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Ashoka Changemaker Summit Helps Weave Our Future

Ashoka Changemaker Summit Helps Weave Our Future

The following is a blog post by Dr. Laura Murphy:

Changemakers are already (re)making the future. Check out the 2021 Ashoka Changemaker Summit, “a global milestone to share cutting-edge ideas that change systems for the better. Meet other doers, shapers, and thinkers who believe in the power of changemaking to drive social change”, Thursdays through Nov 25.

Weekly themes –Young Changemakers, Women & Queer changemakers, The New longevity, digital “Tech & Humanity”) – reflect the Next Now agenda and offer a window to our future. (Democracy in the Age of Surveillance is coming on 10/14.

I was both worried and inspired by the session I attended on 10/7: “A new economic architecture for our land and food,” part of the Climate and Planet theme. Recognizing that “Successful nature-based solutions restore ecosystems, create green jobs, reduce greenhouse gases and preserve biodiversity all at the same time…the challenge lays in the scale and speed of getting this done”; the session asks “How can our current economic system prioritise a healthy planet?

Two Ashoka fellows (social entrepreneurs) shared the challenge of forests and food, and some possibilities: Luis Fernando Guedes, Brazilian Forest conservationist and founder of SOS Mata Atlantica highlighted challenges to indigenous Amazonian peoples and their lands. Geert van der Veer of Hereboeren talked about his Netherlands-based innovative farmer-food collective. Post-panel, participants and attendees span the globe connected on Zoom for deeper conversations. I met inspiring Philippina ecotourism innovator Ann Dumaliang of Masungi Georeserve outside Manila, calling in from 10 pm her time.

The Oct 7 event was moderated by Corina Murafa, Ashoka (Romania) and a Next Now Co-Leader: Planet & Climate. Ashoka’s Next Now “identifies, supports and lifts up these examples, and the changemakers behind them. From a bird’s eye perspective, we see patterns and frontiers of innovation that show a way to a better future. We weave a community of innovators committed to building it and share our findings and insights with the world.”

This year the 2021 Changemaker Summit is offered free and online (via the Swapcard platform) running Thursdays (8-10 AM CST) through November 25, with an in-person event in Turin, Italy on December 2.

Dr. Murphy attended and encourages others to join the free online Ashoka Changemaker Summit 2021. Hear from Ashoka fellows from around the world. Find the links below:


Ashoka’s Next Now program:

2021 Summit website:

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