Rob Wilson, Director, Ashoka UK
Rob joined Ashoka in 2011. Prior to Ashoka, Rob founded READ International in 2004. READ is a Tanzanian based, university student-volunteer-led organisation which to date has provided over 1.5 million books to schools and created close to 100 school libraries. He now volunteers his time as Chair of the UK board to support READ’s continued growth. Rob has also co-written a book with his wife Nikki about social entrepreneurs in Africa called On the Up. More recently, Rob co-founded and is a trustee of Generation Change, an organisation engaging young people in the UK with high quality youth social action. Rob is a trustee of The Key is E, a charity focused on education and entrepreneurship in Africa. Find Rob on Twitter @Iamrobertwilson and on Linkedin.
Clarice Ramalho, Finance and HR Director, Ashoka UK | Ashoka Europe
Clarice joined Ashoka in February 2012. After restructuring the UK office Operations, she supported the creation of the Ashoka European Hub in 2014 and since then splits her time leading finance and HR in the UK, and integrating finance teams across Europe and with Ashoka global office in the US. Prior to relocating to the UK, Clarice worked for 11 years with tourism management and destination marketing in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Tours and Clermont-Ferrand (France). She also holds a Master’s degree in Sustainable Tourism Management where she specialised in community-based tourism.
Elena Gibson, Venture and Thought Leadership Director, Ashoka UK
Elena joined Ashoka in 2013 and leads the selection of new Ashoka Fellows as well as guiding them through Ashoka's rigorous election process. She also manages the Ashoka Support Network as well as the Ashoka Learning Journeys. Previously, Elena worked at Convoco - a think tank that seeks to drive social change by convening leaders from business, politics and academia. She also volunteered for the philanthropy consultancy GivingEvidence. Elena holds a BA in Business Administration from Free University Berlin and a MA in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics, where she specialised in the philosophy and politics of climate change.
Margot Mackay, Fellowship Director, Ashoka UK
Margot joined Ashoka in February 2014 in order to develop a fellowship for international Fellows visiting and scaling in the UK. She is also coordinating events in the UK. Previously, she spent 3 years at Ernst&Young working on financial audits, due diligences and policy evaluations. Margot has a BA in Finance, and a Masters Degree in Entrepreneurship from Paris-Dauphine University. With a strong interest for wine, she founded "Spi&Spi" in 2008, a non-profit that helps young people to reconnection with themselves through contemplation of nature and elevation of the five sense alongside talks and the sharing of a good glass of wine!
Pip Wheaton, Partnerships Director, Ashoka UK
Pip joined Ashoka in 2016 as Partnerships Director. Prior to moving to the UK, Pip founded a youth development organisation in South Africa, enke: Make Your Mark. In early 2015, after six years as enke’s CEO, she handed over the reigns to study at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, where she completed an MBA. Australian by birth, Pip has spent the majority of her professional career in South Africa. This has included consulting on innovative finance at the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship; mapping the entrepreneurial support landscape across Africa for the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trading; and freelance strategy facilitation with organisations like Ikamva Youth. For her work in social innovation she’s been awarded a Skoll Scholarship in 2015, an Ashoka Fellowship in 2014; and she was a World Economic Forum Global Shaper from 2013-2014. She currently still serves on the board of enke as a non-executive director.
Viliana Dzhartova, Youth Years Manager, Ashoka UK
Viliana joined Ashoka in 2013 to launch and manage Ashoka's education network in the UK, called Changemaker Schools. She works on the selection and engagement of schools in the network as well as collaborating with sector partners focusing on education reform. Prior to joining Ashoka, Viliana gained experience in the social entrepreneurship sector by working at the Yunus Centre in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and leading several of her own education projects in Bulgaria and France. Viliana holds a BSc in International Business with French from the University of Birmingham where she specialised in Inclusive Business Models.
Meera Patel, Communications Manager, Ashoka UK
Meera joined Ashoka in September 2014, after graduating from the University of Cambridge with a degree in History. She leads all communications work for the UK Team. Additionally she is working on communications for the Ashoka Global Academy, a new initiative within Ashoka to help to empower ordinary people on a mass scale. Prior to Ashoka, Meera's experience includes investigating and reporting the use of sexual violence as a tool of war. She has also worked on investigating oral histories of violence amongst migrant and diaspora communities. Her other experiences include grassroots youth work, interning with John Bird, one of the founders of The Big Issue. Find her on twitter @MeeraNPatel
Florian Rutsch, Events & International Network Manager, Ashoka UK
Florian coordinates the public and private events of Ashoka UK and the team’s presence at external events such as the Skoll World Forum. He also welcomes and supports international Ashoka Fellows and Staff visiting or living in the UK and leads on impact measurement. Florian received his undergraduate degree in international economics from Maastricht University and a graduate degree in social entrepreneurship studying across San Francisco, London and Kenya. Before joining Ashoka, he worked as a sustainability consultant and has been involved in a number of social ventures and initiatives including among others co-founding a social entrepreneurship conference, the education network Our Future World and its #TweetADream campaign as well as an early stage mobile healthcare initiative honoured by the Clinton family.
