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Ashoka is a 'social entrepreneur' company founded by McKinsey & Co's Bill Drayton of the US Environmental Protection Agency. Drayton also founded Youth Venture a similar organisation in the US.[1] He successfully 'intrapreneured' the introduction of emissions trading and served briefly in the White House.

Ashoka Fellows operate through partnerships with professionals from McKinsey and PR and lobbying giant Hill & Knowlton, which described Ashoka as its 'strategic philanthropic partner'.[1] It places selected volunteers around the world and has ties to the Carnegie Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation.[2]

It operates PR for big organisations (power companies in Indonesia etc.) to adjust the public to their needs and procedures through 'propaganda philanthropy'. It also helps control public forums, organises 'independent' groups as pro-corporate spokespeople and tries to divide critics. REF? In Turkey it works with George Soros' Open Society Institute.[3]

According to Ashoka:

Among the entrepreneurs Ashoka has backed is Rodrigo Baggio. With grant money from Ashoka, Rodrigo has trained almost one million at-risk children with computer and Internet skills. His project, the Committee to Democratize Information Technology (CDI), initially created a network of more than 200 self-managed computer schools in the urban slums of 17 Brazilian states. Helping students who might otherwise have turned to drug trafficking or violence, Rodrigo is bridging the digital divide while providing important job opportunities to young Brazilians. His project is expanding exponentially as he opens schools in Japan, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay with partners like AOL, Microsoft, Starmedia and the InterAmerican Bank.[2]

Ashoka also notes that it 'spends more than $17 million a year financing its Fellows around the world'.[3]

Promoting 'innovation' in UK Education

In 2016 Ashoka wrote that it was 'bringing together the UK’s most innovative and impact-focused schools and partners in the country, to build a network of schools and other important actors in education to re-imagine learning for the 21st century.' It intended to use this network to promote 'innovation in education'.[4]

It claimed to be 'mapping the education sector and facilitating key connections between Changemaker Schools and sector partners in order to catalyse change in teacher training, student assessment, school evaluation and other critical paths.'[5]

Global Academy

Among the founding members of the Global Academy for Social Entrepreneurship run by Ashoka:

  • Fazle Abed - Founder of BRAC in Bangladesh, the largest citizen sector organization in the world with over 30,000 direct employees, he has pioneered innovation in education, health, social finance, and empowered local development and serves tens of millions of needy citizens, "organizing the poor for power." His work has rapidly spread to other countries around the world through BRAC's many training programs and publications and is being directly replicated by BRAC in Afghanistan.
  • Bill Drayton - Founder of Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, he has helped create and build the field of social entrepreneurship from the start. He has also been central to the emergence of emissions trading and other key innovations in the environment, economics, and other fields.
  • Peter Eigen - founder and President of Transparency International and leader of global coalitions to fight corruption, he developed indexes and surveys and communities that track and tackle corruption at every level of society. His leadership is helping to change systems of monitoring and governance, from the local to the global.
  • Alice Tepper Marlin - Founder of Social Accountability International, the premier standards-setting and accreditation organization in the world, dedicated to improving workplaces, communities, and business. Her SA8000 standard is used in 47 countries and over 52 industrial sectors worldwide. She has been a global leader of the movements for corporate social responsibility (CSR), socially responsible investment (SRI), and cleaner environmental practices.
  • Muhammad Yunus - A leader in microcredit and founder of the Grameen Bank, he spread microcredit globally and pioneered global marketing of major social change. He is also a pioneer in social business ventures - Grameen Phone, for example, is the second largest telephone service provider in Asia and Grameen Telecom enabled village women to become profitable sellers of phone service to their communities.[4]


Ashoka lists the following as financial supporters:

It has also received pro bono support from:

and others[6]



UK website: