About the Exchange


750 participants. 150 colleges and universities. 100 sessions. 3 days. 1 Ashoka U Exchange.


The 2017 Ashoka U Exchange, co-hosted by Miami Dade College, will take place on March 2-4, 2017 in Miami, Florida. This year, the agenda will focus on three key pillars of leadership critical to transform higher education into a tool for social impact: 

  1. Developing Individual Skillsets to Lead Transformative Change
  2. Learning and Implementing Programmatic Innovations
  3. Advancing Social Innovation as a Field In Higher Education

Click here to explore the 2017 agenda.

During the Exchange, Ashoka will also host the 3rd Annual Changemaker Education Forum a gathering specifically to discuss changemaking as a core tenant of our modern K12 education system. Learn more about the gathering here.

Pillars of Leadership in Social Innovation Education

Through the years, Ashoka U has worked with some of the most socially innovative colleges and universities around world. We’ve observed three critical pillars of leadership that elevate social change education as a core value within many facets of an institution. And at the Exchange this year, we’re excited explore them deeper with you:

Developing Individual Skillsets to Lead Transformative Change
Breaking down silos, building bridges across programs, working in diverse teams, transforming entrenched systems from the inside-out. These are just some of the traits crucial to master and lead transformative change.

Learning and Implementing Programmatic Innovations
Higher education offers the ideal platform for changemaking. And to live this reality, methodologies geared toward social impact and social change must be taught and fostered through many parts of an institution – from an individual course to a research project to a co-curricular program to a full degree program to an entire campus culture. It is crucial to share, challenge, and advance best practices that ensure students graduate ready to not just understand the most challenging problems, but how to solve them.

Advancing Social Innovation as a Field In Higher Education
To advance higher education, collectively institutions must shift from more traditional to more innovative and entrepreneurial. And they must demonstrate that social innovation and changemaking will more effectively prepare students for today’s world and equip higher education to solve global challenges through action and engagement. In short, we’re all working together to create an entirely new model. Instead of starting from scratch, we work in collaboration with the system to change the system – and birth a new field of social change education: social innovation.


In today’s climate it’s clear that higher education offers an ideal platform for changemaking. We’ve witnessed institutions, large and small, reach a tipping point and begin collectively realizing the potential to drive innovation for social change in society. It’s time, again, to bring this community together.

The Exchange is one of the world’s largest annual gatherings that showcases exciting new models of social innovation in higher education. Over the course of three days, the Exchange offers over 100 sessions including site visits, workshops, panels, keynotes and curated lunch conversations that all aim to build a community of changemakers in higher education. Each year participants come to the Exchange asking and answering the question: “How can we play a role in transforming our institutions into engines for social impact?”

How to join this community

Unlike many other conferences, the Exchange is application-based. The application allows Ashoka U to connect a community of participants who share both interest and experience in creating social change and social impact in higher education. The application also drives the creation of the agenda – approximately 75% of the Exchange content is driven directly by participants, ensuring that the topics and discussions that take place are relevant and meaningful for all participants. There is something for everyone here!

The 2018 Exchange application will go live in August 2017!

Previous Hosts

Each year the Exchange is hosted by one of the Ashoka U Changemaker Campuses. In spring 2017 the host will be Miami Dade College in Miami, Florida. The following universities hosted past Exchanges: Duke University (2011), Arizona State University (2012), University of San Diego (2013), Brown University (2014), University of Maryland (2015), and Tulane University (2016).

About Ashoka U

Ashoka U is an initiative of Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs. Building on Ashoka’s vision for a world where Everyone is a Changemaker, Ashoka U takes an institutional change approach to impact the education of millions of students. Ashoka U helps break down barriers to institutional change and fosters a culture of social innovation in higher education. Ashoka U’s global network of 150 colleges and universities is advancing an education that develops interdisciplinary, entrepreneurial, and solutions-oriented skills.

About Ashoka

Founded by Bill Drayton in 1980, Ashoka has elected and supported over 3,000 Fellows – social entrepreneurs with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems – in over 70 countries. Ashoka’s support includes start-up financing, professional support services, and connections to their global network of Ashoka Fellows. 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.


About Miami Dade College

As democracy’s college, Miami Dade College in Miami, Florida changes lives through the opportunity of education. Annually offering 300 programs to over 165,000 students on seven campuses and two centers, MDC is the largest and most diverse college in the nation. We are a gateway to professional development, social mobility, and civic participation that enriches the workforce readiness toolkit with the changemaker mindset and skillset needed for 21st century challenges. Through the Innovation Meets Purpose and Change in Teams (IMPACT) Network , MDC is creating an everyone a changemaker world by aligning the curriculum and co-curriculum within both the two year and four year degree pathway. We make changemaking within reach regardless of a student’s ability and availability, yet customized to make a meaningful difference in the local communities where our students live. Miami Dade was selected as a Changemaker Campus in 2015.