A world of rapid change is a complex landscape to navigate. In the past, we had hierarchies in our societies and institutions that kept the world organized. Today we live in a more decentralized world. Institutions are flat, open, and highly networked. Knowledge is no longer enough. While we do not know what tomorrow’s problems are going to be, we know there will be many, and we know we will need everyone equipped to deal with them.We all must be empathic changemakers, able to collaborate, create, and act constructively in ambiguous and changing environments.
Despite how the world is changing, only a handful of children are consistently provided with the learning environments and opportunities necessary to help them develop the skills they need to thrive. We must shift this pattern. We urgently must see young people as changemakers and help them develop the skills they need to be empathetic, ethical actors who will positively impact their own lives, their communities, their schools, their companies, their countries and the world, now and throughout their lives.
Ashoka seeks to catalyze a global “framework change” to transform how society understands success in growing up. The fact that every parent and educator today knows his or her child or student must be able to read to succeed is the result of a previous societal framework change around literacy—from the old paradigm of literacy of the elite to the new paradigm of literacy for all. today, everyone knows that a child who doesn’t learn to read will get left behind.
Now we face a new shift, from the old paradigm of education for repetitive function jobs in hierarchical environments, to the new paradigm of education for changemaking in fluid environments. to thrive in a world of rapid change, every child must grow up developing the essential skills of empathy, teamwork, leadership, and changemaking.