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Ashoka: Innovators for the Public requests candidate nominations for Ashoka Fellowships
November, 2002

Ashoka is a global non-profit organization that searches the world for social entrepreneurs-practical visionaries with unprecedented ideas for social change in their communities. Ashoka identifies and invests in these extraordinary individuals-known as Ashoka Fellows when elected-when no one else will in two ways. It does so through stipends and professional services that allow them to focus fulltime on their ideas for leading social change in education and youth development, health care, environment, human rights, access to technology and economic development.

In order for Ashoka to identify and support these social entrepreneurs, we rely on an extensive network of individuals who are familiar with Ashoka and especially Ashoka's selection criteria:

A knock-out Initial Test: A New Idea - Is the person possessed by a truly new idea for solving a public need? Is it a truly transformational innovation, or just a tweaking of how things are now done? How is it different from what others do in the field?

Creativity: Is the person creative-both in vision/goal-setting and in problem solving? How creatively does the person approach opportunities and obstacles-be they organizational or political? Does he/she create original solutions?

Entrepreneurial Quality: Is the person so committed to his/her vision that it is impossible for him/her to rest until the vision becomes the new pattern across society? Is the person willing to spend years relentlessly grappling with myriad, practical "how to" challenges (how to get to national scale, how to make the pieces fit together, etc)?

Social Impact of the Idea: Is the idea likely to solve an important social problem at the national level or beyond? Is the idea itself sufficiently new, practical, and useful that people working in the field will adopt it once it has been demonstrated?

Ethical Fiber: Is the person totally honest? Would you instinctively trust him/her? (A quick intuitive test: Imagine yourself in danger and ask if you would feel fully comfortable if the candidate were with you.) Is his/her motivation deeply and firmly rooted in a commitment to serve others?

To nominate such individuals simply send us some substantiation as to the above and their contact details and we will do the rest. To learn more about Ashoka, please visit our website at or contact Ashoka's Zimbabwe Representative, Margaret Zunguze at

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