“Everything is so rich in our world, but what’s so tragic is you don’t have students seeing the world authentically. You don’t see community members in resource poor environments. Economic poverty is of course a constraint, but they have so much else to offer, you don’t have them seeing themselves as being full of resources.”    

ThinkImpact – 2012 Awardee

ThinkImpact immerses American students in rural South Africa where they develop authentic relationships with local community members and engage in qualitative research and exploration, driving experiential learning through empathy, curiosity, and open-mindedness and uncovering the potential of social entrepreneurship and innovation.

Are there any results or metrics you would like to share?
Since ThinkImpact won the Cordes Innovation Award, our Institute has launched over 30 innovations that turned into micro-enterprises. We completed the Institute in four countries (Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and South Africa) involving over 120 rural African community members and 70 scholars from universities in the United States. We expect to dramatically expand our Institute in 2013.

How can people become involved in or replicate your innovation?
Students are invited to apply for the Institute (www.thinkimpact.com/institute) and are also encouraged to stay posted as we offer additional opportunities to learn our innovation process and replicate around the country. University faculty and administrators are invited to expand their campus’s experiential education opportunities in social entrepreneurship through our Huddle event (www.thinkimpact.com/huddle) in the fall.

Cordes Innovation Awards

In partnership with Cordes Foundation, Ashoka U seeks to recognize globally relevant teaching, learning, and partnership practices that may be adapted and replicated across the field.