We want to connect with you to inform you about:

  1. Guiding principles of the Ashoka Europe Fellowship Program for these times
  2. Our decision for offline events until the end of June 2020: We transform them into online experiences or postpone them to a later point of time (find out more below)
  3. Next steps and where to find information
  4. Turning a tricky situation around: What are the potential opportunities?
  5. Closing thoughts: Health, community & leading by example
     

1. Guiding principles of the Ashoka Europe Fellowship Program for these times

  • Safety: We want this community to be healthy and safe. We encourage all members to take care of themselves – this is the foundation for being there for others. We wholeheartedly care about the wellbeing, health and sense of safety of this community—this is at the center of our thoughts.
  • Community – We are in this together: We are an inclusive community of Ashoka Fellows, ASNs, Ashoka partners, Ashoka Staff and Change Leaders. It is a core value of this program, and of Ashoka in general, to live a strong community culture by being open, accessible and supportive. In times of uncertainty regarding this virus and the potential risk of offline events, we are eager to find creative solutions and build bridges that allow us to still come together in a safe way. We will do this by inventing new formats and creating transformative online experiences.
  • Mindfulness: It is important to take this situation seriously and to react in a responsible and mindful way. We encourage our community to not only focus on the risks and dangers, but also to actively search for ways to contribute to your own and our community's health, wellbeing and safety.
  • Standing up for one another: As this new virus poses a higher risk to people who are already more vulnerable (elderly people or people with preexisting medical conditions), we must all stand together to protect each other and find empowering ways to deal with this situation. We want to continue our changemaking journeys by supporting each other and, at the same time, take care of the most vulnerable people in our community. If someone becomes infected by the virus, we won’t let them down. We are here, we are connected and no one will be left isolated in this situation. We ask all members of this community to engage with one another in a supportive way and not let stigma or fear takeover.
  • Openness to the diversity of mindsets: We respect each and everyone’s personal reception of the situation. We understand and appreciate your judgement regardless of whether you are afraid, cautious or remain lighthearted and optimistic. All mindsets and mentalities are welcome here!
  • Solidarity & Empathy: Times of uncertainty allow communities to prove their value by showing up, being there, listening and uniting. Let's strengthen our connections in new and creative ways. We are in this together!

 

2. Our decision for meetings until the end of June 2020:

With the guiding principles as the core of our thoughts and actions, we have decided to invest energy in transforming our meetings from now into virtual community experiences. We are considering postponing some events to a later point in time where virtual community experiences are not possible. We want to act responsibly towards our participants and not expose them to any risk. In addition, there have already been cancellations connected to our events from partners from locations.

As we are in this together, we do not wish to exclude anyone from the much-needed community experiences during these times. We will put our heads and hearts into creating transformative online experiences where everyone can take part, regardless of whether they might be currently under a travel ban or in a vulnerable health condition. The community of Ashoka Europe Fellowship is there for you!


In detail, this means:

a) These are the events that will be TRANSFORMED into virtual experiences:  

  • The System Change workshop (originally planned to happen as an offline workshop on the 30th of March 2020 in London), will be held as an online meeting instead The module leads will inform the cohort about the detailed agenda in time. We’re excited to still get together with you – please keep Monday, the 30th of March free for this!
     
  • The Replication & Transfer workshop (originally planned as an offline workshop on March 31 – April 1 in London) will be held as an online session. The team is excited to try out a new way and co-create an online solution with you! Please keep these dates free and stay tuned for further information!  
     
  • The New Leadership Workshop ‘Everyone Leads’ (originally planned to happen as an offline workshop on the 27th - 29th of April in Munich) will be transformed into an online experience. Please still keep the dates free in your calendar – we are excited to get together with you online!
     
  • The Social Finance Workshop II (originally planned to happen as a 2-day offline workshop on the 21st - 22nd of May in Madrid) will be transformed into an online experience. If you signed up, please keep the dates free and stay tuned.

 

b) These events will be POSTPONED to a later point in time: 

 

c) Events where the decision is still PENDING:

  • New Leadership workshop “Collective Impact” (originally planned as a 2.5-day offline workshop on 24th - 26th of June in Belgium). We are eagerly assessing all kinds of opportunities for this event and will inform you shortly.

 



As this situation is developing rapidly, so are our efforts in supporting this community! We will keep you informed through our website, our community newsletter (sign up here or check our Blog) and by updating this information leaflet and this blogpost regularly.
The status of event changes can be checked in our event calendar, which will provide an overview of the situation.

 

4. Turning a tricky situation around: What are the potential opportunities?

Yes—let’s transform this situation into a community opportunity! With flexibility, creativity and joined forces, we can live and experience real community support during these times. This is a chance for us to grow more closer together via new and innovative ways!

We believe there is a learning opportunity in almost every situation. As a team, we decided to take the situation seriously while also focusing on the innovative, positive opportunities it can bring about. We are investing energy and creativity to ensure (online) experiences for the best of our community. In the weeks and months to come we will be eagerly learning, innovating and experimenting with digital training capacities. We will develop new formats and interaction models for happenings in virtual spaces.

We will be sure to engage with our community while becoming more accessible, replicable and sustainable at the same time!
 

5. Closing thoughts: Health, community & leading by example

Lastly, we appreciate that this unforeseen situation strengthens our awareness about the following:

  • Your immune system and your wellbeing are always worth being looked after – not only in times of the coronavirus: Let’s embrace this situation as a reminder that our health and wellbeing are invaluable and taking care of them should never be a second priority. Healthy food, daily exercise, breaks, enough sleep and rest are crucial for all humans and for the strength of our immune system (this doesn’t replace a professional medical advice, it’s just a reminder of taking care!)! As changemakers we can be inspiring examples of self-care and wellbeing.
  • Awareness about the actions we can take:
    It’s simple: Washing your hands is the most effective way to prevent an epidemic, and to fight the seasonal wave of flu infections at the same time. Soap can save lives! You can find more information about how to act in your daily life to prevent the spreading of many diseases including COVID-19 below. Please read through them carefully and be an example to others: 
  • Call for experts: If you are an expert in creating virtual experiences – please reach out to us! We are eager to expand our knowledge together and learn and co-create this challenge with you!

Let’s reach out to one another and be there for each other during these times of uncertainty!

We are happy and proud to have a community that will not let anyone down, as it’s a place of empathy, of real changemaking and of lifting each other up. We strongly believe that by joining forces, by learning with and from each other and co-creating solutions, we can overcome almost any challenge.

Let’s show the world the power of community, empathy and connection. Let’s be a leading example of strengthening our core values in these changing times.

If you have any further questions, please reach out to us at any time!

Your Ashoka Europe Fellowship Team