Tracks & Pre-Days

Curated Tracks

This year the Exchange agenda will feature curated, multi-session deep dives  into critical specialized topics related to social innovation education, including:

Senior Leaders’ Experience, hosted by Ashoka U | February 21 – 22, 2019

Senior leaders are key to setting the vision, policies, and cultures of their institution. At the Senior Leaders’ Experience (SLE) at the Ashoka U Exchange, we invite university leaders to think together about how they can lead campus-wide change and align educational and research assets to be drivers of social impact. The Senior Leaders’ Experience is open to any university leader Dean-level and above attending the Ashoka U Exchange.

Official programming begins at the opening keynote on Thursday, February 21 at 8:30am and will end at 11:30am on Friday, February 22nd, after a morning of problem-solving, networking, and workshops.


NEW: Tech & Changemaking Track, hosted by Schmidt Futures & Ashoka | February 21-23, 2019

The inaugural Tech and Changemaking Track, in partnership with Schmidt Futures, at the Exchange aims to bridge the skillsets from social impact, ethics, and tech disciplines to graduate a new type of student – a changemaker.

We invite participants from the disciplines and sectors of Computer Science, Information Technology, Machine Learning, Human-Computer Interaction, and Data Sciences to join us for this 1.5 day track, taking place at the upcoming Ashoka U Exchange on February 21-23, 2019.

  • Want to learn more? A draft overview and agenda for the Track can be found here.

If you have any questions, would like to learn more, or are interested in special speaking opportunities within the Track, please reach out to Exchange Director, Beeta Ansari, at


NEW: Working Across Differences Track, hosted by Fetzer Institute & Ashoka | February 21-22, 2019

Colleges and universities are increasingly becoming lightning rods for the most polarizing issues in society. And as hotbeds of these topics, it is critical not to shy away from better understanding how, as changemakers, we can be better stewards and teachers of civil discourse. Join this 4-session Track that will guide us on the journey we can and must all take to bridge divides and work across our differences for a more loving society.

  • Session 1 – Your Story of Self – Understanding Yourself to Engage with Others : Mary Ellen Giess, Senior Director of Co-Curricular Partnerships at the Interfaith Youth Core
  • Session 2 – Opening to Others Narratives – Building Trust Through Deep Listening : Steve Miller, Ashoka Fellow and Founder of HBCU Tuth & Reconciliation Oral History Project
  • Session 3 – Story of Me, Story of We, Story of Now – Case Studies from Community Connectors : Imran Khan, Ashoka Fellow and Founder & CEO at Embarc; J. Cody Nielsen, Founder & Executive Director at Convergence; Casey Woods, Ashoka Fellow and Executive at Arms With Ethics 
  • Lunch Conversation – Listen and Learn : Emily Lamb, Exchange Associate Director at Ashoka U and J. Cody Nielsen Founder & Exective Director at Convergence
  • Session 4 – Closing Keynote – The Importance of Better Arguments : Eric Liu, Founder & CEO; Executive Director at Citizen University; Aspen Institute Citizenship & American Identity Program

NEW: Our Changemaker Student Revolution: Student (& Ally) Track, hosted by Ashoka Youth Years February 21 – 22, 2019

Every great movement had students at its core. Today, more than ever, students are leading the way for a more inclusive, compassionate, and prosperous world.  Are you eager to inspire a student driven culture of social impact on your campus? Join this 3-session track, designed for you by Ashoka Youth Years, to collaborate with others and examine what sparks us to become changemakers, how change happens, and then explore how we go from “me to we” and start compassionate revolutions.

  • Session 1 – Student Networking & Idea Share Sprint : Shannon Lue Chee Lip & Anush Mehrabyan, Undergraduate Students at the University of Rochester
  • Session 2 – Heart of Changemaking : How to cultivate the Changemaker qualities? : Vipin Thekkekalathil, Senior Director at Ashoka
  • Session 3 – How to be a Changemaker Movement Builder? : Mentor Dida, Ashoka Senior Intrapreneur Youth Years  and Joshua Williams, Founder of Joshua’s Heart Foundation

Pre-Day Activities

On Wednesday, February 20, before the Exchange officially begins, all Exchange attendees are invited to participate in a number of opportunities for networking and specialized content, including:

Social Innovation Research Symposium, hosted by UC San Diego – “Beyond Borders and Boundaries: Bridging Theory and Practice in Creating Social Good” | 8:00am – 5:00pm at Paradise Point

Register here! (The Symposium is free and open to the public, including Exchange particpants)

The University of California, San Diego will host a one-day symposium focused on disciplinary and interdisciplinary research related to creating sustained social good. The Symposium will feature paper and poster presentation from all fields on topics that increase our knowledge about and/or advance progress toward meeting one or more of the UN sustainable development goals.

Law & Social Innovation Pre Day, hosted by University of San Diego | 8:00am – 5:00pm at University of San Diego

Register here. Cost to participate in the pre-day is $75 (in addition to Exchange registration and pricing).

The 3rd annual Law and Social Innovation gathering at the Exchange will bring together a community of thought leaders and innovators in the field of legal education, who will together explore the role of law schools in creating the next generation of changemaker lawyers. Previous participants include Ashoka Fellows, law faculty, and practicing law professionals.

The Law and Social Innovation Pre-Day will take place on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 and provide participants an opportunity to connect with other innovative legal educators, discuss the impact of changemaker lawyers, and collectively consider how we can better embed social innovation skillsets and mindsets into their daily work. Preview agenda here.

NEW: Solidarity in Social Change: Change-Makers of Color Pre-Day Dinner, hosted by Ashoka U Exchange Equity Committee| 7:00pm – 9:00pm at True Food Kitchen, 7007 Friars Rd Suite 394  San Diego, California 92108

Register here!​ (The dinner is à la carte and at cost to attendees. The event is open to Exchange participants who self-identify as Indigenous or a Person of Colour)

The Ashoka U Exchange Equity Committee will host a networking and solidarity dinner focused on strengthening our sense of purpose and fellowship as Indigenous peoples and People of Color in creating sustained social good. The dinner will feature short informal talks from peers and mentors on best practices in supporting diversity, resiliency and solidarity within and across communities. The Committee hopes to bring together like-minded individuals with a passion for social change to create meaningful alliances throughout the Exchange and beyond.

  • ​​Please reach out to or with any questions

Canada Day | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm at Paradise Point

All Exchange participants from Canada are invited to join Canada Day hosted by RECODE and Ashoka Canada. Canada Day is an opportunity to connect with peers from across the country and learn about unique opportunities for changemaking within Canadian post-secondary. For more information please reach out to Kelly at

Latin America Day | 9:00am – 5:00 pm at Paradise Point

All Latin America Exchange participants are invited to discuss and work on changemaker education challenges faced in Latin America. Content will focus on collaboration opportunities to scale Latin America’s collective impact. For more information email Luciana Goles,