New Leadership



“The retreat had a good mix of theory, exchange of experience and time for personal development. I got maximum support and energy for my next work.”

(Participants from the 2018 edition)



Apply here:


Ashoka Fellows are not only elected because of the impact their pattern-changing idea has on society. They also see that to drive big positive change on a system level in a world that is complex, interconnected and fast-changing, they need to create a space where everyone can participate in co-creating change. Therefore, to successfully lead systemic change, the core role of a leader shifts to that of creating spaces and roles that enable others to contribute to and lead change. This means questioning and innovating on how we lead and how we organize for system impact.

We are building a co-learning space around leadership for change leaders to reflect, question, innovate, and deepen their ways of leading, organizing, and being that are required for shifting systems and mindsets.​


OFFER: Virtual Retreat Collective Impact: Leadership for system change & collective action

Dates: 5 sessions in the afternoon (CEST) of 4,5 hours each

  • JUNE 24th - 26th 2020: 13:00 - 17:30 CEST
  • JULY 9th - 10th 2020: 13:00 - 17:30 CEST

(with practical applications and reflection work in between)

Deadline of application: June, 1st 2020.

Location: Online

Please note: Due to the coronavirus development in Europe, the 'Collective Impact Retreat' will be either postponed or transformed into an online experience. The team is recently taking a decision on this and we will inform all participants as soon as anyhow possible.

All updates and information about changes due to the coronavirus can be found in this information PDF and in this blogpost (will be both updated regularly).



Each Social Entrepreneur in the Ashoka Community is driving big shifts in their respective fields and in most cases, this will include working collaboratively with other stakeholders on shifting a system together.  

However, fostering effective collaboration that drives systemic change is difficult and requires a different type of leadership and different processes to be successful.

Yet, we rarely take the time to reflect on what works and what doesn’t in our leadership quest to drive impact collectively, let alone learn from one another and from diverse sectors. ​

This online retreat creates the opportunity and space for you to take a step back from your day-to-day activities and rethink or deepen your personal role as a collaborative leader and your approach to facilitating multi-stakeholder collaboration for system change.

Why apply:  

This online co-learning space will support you to:

  • Deepen & Strengthen your leadership role to enable effective collective action for system change  
  • Leave with new awareness, mindsets, and approaches, and a sense of the next steps on your learning path  
  • Explore your collaboration challenges and relevant mindsets, tools, strategies, processes, and resources available to support you (including what works and what doesn’t)
  • Connect with other Ashoka Fellows/Systemic Leaders and learn from their experiences and challenges.
  • Leave with a learning and support community that you can draw on


Who can apply: 

This workshop session is open to Ashoka Fellows, their co-leaders, and other Systemic Leaders in the Ashoka Community (Ashoka staff, ASNs, or Partners) who are either leading a collaboration for system change or are planning to do so. 


We are collaborating with Russ Gaskin from CoCreative to bring this online retreat. CoCreative has decades of practice in facilitating and cultivating multi-year, multi-stakeholder, cross-sectoral collaborative processes that contribute to system change. Ranging from:  

  • an 18-year collaboration that has catalyzed massive innovation and growth in the global solar industry  
  • to a global network of 400 hundred human rights workers who co-designed a new approach to advocacy based on rigorous measurement of countries’ human rights performance
  • to a collaboration that is dramatically expanding the role of U.S. health systems from providers of clinical services to wealth building catalysts in low-income communities
  • to a diverse network in which the world’s largest electronics brands are collaborating with workers to eliminate exposures to the most hazardous process chemicals used in electronics factories around the world, and many more. 



  • Ashoka Fellows & their Co-Leaders: Participation is free for all Ashoka Fellows in Europe.  
  • Ashoka Support Network members: Members of the Ashoka Support Network also join for free, subject to a selection process (see “Who can apply”).
  • Other Partners and Change Leaders: The cost of the module is €2'000 and application is subject to a selection process (see “Who can apply”). If you require a stipend for your participation, please indicate it in the application form. 

If you have any questions please reach out directly!


Apply to join this virtual retreat 'collective impact':




OFFER: 'Everyone leads': Empowering teams to lead and collaborate 


Dates: 27th – 29th April

Location: Munich  

Please note: Due to the coronavirus development in Europe, the 'Everyone leads' workshop will be transformed into an online experience. The module leads will inform the participants about the detailed agenda in time. The team is excited to meet everyone online. To all participants: Please keep the dates free for this! 
All updates and information about changes due to the coronavirus can be found in this information PDF and in this blogpost (will be both updated regularly).


Description: How do we design self-managed teams of shared responsibility and power?  

Ashoka Fellow organizations seek to shift systems and enable large scale change – in a world of complexity, interdependence, uncertainty and constant change and disruption.  

This is only possible with new models for leadership and organization: self-managed teams with distributed leadership that allow for open collaboration and co-creation, for entrepreneurial freedom and risk-taking, for empathy and seeing the whole person in every colleague and individual we work with. 

This sounds great and like “New Work”, right? But how can one get there? In practice, it raises lots of crucial questions for teams: 

  • What does “organizing oneself” and “appearing as a whole person” mean in concrete terms for us as team members and colleagues? 

  • How can we jointly develop a self-organized collaboration model? 

  • More specifically, what (meta-)competencies and processes do we need to work together in self-organized competence-based systems? 

  • And why is “inner work” and my and our authenticity so relevant? 

Inspired by many Ashoka Fellows, Bettina Rollow (an experienced organizational developer) and Rainer Höll (a member of the German Ashoka team) have helped to transform the German Ashoka team into a self-managed organization with no formal leaders and hierarchical titles. 

In this workshop, they will share their methodology and experience and reflect with Ashoka Fellows and other Change Leaders how they are planning (or have mastered or attempted) similar transformations. 


Who can apply: 

This retreat is open to Ashoka Fellows with one of their team members. Limited spaces are also available for members of the Ashoka Support Network and Partners, who can apply through the dedicated button or refer to the Partner With Us page.



  • Ashoka Fellows: The program is open and participation is free for all Ashoka Fellows in Europe. Travel and accomodation costs are not covered.*

  • Ashoka Support Network members: Members of the Ashoka Support Network also join for free, subject to a selection process. Find out more about the Ashoka Support Network here.

  • Other Partners and Change Leaders: The cost of the module is €2'000. You can require a stipend for your participation, indicating it in the application form.



*In case you require a travel stipend to participate – encompassing flight or accommodation – please indicate in the registration. We have limited travel stipends for participants in need, so please evaluate and request a stipend only if financial reasons hinder your participation.


Knowledge Creation

We are creating a toolkit of best practice resources, and examples from the Ashoka Universe for facilitating collaboration for system change and collective impact. Apply or nominate a resource here if you have a case study or resources that we can learn from.


Apply to the 2020 edition of this Module:




“The retreat was a great moment to get away from the day to day work and have space and distance to consider my role and position as a leader. If I want the project to have a large scale impact, how does the organisation have to change? What am I going to let go? Where am I more useful to achieve this larger impact? To me, these type of questions are crucial and if we don't step back and connect as we did in the Paris retreat, they are the questions we hide from ourselves or postpone.”

(participant from the 2018 edition)

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