The 2017 Ashoka U Exchange was one of Ashoka U’s most exciting and complex
gatherings for changemaker educators to date, with a host of special tracks, engaged
funders, and a growing network of Changemaker Campuses. This report shares key
components of the conference, key successes and key learnings critical to the
advancement of the event.
1. What is the Exchange? A Brief Overview
2. attended the Exchange: Attendance & Participation
3. What happened during the Exchange: The Agenda & Special Tracks
4. Accessibility & the Exchange
5. What did our attendees say: Reviews & Feedback
If you have any questions, comments, or want to learn more please contact Emily
Lamb, Associate Director of the Exchange, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find
more information at www.ashokau.org/exchange.
Associate Director, Ashoka U Exchange
WHAT IS THE EXCHANGE?
A Brief Overview
The Exchange, Ashoka U’s annual global convening, is one of the largest gatherings
for leading innovators transforming higher education into an engine for social
change. The agenda showcases exciting new ways the field of social innovation is
taking hold across colleges and universities and making an impact around the world.
The 7th annual Ashoka U Exchange was co-hosted by Miami Dade College on March
2-4, 2017 in Miami, Florida. This year, the agenda focused on three key pillars of
leadership critical to transform higher education into a tool for social impact:
• Developing Individual Skillsets to Lead Transformative Change
• Learning and Implementing Programmatic Innovations
• Advancing Social Innovation as a Field In Higher Education
The Exchange is a program of Ashoka U, an organization dedicated to advancing the
social innovation education as a key objective of global higher education.
WHAT HAPPENED DURING THE
The Agenda and Key Topics
The Exchange provides attendees with promising practices in social innovation education
around topics that range from teaching to general programming, community partnerships
to institutional change. About 70% of Exchange content is sourced by the participants, which
means the agenda reflect the information that is most relevant to the community.
This year, attendees identified the making the case for social innovation education to others,
developing curriculum related to social innovation, and developing a program related to
social innovation as the top challenges they wanted to address at this year’s conference.
In response, the Exchange featured a masterclass series about teaching changemakers, a
handful of sessions about social innovation program development, and a session about the
definitions of social innovation education.
Overall, 89 sessions took place, including best practice sessions, workshops, lunches,
masterclasses, and site visits, over the course of three days.
The Agenda (1/3)
BEST PRACTICE SESSIONS
They featured 3-4 presenters, matched by Ashoka U, sharing their insights, innovations &
lessons learned on a topic. They offered a variety of engagement opportunities including Q
& A, breakout groups & discussions.
CENTER FOR COURAGE & RENEWAL WORKSHOPS
3 CCR workshops
They offered a series of sessions that guided participants on a journey to foster their full
selves and others as healthy changemakers – in mind, body and spirit. This was sponsored by
the Fetzer Institute.
14 community lunches
The lunches provided an opportunity for small, informal conversation on a topic or theme
facilitated by an Exchange participant.
The top 7 best practice sessions (as selected
by users on the Exchange program mobile
1. Organizing & Leading Community Engagement:
Paths, Impacts and Challenges for Social
Innovation and Service Learning
2. Introduction to Systems Thinking
3. How to build it so they will come: Best Practices
in Student Engagement
4. Measuring the Impact of Social Innovation &
Social Entrepreneurship in Higher Ed
5. Ashoka U Info Session
6. University Incubators as Innovation Generators
7. Tools for Measuring the Impact of Social
Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship
*This accounts for RSVPs and interest, not
The Agenda (2/3)
CURRENT EVENTS SERIES
The series featured institutions that recognize higher education must achieve a dual
mission of education & social change. Each session focused on a societal challenge,
taking participants on a deep dive into understanding the problem & showcasing
how the institute addresses the problem.
Keynotes featured subject matter experts, inspirational speakers, and recognized
leaders in high education about broad themes critical to the field of social innovation
education. Keynotes took place the beginning of each day of the conference.
Throughout the three days, our keynotes featured 10 impressive speakers to share
their insights about higher education, social entrepreneurship and changemaking:
1. ANDREW Seligsohn – President, Campus Compact
2. DANIELA Papi -Thornton – Deputy Director, Skoll
Centre for Social Entrepreneurship
3. EBOO Patel - CEO and Founder, Interfaith Youth Core
4. EMILY May - Co-Founder and Executive Director,
5. GREG Van Kirk – Leadership Group Member, Ashoka’s
6. JENNIFER Bailey – Co-Founder and Executive Director,
Faith Matters Network
7. LENNON Flowers – Co-Founder and Executive Director,
The Dinner Party
8. SONAL Shah – Professor of Practice; Executive Director,
Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation, Georgetown
9. PASCALE Charlot – Dean, Honors College, Miami Dade
College; Ashoka U Change Leader
10. PARKER Palmer - Founder, Center for Courage &
The Agenda (3/3)
8 site visits
Site Visits varied in length of time and offered participants the opportunity to explore the
Miami community to see local social innovation in action.
5 master classes
Master Classes showcased master educators teaching on two subjects: how changemaking
skills can be taught in the classroom AND the skills & approaches critical to catalyzing
change & embedding social innovation across your own institution.
The Marketplace offered participants the opportunity to speak with cutting-edge organizations,
programs & engagements that will help enhance their work across the globe.
