New Leadership

This module is for change leaders to reflect, innovate, and deepen their ways of leading, organizing, and being - in order to empower their teams, and shift systems & mindsets.

“I most valued the time for self-reflection and to have an insight into how transformative self-leadership could be in a team with regard to ownership, responsibilities, motivations and even emotional connectedness”

(Former participant of the Team Leadership module)

Apply to the brand-new 2020/2021 module here:

What is the New Leadership module all about?

We provide this co-learning space for change leaders to reflect, question, innovate, and deepen ways of leading, organizing, and being to drive system and mindset change effectively. Join to acquire practical leadership skills and strategies on the two levels of your team and your system.

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 have two exciting New Leadership offers for our community: 

The offer 

Join our inaugural course on ‘Leading Powerful Collaboration for System Change’ to deepen strategy and leadership skills for effective multi-stakeholder collaboration. This course is developed in partnership with CoCreative – global thought leaders and decades long practitioners in the field of collaborative action and features concrete tools and frameworks to employ in your multi-stakeholder initiatives. 

Driving deep social change most often includes working collaboratively with other stakeholders on shifting a system together. As reported by the UN as well: “transitioning towards more sustainable and resilient societies requires an integrated approach that recognizes that these challenges —and their solutions—are interrelated”.  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 work in our leadership quest to drive impact collectively, let alone learn from one another and from diverse sectors.  

This online course creates the opportunity and space for you to deepen your approach to facilitating multi-stakeholder collaboration for system change.  

We will explore various topics through following the journey and examples of successful collaborations deep dive into key lessons, enabling conditions, patterns and frameworks that supported their success. Participants are then invited to reflect on how the learnings, inform their awareness, intention, and choices as leaders --and where they feel confident or not in working this way. 

  • Weekly online learning materials: Recordings, practical applications and exercises to support your collaboration work.
  • Weekly group calls for peer-to-peer learning based on videos and exercises for Collaborations strategy development: Every Friday from February 2021 to March 2021, at 3-4.30 pm CET. The exact dates: Feb 5, Feb 12, Feb 19, Feb 26 | Mar 5, Mar 12, Mar 19, Mar 26 
  • Closing presentations and feedback by participants: April 9, 2021 at 1-5pm CET. 


Why you should apply 

We welcome social entrepreneurs and change leaders who are either driving a multi-stakeholder collaborative initiative for systems change or are planning to do so.  

We will explore topics such as: building strong alignment, convening and organizing networks, developing insights into a system and prioritizing critical shifts for the system, using culturally integrative approaches to our collaboration, maintaining momentum, building a strong culture and funding strategies for multi-stakeholder collaboration. 

This course supports you to apply learnings directly to your collaboration work (present or future).  

Who should apply 

The content of the online course is curated for Ashoka Fellows and their leadership staff, but it is open to other participants subject to an application process. 

This course is for you if...  

  • want to expand your range of choices for how to collaborate as a leader so that you can act with increased capacity, confidence and courage 

  • .. you want to gain new insights, strategies, processes and resources available to apply directly to your collaboration work 

  • want to leave with tools and methodologies to facilitate multi-stakeholder collaborations with alignment, engagement & momentum 

  • want to establish strong peer connections and exchange knowledge with other social entrepreneurs and change leaders — also beyond the course. 

“I found it a wonderful and inspiring experience. The learning space you create is interesting, genuine and fun. It has given me so much valuable input!”  
(Participant from the Collective Action online learning retreat in June / July 2020) 


We are collaborating with Russ Gaskin & Heather Equinoss from CoCreative to bring this online course. 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.  

For the module leads from the Ashoka Europe Fellowship team, see their profiles at the end of this page.  


  • Ashoka Fellows and/or their team members | Join for free 

  • ASNs (members of the Ashoka Support Network) | Join for free 

  • Change Leaders in Education | Join for free 

  • Partners of Ashoka | The regular costs of 2.000€ apply (core partners of the Ashoka Europe Fellowship Program join for free. If you want to become a partner reach out!) 

  • Other interested change leaders | The regular costs of 2.000€ apply* 

  • Ashoka Staff | Join for free  

*You can ask for a stipend in the application form. We have limited stipends for participants in need, so please evaluate and request a stipend only if financial reasons hinder your participation. 
If you have any questions around this offer, please reach out directly to Nicole Pagan!
Application deadline is January 15th 

Dates: May 7, 2021 – June 21, 2021 (exact times to be announced, please stay in touch through our newslettermail
Where: Online
The content: 
Learn about shared leadership and organization for effective changemaking within your team! 
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.  

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, Partners and other change leaders (subject to an application process). 
"It helped me to improve and be aware of the empathic mind, and seeing people "as a whole", which I feel is one of the most important things in life/work."
(Former participant of the Team Leadership course)

Why you should apply: 

  • For Ashoka Fellows: This is for you, if… 
    • you want to explore best practices and methodologies for teams & organisations to share leadership
    • you want to reflect about the internal & external factors that empower teams & organisations to share leadership.
    • you want to reflect on your personal role as a leader in empowering teams to co-lead and collaborate.
    • you want to take with you practical new leadership tools & approaches – to bring back to your organization.
  • For Ashoka Staff: This is for you, if… 
    • you want to support the Ashoka community in developing a shared leadership understanding and unlock your own leadership potential. 
  • For ASNs (members of the Ashoka Support Network), Partners of Ashoka and other Change Leaders: This is for you, if... 
    • you are interested to apply the learnings about a shared understanding of leadership to strengthen or develop the way you design teams and organizations. 
    • you are keen to support the social entrepreneurship sector with your own leadership experience and contribute to the discussion of this crucial topic.
    • you are keen to connect with some of the leading social entrepreneurs to co-create on a new understanding of organisational leadership. 


  • Ashoka Fellows: The program is open and participation is free for all Ashoka Fellows.
  • 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 €2000. You can require a stipend for your participation, indicating it in the application form.
If you have any questions around this offer, please reach out directly to Michela Fenech!

Meet the module leads: 


Michela Fenech co-created and co-leads the Ashoka Europe Fellowship program including the New Leadership & Wellbeing Co-Learning Modules and co-facilitated the development of the newly established Elders Council for Social Entrepreneurs. She is also a Product, Program and Partnership Lead for the Ashoka Globalizer Program, Ashoka's leading accelerator for system change strategies. Michela is interested in creating learning spaces that explore and support questions on the leadership and wellbeing for system change and collective impact.



Florian Rutsch co-created and co-leads the Ashoka Europe Fellowship program including its co-learning modules on system change, new leadership, and wellbeing as well as its ecosystem initiatives on funding and support for systems change. He co-published the report Embracing Complexity: Towards a shared understanding of funding systems change which is a collaboration among several leading sector partners and based on, among others, his previous report Seven Steps for Funding System Change. He is also a co-creator of Catalyst 2030 and the Elders Council as well as a thought partner in the Ashoka Globalizer, Ashoka's leading accelerator for system change strategies.


nicole round.png

Nicole Pagan is Project Manager at the Ashoka Europe Fellowship Program. She is also co-lead at Ashoka Switzerland for the selection and support of Ashoka Fellows. Nicole studied Political Sciences, with a focus on International Relations, at the University of Bologna and at Sciences Po. Alongside her studies, she dedicated to organisations in the fields of anti-corruption, migration and climate change. She is strongly passionate about these issues, carrying additional projects on the side.

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