At the end of this challenging year, we want to highlight the resilience, innovation, and positivity of our community. We are proud of each of our co-creators – the Ashoka Fellows, the inspiring young changemakers, our partners and closest ecosystem collaborators – and want to take this opportunity to showcase what we achieved together in 2020.
This year’s pandemic has once again shown how social entrepreneurs and changemakers are uniquely positioned to represent and reconstruct the “New normal”. Ashoka’s global Fellow study conducted in May 2020 showed that most of the social entrepreneurs in our network quickly adapted to the crisis, protected those who needed it most and viewed the crisis as an opportunity to innovate and rebuild our societies into fairer, more sustainable versions of what went before. To support our Fellows in this effort, we continued to strengthen and extend our initiatives this year focusing on three strategic areas.
1) We continued to support and strengthen social entrepreneurs Globally, regionally and locally!
Globally, in close collaboration with IKEA Social Entrepreneurship and our colleagues, the Nordic team started, implemented and finished our first ever global partnership hosted from our region with the flagship program - Dela. Through Dela, we supported 12 Ashoka Fellows across the globe to open up their models for system change. As a result, the Fellows who participated reported that their impact goals for 2030 in terms of lives-touched have nearly doubled, increasing from 434 million lives to 781 million lives per year. We also selected two new Ashoka Fellows and provided them with financial support so they can focus 100% on pursuing their strategic work. And of course, we continued to nurture our regional network of 21 Ashoka Fellows – and pioneered a virtual venture panel to select one new Fellow in Sweden.
On a regional level, we also shared our knowledge on system change and collective impact with 9 selected early-stage social entrepreneurs within climate and circularity in the Nordic Changemakers Accelerator program.
2) We continued to support Young Changemakers
Directly and indirectly!
The 2020 crisis clearly showed us that the old “normal” was not working and how fragile the systems we rely upon often are. The need for everyone to practice their changemaking skills and imagining new ways of working and living together have never felt more relevant and needed. In 2020 we continued to strengthen our work towards our youth community through a number of interesting initiatives. For example, we further developed our digital platform Changemakers Yard, launched a new teacher's platform Changemaker’s Backyard, held storytelling and system change workshops for youth in Norway and a fantastic Changemaker Camp for 34 young leaders in Sweden.
3) We contributed to build an enabling ecosystem For Changemaking!
Social entrepreneurs and Changemakers in the Nordics need national and regional infrastructures of support and we want to be part of enabling that to happen on a wide scale. As social entrepreneurs and changemakers in the Nordic region continue facing severe barriers that prevent them from unleashing their system changing potential, our goal is to convene stakeholders and to enable collaborations to address barriers for changemaking. The interest in Ashoka leads to collaborations with a wide range of partners in academia, government and business in all Nordic countries.
To sum up, even if 2020 threw a lot of challenges at us and others, we learned a lot along the way and managed to achieve more impact than ever before. We are convinced these learnings will make us more focused and connected and will help us emerge stronger in 2021. Together, we can trigger collaborations for evolving new infrastructures of support for system changing social entrepreneurs at a national, regional and European level. Here are a few practical examples of collaborations in which the Ashoka Nordic team community has been involved in.
Based on these experiences and learnings, we recently entered our new fiscal year of 2021 wiser, more strategic, and bolder than any previous year. We cannot wait to continue building a dynamic platform for Changemakers in the Nordic region, with all of you.
We want to wrap up this year by wishing you the warmest holiday greetings from the Ashoka Nordic team, and hoping we can continue creating systems-change impact for many more years to come.
Continue joining us on this journey! Read here our full Impact Report FY20, sing up to receive our quarterly newsletters and follow us on social media: Facebook: @Ashoka.Nordic - Twitter: @AshokaNordic - Instagram: @ashokanordic - LinkedIn: @Ashoka Nordic
The Ashoka Nordic team with Amanda, Celia, Emma, Nathalie, Rajat, Sarah, Christina and Todd