Alliances for Social Innovation, or How to Be an Agent of Change

Today we are living in a world of rapid change. some change it in many cases They widen existing social gaps and also create new ones. This context demands from us new adaptation skills: empathy, shared leadership, teamwork, creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit.

At Ashoka we know that these skills are critical to adapting to and changing the world into a more equitable and inclusive place. We verify this every day with the nearly 4,000 social entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs we identify, connect with and support. We learn from their model – focused on activating people as agents of change – and share them with others with the aim of achieving a committed society aware of their power to generate positive change .

Ashoka Spain’s vision is a world in which all people, in any situation and anywhere, can develop these skills and become agents of change and social change. and we can’t do it alone,

that’s why we grow Strategic alliances with schools, universities, administrations and companies To support them and their teams on this path of transformation.

On April 25, within the framework of the Day of Impact and Innovation in Barcelona, ​​and together with EADA Business School, we organized this event path to social entrepreneurship, Target: Generate a space for dialogue, exchange and knowledge about the ecosystem of social entrepreneurship in Spain and Latin America. It was a hybrid event which was attended by around 200 people and where we got to hear the impact stories of many social entrepreneurs from Ashoka.

these are the people who they live and create a positive impact on society, Addressing key social, cultural and environmental challenges through innovative solutions and with a systemic perspective. That is, trying to fundamentally change the system in which the problem resides so that it cannot be reproduced.

Ashoka’s social entrepreneur Marta Perez in 2022 is an example of this. has made Part II Foundation so that anyone with brain damage – such as someone who has had a stroke – can practice Sport in an inclusive environment to overcome its physical consequences, emotional and socials and thus be able to stay connected in the society.

marta wishes a systemic change, and for this it has created a proven methodology that can be replicated anywhere. As she says: “I dream that in 10 years the Segunda Parte Foundation will not exist”, precisely because she wants to make sure that all people with brain damage can play sports without the need to go to any corner of Spain. have access to To the Foundation.

Systemic change is the beacon that guides Ashoka’s social entrepreneurs. Gonzalo Fanjul, A Change as Ashoka 2018 social entrepreneur and founder of the NGO Porcosa, emphasizes that it must be inter-generational: “Nothing that we are doing, especially in these great battles, I, at least, will see before I die, these are the changes that are the need of the hour. An inter-generational change, those are the battles that are worth it.”

The road to social entrepreneurship is often long and difficult, Fran Diaz, Social Entrepreneur Ashoka 2020, advises all social entrepreneurs starting out to persevere, be persistent, but most of all, find allies. That is why the role of social or educational organizations like Ashoka or EADA is important in providing support to these enterprising people.

Nani More, Ashoka 2021 Social Entrepreneur, is another example of the importance of alliances. Addresses the concept of nanny quality, healthy and sustainable food, With a unique approach that links the entire food value chain from local agriculture to public procurement and mass canteen services. It works with town halls, schools, hospitals, residences; Their work would be impossible without the alliance. Because Social innovation is impossible without alliances.

In this world of complex problems, we need more social innovation, more social entrepreneurship. A social enterprise with a systemic approach, In which entrepreneurs, academia, administration and companies work together to promote social innovation and increase its impact.

We are convinced that a world full of change agents is possible and we will continue to work in partnership to achieve this.

*** Irene Mileiro is Ashoka’s General Director in Spain and Portugal.

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