3 Dutch Social Innovators have been inducted into the Global Ashoka Fellowship, of which 3,200+ of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs are part of. Joost van Engen of Healthy Entrepreneurs, Emer Beamer of Designathon Works, and Bas van Abel of Fairphone are Ashoka’s newest fellows from the Netherlands.
As Ashoka Fellows, Emer, Joost and Bas join the likes of Nobel Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi, and Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales in a league of brilliant and inspiring individuals. With their election into the fellowship, the 3 Dutch social entrepreneurs are recognized to have groundbreaking, innovative solutions to social problems, demonstrating great potential to change patterns across society. They are seen as having an unrivaled commitment to bold new ideas and are proving that compassion, creativity, and collaboration are tremendous forces for change.
Joost van Engen: By innovating a truly sustainable supply chain including the last-mile, one that is independent of national healthcare systems, Joost van Engen is creating sustainable access to essential medicines, hygiene products and supplements for low income families in remote areas. This is done together with providing health education and some health consultation, thereby contributing to the improved quality of the day-to-day lives of families, specifically for those in remote areas in low and middle income countries.
Emer Beamer: With her Designathon Works learning method grounded on design thinking, the child is understood as a complete human being endowed with great creative capacity. Through this method, Emer Beamer enables teachers to tap into the natural space of play within a child and among children, to stimulate their interest and engagement in social issues, and from there, challenge them to design solutions for these issues aided by the use of modern technology.
Bas van Abel: By designing and producing a smartphone, Bas van Abel is showing how to innovate industry fairness & sustainability standards, influence consumer behaviour, raise awareness, save natural resources, and improve the lives of many workers in the whole supply/production chain — fueling change instead of conflict, all over the world.
Similar to Ashoka Fellows who have been previously elected into the Fellowship, Joost, Emer and Bas went through a rigorous search and selection process. The process looks into five main areas: the “new-ness” of the idea, creativity, entrepreneurial quality, social impact and ethical fiber. Having been successfully elected, all fellows gain lifetime support, and membership into the world’s leading network of social entrepreneurs.
Ashoka is founded on the idea that “there is nothing greater than a powerful idea in the hands of a social entrepreneur” – Bill Drayton, Ashoka Founder. From its inception in the 1980’s Ashoka has provided professional support services, start-up financing, connections to a global network across the business and social sectors, and a platform for people dedicated to changing the world. In 2014 a local office in the Netherlands was established to find, select, and support leading Dutch social innovators doing system-changing work. Joost, Emer and Bas, join Dennis Karpes, Lucas Simons, Jos de Blok and Noa Lodeizen as fellows from the Ashoka Netherlands community. Read about all 7 fellows here.
Together with the newly elected fellows, 6 Dutch schools were inducted into the Ashoka Changemaker School Network, of which 200+ schools are a part of. Learn more about them here.