Aroa Fernández Álvarez, Operations Manager, Ashoka UK
Laura Kromminga, Social Finance Consultant, Ashoka UK
Laura Kromminga dedicated both bachelor and master thesis to the topic of social entrepreneurship and impact investment. Previously working for the donation platform betterplace.org, Laura witnessed the struggle of social organisations to raise adequate finance. She is currently working for the Hybrid Finance Initiative at Ashoka Europe, writing case studies and articles about the sector.
Mark Cheng, Director, Ashoka Europe
Mark is the Director of Ashoka Europe, as well as Ashoka’s senior advisor on social finance, a role sponsored by international law firm Hogan Lovells. Since joining Ashoka originally as an ASN member in 2007, he has assisted many Fellows in raising investment for social causes, in areas including micro-finance, renewable energy, conservation, healthcare and education. Mark is also advisor to several international Ashoka initiatives such as Globalizer, a program for Fellows expanding their work into multiple countries. Mark is founding Director of Chelwood Capital, a social investment firm that supports mission-driven organizations. He has more than 15 years experience in finance, having previously worked at Deutsche Bank and AMBAC Assurance. He serves as Board Member and Trustee for several social enterprises and is a business mentor for the Emerge Venture Lab, an incubator for UK student social ventures.
Johanna Wikblom, Director of Talent & Operations, Ashoka Europe
Johanna joined Ashoka in September 2014 as a European Integrator and is based at the European Hub in London. Johanna joins us most recently from McKinsey & Company in Sweden where she has been working for more than eight years in roles such as Manager of Executive Assistants, Recruiter as well as with operations in the role as Executive Assistant to the Swedish and Scandinavian location leaders. Johanna first got involved with Ashoka in Scandinavia on a volunteer basis a couple of years prior to joining us fulltime. She has throughout her life travelled extensively and has for many years both studied and worked in several different countries. As a result, Johanna has strong knowledge and experience from working with people from different cultures and she has a passion for a strength based approach to people development, team building and leadership.
Ross Hall, Director for Education, Ashoka Europe
Ross joined Ashoka in November 2014. Ross has founded and grown more than 20 businesses around the world. Over the past 8 years, he has focused his energy on building a ground-breaking education programme that aims to empower and incline young people to be changemakers – to make a better world.The ‘Better World’ programme aims to develop a sophisticated understanding of what quality of life actually is - and a deep knowledge of our inner powers that most determine our quality of life.The programme is currently live with 500,000 children in Zimbabwe and Tanzania, and is now being extended to Ghana, the UK and Mexico. This grew out of earlier projects that Ross conceived and led for Pearson (under the banner of Education for Economic and Social Development), which involved ministries, employers and educators evaluating and improving the effectiveness of education systems, institutions and programmes around the world.
Adam Lent, Director for Research and innovation, Ashoka Europe
Adam is European Director for Research and Innovation at Ashoka. He is developing and implementing Ashoka's vision of a world in which everyone can be a Changemaker. Before joining Ashoka in May 2015, Adam was Director of the Action an Research Centre at the Royal Society of Arts in London. Prior to the RSA, Adam was Head of Economics for the Trades Union Congress (TUC), an experience which he credits with giving him a 'doctorate in politics and campaigning'. His latest book, "Small is Powerful: why the era of big business, big government and big culture is over (and why it's a good thing" is due to be published in early 2016. He combines a deep understanding of how the world is changing, together with practical entrepreneurship in social innovation.
Marina Mansilla Hermann, Children & Youth Years Manager, Ashoka Europe
Marina joined Ashoka in 2007, seeking to catalyze young people's potential to make positive change in the world. Previous to Ashoka, Marina worked for more than a decade with Peace Child International, as a consultant for GEF/UNDP and served as a youth advisor to UNEP in its efforts to engage young people in environmental action. Marina is the founder of Fundación TierraVida, an organization based in Argentina working to unleash young people´s potential to drive environmental sustainability. She has been selected as a British Council Climate Champion (2011), a Global Shaper with the World Economic Forum (2013) and a Global Good Fund Fellow (2014). Marina holds a BSc. in Environmental Sciences and an MA. in Environment and Development from King's College London.
Felicity McLean, Global Engagement Manager, Ashoka Changemakers
Felicity joined Ashoka in June 2012 to lead on Communications and Framework Change. She works to 'make shift happen', through powerful storytelling, exceptional innovation and the power of brands, corporates, organisations and key people of influence. As the founding member of a technology startup focussing on employee engagement in CSR, her skills combine partnerships, entrepreneurship and 'tech for good'. She's also a trustee for NGO Childreach International, has an MA in Geography, and a real passion for developing creative and value based partnerships. Find her on Twitter @flickmclean.
Arianna de Mario, Europe Network Manager, Ashoka Changemakers
Arianna is Europe Network Manager for Ashoka Changemakers, a role that involves framing, convening and igniting communities of social innovators across European countries. As such, she is involved in a number of Ashoka UK and Ashoka Changemakers partnerships (UBS, Unilever, C&A Foundation, Boehringer Ingelheim) coordinating efforts to build and grow networks of social entrepreneurs and managing partners relationships at the local level. In addition to her job at Ashoka, Arianna runs Old Street Food Assembly, an initiative to support local producers, and The Sustainable London Community, a platform for social innovators to promote their projects in the field of sustainability. Before moving to the UK, she has lived in Milan, Berlin and San Francisco, where she has worked in the field of political participation and citizens engagement. She holds a BA in foreign languages and literature and a MA in EU political sciences.