Ashoka U is an initiative of Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs. Building on Ashoka’s vision for a world where Everyone is a Changemaker, Ashoka U takes an institutional change approach to impact the education of millions of students.
(Image courtesy of Ashoka U. Post by: Jessica Lax)
People don’t often believe me when I say that the very first Ashoka U conference in 2008 had 40 people sleeping in bunk beds and presenting around a campfire. Eight years later – just a few things have changed!
Today 700 people flock from across the globe to share ideas on how to turn colleges and universities into hubs of social innovation. And after years of convening innovators in changemaker education, we’ve learned what it takes to fuel this growing movement.
The 8th annual Ashoka U Exchange will be co-hosted by Babson College in Boston and will take place on April 5-7th, 2018. As we prepare to open our call for proposals on August 15th, I spent some time reflecting on the Exchange feedback I’ve heard from our community. Here are five reasons I heard that explain why people keep coming back year after year.
1) Find Your People
“The Exchange sets people walking on a re-energized path for the upcoming year, and reminds them that they are in the company of other like-minded souls.” – Exchange attendee
Attendees often tell us that coming to the Exchange is like “coming home.” People know your challenges, speak your language, and offer the kind of insights that only someone who has been in your shoes can share. With a range of perspectives and disciplines represented you’re guaranteed to find your people.
Going to the Exchange brings you to you a place where everyone just gets it. Where more than anything else – people say ‘yes.’ Even if it’s only for a few days that can power you up for a long time!