Informed and engaged: Ashoka social entrepreneurs connect at Newseum

Communities / Article

Above: Bill Drayton kicks off the 2013 Ashoka Future Forum. 

An event fueled by the passion for change starts today at a venue fueled by the passion for news. The Ashoka Future Forum, a summit of entrepreneurs and social innovators, will be held Thursday and Friday at the Newseum in Washington D.C., with support from Knight Foundation. 

Knight’s primary focus is the placemaking track, which includes four action-oriented discussions:

  • Opening your city: explores experiences and actions that help foster social attachment and openness.
  • Creating your city: examines the challenges facing urbanization and the value of meaningful aesthetics in our built and natural environments.
  • Engaging your city: considers innovative initiatives and projects from throughout the country and the unique ways in which they have engaged community members in their solutions.
  • Rewiring your city: surveys projects that prove there are better ways to get things done and more efficient ways to make a difference.

But the forum, and Knight’s interest in it, is broader—reflecting our own core programing with topics such as how to use new media for change, Big Data’s future and storytelling for movement building. At their root, all of these focus areas explore the potential for positive change.

Ashoka, which Knight has supported for the past five years, has helped win recognition for social entrepreneurship as one of the most powerful available tools for change. The gathering of these community-based changemakers at the Newseum underscores Knight’s belief in the power of informed and engaged communities to shape their futures.

The forum will include members of the Ashoka Support Network, a global community of more than 300 business people – including top executives, investment bankers, venture capitalists and consultants – who share a belief in entrepreneurship as an engine for economic and social development. The summit also will include Ashoka Fellows, who are leading social entrepreneurs working in more than 60 countries.

The hashtag for the two-day conference is #FutureForum.

By Jeff Coates, strategic initiatives associate at Knight Foundation

— By Jeff Coates, Knight Staff