Everywhere we look, we see the impact of an accelerating rate of change, as around the world and across sectors people find themselves facing increasingly complex societal and environmental challenges. At the same time, we also see the rise of changemakers everywhere, especially young people, who are stepping up to lead and bring forward solutions in new and powerful ways.

What is a changemaker?

Anyone who steps up to address a problem, big or small, or creates opportunities for the good of all is a changemaker. At Ashoka, we’re building a global movement to unleash the power of young people to address the most pressing issues faced by their schools, communities, and beyond. 

Being a changemaker means putting these qualities into action:


All changemaking begins with empathy that moves people to take action.

New Leadership

New Leadership recognizes that everyone can and needs to lead. Changemakers are leaders who empower the people around them to step up and take action.

Collaborative Teamwork

Changemakers know they can’t do it alone. They create dynamic teams to solve problems.

Changemaking Skills

Changemakers move from ideas to real action in a way that is resourceful and entrepreneurial.

Thriving in today’s world requires adapting to and shaping change. Together with our partners, we work to help young people to grow and practice these skills and mindsets, including within the education systems where they spend a significant part of their youth years.

Our Youth Initiatives

Ashoka Young Changemakers

Play Video

Ashoka Young Changemakers are a carefully selected network of young people who have found their power to create change for the good of all, and who are engaging their peers and the entire society in realizing a world where everyone is a changemaker. If you or someone you know fits this description, consider joining our community of leaders.

CHANGEMAKER challenges

Ashoka Changemaker Challenges spotlight and support youth around the world through social venture and social innovation competitions run in partnership with organizations such as T-Mobile and General Motors. Through this program, we support the growth of young changemakers, helping them to reach new levels in their social impact projects and to empower their peers to join the Everyone a Changemaker movement.

T-Mobile Changemaking Challenge

Play Video

T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge: In partnership with T-Mobile, Ashoka selected 30 teams of young changemakers around the US for an all-expenses paid trip to the Changemaker Lab at the T-Mobile Headquarters in Seattle for a two-day workshop to receive mentorship, skill development, and support to get their ideas off the ground. The Grand Prize winners each received $10,000 in seed funding and a second trip back to the Changemaker Lab to supercharge their projects.

Ashoka Leadyoung

Play Video

LeadYoung is a storytelling initiative that aims to demonstrate the power of a young person who has identified a problem, formed and led a team, and created a solution. These stories help everyone see the new reality — that in a world defined by change we must redefine what “growing up” means. This highlights the new framework for navigating the 21st century: where every person is practicing empathy, teamwork, new leadership, and changemaking.


Ashoka has many media partners that are dedicated to spreading the everyone a changemaker message. Some of our partners are below.


Ashoka partners with the most innovative corporations ready to co-create a multi-faceted partnership that engages various parts of their business. Ashoka looks for corporations that embrace changemaking culture internally with their employees as well as within their broader business.

Over the years Ashoka Youth Years US has partnered with over 50 corporations to encourage tens of thousands of young people to become changemakers and grow changemaking culture within their businesses.


Youth serving organizations in our network value changemaking culture for their employees as well as the young people they work with.  They help grow changemaker mindsets in their employees and provide opportunities for youth to practice empathy and changemaking at various points in their day.