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Ashoka POV

Jul 15, 2015




  • Accentures Corporate Citizenship missionof Skills to Succeed and the Ashoka Changemaker School programme building the skills for Everyone a Changemaker

    An Ashoka programme supported by Accenture for its first edition with the objective of building a network of Changemaker Schools in Belgium, as part of a wider global Ashoka initiative aimed at empowering youth with the skills they need to succeed in the world of tomorrow

  • ACCENTUREIn the context of the global partnership between Ashoka and Accenture, I take a personal interest in ensuring thatalso in Belgium, we do support Ashokain a very concrete and pragmatic way. The Changemaker School initiative specifically is very fascinating as it links to the future generations and the essential role of the schools and our teachers. I was pleased to take part in this new programmes kick-off meeting and exchange with experts in education on the importance of establishing bridges between private, public and associative actors in order to raise awareness, develop synergies and co-create.

    Olivier GillerotCountry Managing Director forAccenture Belgium and Luxemburg

    ASHOKAThis world requires a new paradigm for growing up and therefore also for education. Just as 50 to 100 years ago society took the radical step of saying that every person must master written language, now we must insist that every person have the social skills necessary to be an effective, confident changemaker before age 21.

    As a leader in promoting social entrepre-neurship globally over 30 years, Ashoka needs to reverse three centuries of walling the for-profit and non-profit sectors off from one another. When you think for-profit and non-profit, you most often think of entities with either zero social return or zero return on capital. Clearly, theres some opportunity in the spectrum between those extremes. This is where our collaboration with Accenture has the most value.

    Bill Drayton Founder of Ashoka

    ABOUT ASHOKARanked 17th most influential NGO in the world in 2012 by Global Journal, Ashoka is the largest network of social entrepreneurs worldwide with nearly 3,000 Ashoka Fellows in 85 countries. With 42 M$ of annual budget, Ashoka provides start-up financing, professional support services, and connections to a global network across the business and social sectors. Website:


  • THE FRAMEWORKOF THE PROGRAMMEAshoka as a global leader in social innovation - has gained insight through its thousands of social entrepreneurs ( Fellows ) from its network on the most impactful strategy for an Everyone a Changemaker world. This gave rise to Ashoka stretching its boundaries to education and the launching of the Changemaker School programme in Belgium as part of a wider European initiative.

    Accentures role within the Belgian programme was to offer project management support to Ashoka in adapting the processes, materials and implementation practices in order to identify, screen and select schools according to a set of defined criteria, before structuring the Ashoka methodology for future editions. This was based on the learnings and the insights from the different stakeholders working in or around education that were engaged on the project:

    10 Ashoka European country teams

    14 French and Flemish experts

    About 50 strategic organisations

    About 100 professionals

    THE KEY RESULTS 22 schools (Flemish and French speaking) were visited in Belgium by a member of the Accenture and Ashoka Belgium team, accompanied by an expert in education.

    8 schools were selected and presented to the Ashoka European team for the second round.

    4 schools (2 Flemish and 2 French speaking) were selected as the first Changemaker schools in Belgium after successfully being validated by a panel of independent experts.

    This achievement by the Belgian team, who were the first to select their Changemaker Schools in Europe, contributes to an international network of Changemaker schools.

    The success of the first edition of the programme underwrites Ashokas strategy to:

    reiterate the programme for 3 consecutive years

    increase the size of the network through the school selection process

    develop the wider community around the initiative

    raise general awareness and change the conversations around education

    accelerate a paradigm shift in education that empowers more people to become Changemakers from a young age.


  • This story contrasts with the often pessimistic messages conveyed about education on issues such as:

    Excess rigidity/standardisation annihilating creativity and in-novation levers of success are not unique and depend on the schools situation (1)

    Disengagement of school staff and students due to lack of recognition and respect teachers are recognised as the most important factors of success (1)

    absenteeism is still a problem as 11% of students report skipping classes or days of school on a regular basis in Belgium (2)

    Stigmatised failure and inefficient use of resources 40% of students in Belgium repeat a school year at least once before the age of 15 (2)

    Social-economic prejudice in education differences in students socio-economic background impact their performances more strongly in Belgium than the OECD averages

    Violence whether moral, physical or material : strong correlation between violence in school and students backgrounds, but also educational practices focused solely on competence learning and the level of coherence of the leadership teams (3)

    Therefore, even for an educational system that on average performs above OECD averages in topics such as reading, mathematics, and science (2), there are more subtle parameters and skill sets that need to be taken into account to produce a performant and fairer educational system that better prepares the youth for their future.

    The good news is that stories of schools that encourage their youth to become actors of positive change are in fact not so unique. In Belgium (and in several other countries), we set out to find these visionary schools that provide their children with the skills and the environment to become Changemakers.

    It is the desire to enhance young peoples learning environment and to build the Skills to Succeed of the upcoming generation that has motivated Accenture in supporting this programme. For Ashoka, this project represents a way of changing the conversations around education to a tipping point and promoting the emer-gence of a new paradigm in education one that is aligned with the Everyone a Changemaker vision.

    Source: (1) How the worlds most improved school systems keep getting better (McKinsey, 2010) (2) OECD PISA Report - Belgium, 2013(3) Les cls de la gestion scolaire, Benoit Galand (InDirect #9, 2008)


    Let me share an experience that very much moved me. At a Youth Venture meeting, over comes a young girl. I could just feel her power. Sheimmediately tells us: Im 12 years old (because shes sick of having people think she is 8) My brothers autistic and all through school I would cry when he was mis-treated, but now we fixed that. When any of the special students (with dis-abilities) is mistreated, we meet and decide how to intervene -- and we then do so, and were very persistent. Everyone listening to her knew that she will never be afraid, that she already is a changemaker. She has her power. And she has also brought her team right along with her into an everyone a changemaker culture. If a student sees a problem or has an idea, the culture says: Go ahead and dream a solution and build a team and make it happen. Thats the norm. Thats how the world works. No community or country will do well in a world defined by change unless everyone is a changemaker and has the necessary underlying abilities. Both schools and companies must become everyone a changemaker places.

    Bill Drayton, Founder of Ashoka


    APPROACHThe selection process gave rise to very profound reflexions on factors such as network, educational orientation, geo-graphical location, socio-economical background etc. The selected schools, though diverse, were assessed/challenged against a common set of criteria the Changemaker School criteria :

    Vision: to foster pupils as changemakers with the skills of empathy, creativity, leadership and teamwork

    Innovation: to demonstrate an ability and willingness to develop and test new ideas

    Influence: to inspire other schools and share their best practices

    Leadership & Team: that are working towards a common vision

    Progressing from the theoretical methodology (as shown in Figure 1), to the desk research work, and going into the field - discovering not only the challenges that schools face daily, but also very inspiring and motivated men and women, bringing creative solutions and a vision full of hope - was an exciting, rewarding and eye-opening experience

    Joachim WautersAccenture consultant on the project

    SELF-EVALUATIONSchools fill a self-evaluation form based on the Ashoka Changemaker Schools criteria

    ASHOKA 2ND OPINIONPre-selected schools are presented to the Ashoka Europe team for validation

    NOMINATIONSchools are nomina-ted by the Ashoka network comprisedof education experts, Fellows etc.

    EXPLORATIONPerform desk research and site visit

    EXPERTS PANELFinal panel evaluated the selected schools to make final decision


    Support network with experts in educationA group of experts in the field of education, supporting and advising throughout the programme

    Pipelineof schoolsin Belgium



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