Last Fall I started working for Ashoka’s Changemakers, the leading global organization working to promote social entrepreneurship. My company, Girls Fight Back, was humming along on its own, and I’d been focused on growing it for almost a decade. I needed a break, wanted to drink from a new well and wondered if the skills in social entrepreneurship I had developed might help someone else.
Over the past 6 months working with Changemakers I’ve spoken with some of the smartest, most macro-thinking people I’ve ever met. And while I’ve always been lucky to know plenty of intelligent people, the way these individuals innovate under the constraints of oppression, poverty, corruption and violence leaves me awestruck. I help these social entrepreneurs from around the globe make their efforts more scalable, get their ideas funded and secure attention from major foundations and governmental agencies. In the process, many of them have been featured in the media, which often spawns more attention, more funding and more opportunities to advance their mission. Rewarding doesn’t begin to explain the gratifying nature of my work.
Just when I thought I was already too intoxicated on inspiration by the people I collaborate with each day, I got a call from a Director at Changemakers, asking if I’d be willing to lead a new campaign that would focus on the innovations of women. After all, March 8, 2011 is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, and it was time to bust out our best champagne! After the Director explained her vision of the campaign I replied, “So, you want me to plan 31 days of global girl power for the Changemakers blog? Umm, yes please.”
Maya Angelou once said, “How important it is to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!”
We couldn’t agree more, and so it began.
Me and a team of 20+ people have worked around the clock to find the most accomplished women in social change on the planet. They fall into several themes, speak many different languages and all vary in their experience levels. But one thing they all have in common: These women are changing the world. Through sports. Through technology. Though scalable ideas. Through health. Through economics. They are enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, thinkers, dreamers, innovators and globalizers. They are making the next 100 years even more promising for our daughters, and their daughters. And I am so grateful for all of them.
MORE ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN: Each of the 31 days in March we will feature a female social innovator. She will offer advice to other women who want to make a difference, and candidly share her own journey in making this world where everyone is a changemaker. Largely a viral campaign, please follow @changemakers on Twitter and track our daily heroines with the hashtag #changemakeHERS. Re-tweets and shares on Facebook are much appreciated!