Ashoka is unique in that we are only satisfied with systems change on a broad level. To do so, Ashoka continues to identify and support the people with system changing ideas.
These people are incredibly focused on achieving their goals with 93% pursuing their original objective after 10 years. Over 80% of them are seen as leaders in their field and over 90% of their ideas are replicated by other groups. These Fellows break boundaries – over 60% report their work does not fit neatly into one field. In the 2009 Measuring Effectiveness study Ashoka found that there are five ways in which Fellows change systems, including:
- Business social congruence: how more and more the business and citizen sectors are converging. 72% of Fellows receive revenue through a for-profit element that accounts for 25% of their budget. Market dynamics and value chains: 48% of Fellows are increasing access to goods and services, creating new markets, creating value where a value didn’t exist, generating income for the poor, and changing the flow of market information.
- Public Policy and Institutional Norms: Over 80% of Fellows see working with public policy and institutional norms as an important part of their work. On average, over 50% of Fellows have achieved changed in national policy and/or industry within five years of election. In Africa, over 60% have achieved national policy change.
- Full Citizenship and Empathetic Ethics: Significant portions of Ashoka Fellows achieve national impact to fully include marginalized groups in society and connect groups in society to foster empathy and reduce conflict.
- Culture of Changemaking: Fellows are role models and contribute directly to building a culture of changemaking through direct training, creating programs on social entrepreneurship in universities or other non-profits, and by giving speeches about social entrepreneurs. 46% of fellows have received international media coverage and international awards for their work.
Within 10 years of election, 83% of Fellows (76% five years post election) have changed the system at a national level in at least one way. On average, Fellows change the system in three different ways.