Ayiti Community Trust in Little Haiti Neighborhood |
Neighborhood Tour & Hackathon
Led by Ayiti Community Trust
BME Community | Community Organization
Led by Trabian Shorters, Ashoka Fellow & founder of BME
Changemaker in the Arts: “Preserving, Archiving, and
Teaching HipHop” & “Guitars Over Guns” | Organization
Led by leaders from PATH and GOG
Little Havana Tour | Neighborhood Tour
Led by Miami Dade College faculty and local leaders
Miami Changemaker Ecosystem Map | Neighborhood Tour
Led by Miami Dade faculty
StartUP FIU FOOD | Organization Tour – associated with
Florida International University
Led by Florida International University faculty and staff
South Miami “Climate Change” Tour | Neighborhood Tour
Led by Miami Dade College faculty and local leaders
Verde Gardens Farm Tour | Organization Tour
Led by Miami Dade faculty and leaders at Verde Gardens
Ashoka U and Ashoka hosted three invitation-only tracks to advance specific, mission
critical strategic initiatives.
Presidents’ and Senior Leaders’ Track ~ March 2-3, 2017
Organized by Ashoka U
15 colleges & universities
The Presidents’ & Senior Leaders’ Track provided a rich foundational experience that oriented
presidents, provosts, senior university leaders and trustees to the latest developments in the field
of social innovation education. In addition, it equipped attendees with powerful examples of
institutional innovation, and empowered them as they partner with change leaders to fuel the
movement on their campuses and beyond.
Grunin-Ashoka Social Innovation and Law Track ~ March 2,
Organized by Changemakers at Ashoka
18 colleges, universities, and organizations
The half-day Grunin-Ashoka Social Innovation and Law Track, sponsored by the Grunin
Foundation, convened lawyers, law educators, law students, and social entrepreneurs to
collectively discuss how to push the boundaries of law education to empower the lawyers of
the future to be innovators and changemakers. The Track is part of two-year partnership
between Ashoka, the Grunin Foundation, and New York University that includes a series of
engagements throughout the year.
K12 Changemaker Education Forum ~ March 2-4, 2017
Organized by the Empathy Initiative at Ashoka
30 colleges, universities, K12 schools, and organizations
The third annual K-12 Changemaker Education Forum guided participants on a journey to
surface and amplify high-impact innovations that unlock, reward, and embed changemaking
as a core tenant of our modern education system. The group was comprised of a diverse
community from Schools of Education and school districts as well as teachers,
administrators, philanthropists, and influencers in national education networks. This was
funded, in part, by the Moxie Foundation.
TO THE EXCAHNGE?
Attendance & Participation
The Exchange is only possible because the people who attend. For Ashoka U, it’s
critical that we understand our participants and what makes them tick. In this section,
you’ll learn about who attended the 2017 Exchange, where they are coming from and
what they care about.
Of accepted applicants registered to attend
Total organizations, including colleges and
universities were represented
Colleges and universities represented
Colleges and universities new to the Ashoka U
PROFESSIONAL ROLES PROFILE: Participants represent a diverse range of
GEOGRAPHIC PROFILE: 85% of attendees come from the USA and Canada.
The remaining 15% come from 18 other countries.
EXPERIENCE PROFILE: Over 60% of the reporting attendees have three or
more years of experience in social innovation education.
However 54% of reporting attendees have one year or less than one year of
experience with Ashoka U .
INSTITUTIONAL PROFILE: Representatives from the 37 Changemaker
Campuses accounted for nearly 60% of all participants. The remaining
attendees came from 111 colleges and universities.
Nearly half of the attendees come from private institutions.
& the Exchange
As part of Ashoka U’s vision of transforming higher education as an engine for social
change, we hope to meaningfully engage with a growing network of colleges and
universities dedicated to this same vision. The Exchange plays a key role as a driver of
engagement with the Ashoka U network. We offer scholarships to provide an
opportunity for participants from institutions not yet involved with Ashoka U as we
hope to continue growing the number of engaged institutions in our network.
The Exchange scholarship provided a 45% discount ($375 off) on registrations.
Recipients paid $475 out of pocket.
Upon completion of the 2017 Exchange, 13 scholarships were distributed to a diverse
group of participants. Of the 13 scholarship recipients, 11 were first time
Exchange attendees, one was from a community college and two presented on
the agenda. They also represented a diverse geographical group hailing from four
countries, with seven of the recipients from Canada, one from Costa Rica and
one from India. Only four were from the United States.
Looking to the 2018 Exchange, Ashoka U will continue to distribute Exchange
scholarships in the form of discounted tickets at the $475 rate with the intention of
further fostering a rich and diverse Exchange network.
The scholarships were provided by the
WHAT DID EXCHANGE ATTENDEES SAY:
Reviews & Evaluations
On March 5, all attendees received an online, optional survey about the 2017
Exchange. The Exchange survey quantitatively and qualitatively collects data about:
• Likelihood to attend in future years
• Goals the conference met
• Opportunities for improvement
The Exchange team uses the survey to impact programing for future gatherings. In
2017, about 15% of attendees responded to the survey. The survey is optionally
Would return to the Exchange in the future.
What goals did participants best meet?
1. Connection with peers
2. Connection with leaders in the field
3. Generation of innovative ideas
What specific content was the most valuable?
1. “Educating Changemakers & Cultivating Engaged Citizens” Saturday Keynote with Pascale Charlot and
2. Site Visits
3. “Promise and Perils of Social Innovation Education” Friday Keynote
WHAT DID EXCHANGE ATTENDEES SAY:
Reviews & Evaluations
“I love being in the company of the Ashoka
U universe. It was a perfect antidote to the
counter narrative that about higher ed
being about careers, about the tightening
of borders, about fear of the other---It did
me good and I hope I did some good as