Holiday Greetings!

Updated: Dec 20, 2019

We are fast approaching the time of the year where we challenge geographic boundaries to huddle up with family to celebrate each other’s presence (and enjoy way too much food). Who knows, maybe you’ll even hear that relative tell that same embarrassing story, again. Before we ring in the new year, we must ring out the old. Oh, what a year it’s been!

It’s not easy to summarize an eventful year, but here are a few of our favorites:

Becoming Ashoka Nordic By expanding into Finland, we have become Ashoka Nordic. In doing so, we have realized our vision of a pan-Nordic organization. Stay tuned during Spring for more exciting news on what we have planned for Finland in 2020.

Dela Partnership with IKEA

Together with IKEA Social Entrepreneurship we run the Dela Partnership, which consists of an accelerator, support for new Ashoka Fellows and an inspiration journey for IKEA co-workers to strengthen their Changemakers abilities. You can read all about it here.

In October we all went to the Dela Summit, hosted at IKEA HQ in Delft, The Netherlands. It was the culmination of the strategy phase of the Dela Accelerator and the start of the implementation phase. The accelerator consists of twelve Ashoka Fellows that works closely with IKEA co-workers to increase their impact. We invited two Young Changemakers to join us and tell the story from their perspective, which you can read all about here.

Launching Changemakers Accelerator on climate action and circularity

Following the successful partnership on Hello Nordics on integration from last year, we launched a similar program in October, this year focusing on circularity and climate action. We call it the Changemakers Accelerator where we, together with Nordea and Accenture, support nine social entrepreneurs to reach higher systemic impact. For Ashoka, beyond sharing our learnings on scaling impact from being active in the social entrepreneurship field for over three decades, we also hope to find and elect new Ashoka Fellows. For those of you that want to learn more, we recommend Ashoka’s Systems Change Crash Course.

Re-launching an improved Changemakers Yard for young social entrepreneurs

Changemakers Yard is a platform that supplies tools and exercises for youth to learn Changemaking skills. Based on the learnings of the first version of Changemakers Yard, we updated the look and feel and improved the user-experience and re-launched the unique platform for youth that wants to improve society.

Launching Changemakers Backyard

Changemakers Backyard is a platform for educators or adults that wants to gain skills or ways of thinking around how they can engage with youth that wants to be Changemakers. If you’re reading this blog, it’s probably a tool for you, so we recommend you check it out.

Ashoka Nordic Community Day

On 8 October we gathered our Ashoka family here in the Nordics to celebrate Changemaking. We looked back to our founding story and the collective achievements we have made over the last decade, as well as discussed future trends and explored the needs of the community to be even better in 2020. Check out the amazing photos and read more about it here.

Team growing and saying farewell to Maja Frankel after eight years

This year our team have doubled in size with five new team members, enabling us to spark even more collaborations to achieve our vision of Everyone a Changemaker. Early 2019 was therefore dedicated to onboarding, but now as the engines have fired up, we’re excited to shift into an even higher gear for 2020. Learn more about the team here.

We also said farewell to Maja Frankel who founded Ashoka Sweden back in 2011 and has been one of the main drivers behind our work, culminating with us becoming Ashoka Nordic this year. You can read more about her decision here. Maja, you will be missed, but as the new Secretary-General of Friends we’re so excited to follow your continued Changemaking journey.

European Changemaker Summit in Barcelona

We spent three collaborative, insightful and transformational days together with our European community of Ashoka Fellows, partners, Ashoka Support Network (ASN) members, Ashoka staff and friends. It was an amazing experience, full of new impressions, inspiration and the kind of understanding and clarity that comes from joining dots together in new and unexpected ways. Hear what some of our Nordic participants thought of the Summit and check out photos here.


As we became Ashoka Nordic, we revitalized our online presence by launching our new Nordic Ashoka website. Here you will get up to date information about everything we and our community got going on. We recommend you subscribe to this blog (register at the top), that way you get notified when new stories are published. Perhaps you’re even interested in writing a story about your impact or experience? Contact us, and let’s make it happen.

Ashoka Learning and Action Center reports

Launched in 2018 our European think tank produces and disseminates practice-oriented research that cuts across all Ashoka programs and initiatives, connecting with policy stakeholders and the broader social entrepreneurship sector. You can for example read about seven steps for funding systems change or how to improve democracy.

The Ashoka Europe Fellowship Program offers

The program is a co-learning and co-creation community of Ashoka Fellows, ASNs, staff and partners from civil society, public institutions, media, business and academia. Together we leverage Ashoka's local and global experience, resources and networks in order to advance social entrepreneurship and Changemaking for the good of all. Go to the website to learn more about the offers around wellbeing, system change, social finance etc.

As we summarize 2019 it was a year of impact and transition. We grew the team and became Ashoka Nordic, but we also said farewell to our founder Maja. It was a year focused on onboarding and learning. Now, we’re up to speed, excited and ready to make 2020 the best year in Ashoka history. We can only make this happen together with you.

So, make sure to relax and recharge, because come January, let’s engage and make 2020 the best year of Changemaking the Nordics have ever seen!

Happy holidays!

Ashoka Nordic Team