Let's Open-Source Social Innovation


The Challenge


  • We are at the brink of a global unemployment crisis

  • Education is the solution but is fundamentally flawed

  • We lack the sustainable solutions our world desperately needs


The world is rapidly changing, the complexity and number of challenges are increasing at a rate faster than sustainable solutions can be developed to address them. Most traditional solutions are unsustainable and are not providing the exponential growth in innovation we need to get ahead. In addition, we are not empowering our kids to tackle these challenges and continue to provide them with an education which is already leaving them with critical skills gaps.

VIDEO: The Open Philosopy by the Shuttleworth Foundation

We do not lack the innovation, we have more than enough hidden away in silos where it stagnates and doesn't reach its full potential. What we do lack is an open ecosystem for innovation and a global network of innovators who are empowered to leverage it in a global open commons. 


What we are doing

Thousands of proven open solutions, 50,000 entrepreneurs, millions of ideas and 700,000 aspiring innovators. This is only the beginning.
  1. Open up our database of proven social ventures, what they are doing, how they are doing it and all the things they have learnt along the way.
  2. Open up our network of entrepreneurs and changemakers, allowing them to connect, collaborate and share their work.
  3. Empower aspiring changemakers at schools, universities and across the world to contribute to existing ventures, or fork and recombine with other ideas to create new solutions. An exponentially growing commons of social innovations.

For more than 35 years Ashoka and our partners have been finding and supporting the world’s leading system-changers, supporting their ideas, approaches, experiments, and collectively learning. Today we have the largest network of proven social entrepreneurs who account for some of the most significant social innovations in recent decades, and a network of schools, universities, and labs empowering the next generation. 50,000 entrepreneurs, millions of ideas and 700,000 aspiring innovators.


SDGs provide global context

193 countries have signed up to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to tackle the world's grandest challenges over the next 15 years. The Ashoka organization and our partners have the world's largest fellowship of social entrepreneurs working on these challenges and a growing network of schools empowering children to become changemakers themselves. We believe it is this network that can be the seed to inspire innovators of all ages to take a lead in the accomplishment of the SDG goals and other global challenges. 

Through a mobile phone and web application, we are leveraging this network to bring changemakers together, help existing projects and inspire new changemakers to start their own projects. It is this global collaboration and a spirit of openness that can drive impact at an exponential pace across all the world's grand challenges. 



Demo of the Mockup

If the below mockup demo does load for you, you can view it here: https://invis.io/3QAP4SOSZ

Core Value:


Aspiring changemakers

  • Access to proven ideas, approaches, strategies
  • Access to data achieved through experiments. 
  • Access to innovative learning opportunities
  • Access to proven entrepreneurs & moonshot thinkers
  • Build a portfolio, network, experience, skills
  • Build a team, start a project
  • Get funded and earn rewards
  • Access to opportunities marketplace


Existing Changemakers

  • Funding opportunities
  • Marketing opportunities to users/customers/partners
  • Access to network opportunities
  • Access to opportunities marketplace


Funders / both institutional and crowdfunders (Public)

  • Objective, open Impact metrics
  • Transparency
  • Reports on how contributions translated into impact


Core Features:


An Open philosophy to ideas, data, approaches and strategies.

Just like the open-source software culture has produced an explosion of innovation within software. An open-source culture in social innovation can do the same and drive exponential growth in positive impact on all global challenges.


Learn from experiments, Explore solutions, Data and Impact.

Each project has its own approaches, its own theory of change and the experiments they have conducted to test those theories. So much can be learned from opening up this data, especially all we have learned from our failures. 

This provide funders, scientists and entrepreneurs open data to explore.


building an ecosystem for learning.

Inspire & grow upcoming inovators through community & project-based learning. A platform where innovators can find ideas to contribute to or fork and recombine with other ideas to create new solutions. An exponentially growing commons of social innovations.



TEam and Collaborators

This project is a partnership of many fellows in Ashoka and the Ashoka organization as a whole, including many friends of Ashoka and our larger networks. This is an open project and we welcome any, who share our passion and vision and have suitable skills and resources to contribute.


PhD, Founder of CRI, expert on the future of research and education. UNESCO Chair “Learning sciences”.

Moonshot Innovator, working on grand challenges using open innovation, Founder of Dev4X

Nancy Welsh

Global VP, Ashoka; Executive Director, Youth Venture Inc; Serial Entrepreneur

Luping Xu

PhD, Director of Open FIESTA Center, Tsinghua University. Generating a paradigm change in future science and education.

Esther Wojcicki

34 year teacher. Author, Moonshots in Education. Founder, Palo Alto Media Arts Center.  Former Chair, Creative Commons.

Marc Prensky

Global keynote speaker.  Author of 7 books, incl.  Education to Better Their World: Unleashing the Power of 21st Century Kids, and The World Needs a New Curriculum.  Creator, Measurable Positive Change database.

Katy Kasmai

Founder of Team Exponent and ExponentialEdu.org, building high-impact teams for 10x solutions to our toughest challenges, and cultivating moonshot projects in K-12. Senior engineering PM at Google

Arno Klein

PhD, Child Mind Institute’s Director of Innovative Technologies, spearheaded several open science initiatives.

Ross Hall

Directing Ashoka's education strategy, conceived, designed and grown more than 20 new ventures around the world

Sachin Malhan

Executive Director at Ashoka Changemakers, connecting high-potential changemakers, and their ideas and resources, to accelerate change around critical social issues. 



Partners and friends



CRI - Centre de Recherches Interdisciplinaires

CRI - Centre de Recherches Interdisciplinaires

Open FIESTA Tsinghua University

Open FIESTA Tsinghua University

United Labs for Global Goals

United Labs for Global Goals

World Merit

World Merit

Exponential Education

Exponential Education

Shuttleworth Foundation

Shuttleworth Foundation

Child Mind Institute

Child Mind Institute