus, an institution must have two to three Change Leaders with staff time adding up to at least one full-time equivalent.

A Change Team is a committed, inter-disciplinary group of faculty, staff, administrators, students and community members who help grow and strengthen the campus-wide ecosystem for social innovation and changemaking. It brings together the necessary expertise, diverse perspectives, influence, and time to support the Change Leaders in advancing social innovation and changemaking across the institution. Team composition and size may vary depending on the institution’s structure, size and needs. The Change Team is part of or the stepping stone to a campus-wide coordinating structure for social innovation and changemaking. The structure helps to coordinate social innovation activities and resources across the institution.

5. How does Ashoka U determine the cost of the Selection Process? 

Ashoka U understands that the costs of Changemaker Campus Designation can be prohibitive. As a social enterprise ourselves, the costs of the process directly cover our staff time, and we aim to keep the process as affordable as possible. We are happy to work with strong institutions currently underrepresented in the Changemaker Campus Network to help them explore possible funding opportunities both within their institution and outside of it.

Below are the costs for academic year 2017/2018:

  • 360° Campus Scan: USD 7,500
  • Site Visit: USD 7,500 + travel and accommodations
  • Panel: USD 10,000

Costs are subject to change during academic year 2018/2019.

6. I have additional questions about the Changemaker Campus program. Who should I contact? 

If you have any questions about the process of becoming a Changemaker Campus, please review detailed information about the process here. If you still have remaining questions, feel free to reach out to Sarah-Marie Hopf at smhopf@ashoka.org. If you are interested in partnering with the Changemaker Campus Network, you can reach out to Angie Fuessel at afuessel@ashoka.org.

“I think the Changemaker Campus network is working to empower those who see the potential for transformative education through sharing, collaborating, commiserating and encouraging one another… The Changemaker Campus network offers that kind of solidarity and hopefulness that we can indeed change the world by changing our education systems.”

Joanne Benham Rennick, Change Leader, Laurier