Enable the change you want to see in the world.


“All we did was look them in the eyes and say – we believe in your idea and in you. “ This from Vipin, who runs Ashoka’s Youth Venture (VY) program in India.

I attended YV’s celebratory event on Sunday where 35 young Indians, from all walks of life, between the ages of 15-24 were showcased for bringing their ideas on how to create social change to reality. Although the ventures started addressed different needs in society (girls’ education, village water access, slum sanitation, and more), what they all had in common was the young founders’ personal connection to their respective social causes. This is clearly the power behind the program – to enable the belief that even at a young age (or especially at a young age) you can tackle an issue in your community and have a positive impact.

I was reminded of the first question the Fellows were asked when we came together at the start of the program in September, Whose shoulders do you stand on? All our responses were unique, but it was clear that someone had touched each one of us early in our lives to help establish a foundation from which we could grow and develop a strong belief in ourselves.

Whether the social ventures succeed or fail is secondary – what matters most is that each person involved in the program felt empowered to create change. No doubt, the experience will continue to fuel their personal & professional growth. Of all the events I have been to this year as an Acumen Fellow – I feel no one deserved the stage more than these young people.

YV Event and other 022


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