Ashoka's Community Greens Executive Director
Arlington (United States of America)
Ashoka is the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs and a platform for transformative change for society.
It is known for its rigor in finding individuals who hold a fundamentally new vision of what is possible in the world. These people are the driving forces behind important innovations in health, rights, environment, education, and other areas of human need.
Over the last three decades, Ashoka has supported over 3,500 of these innovators in 92 countries and connected them to a collaborative network of peers to advance their work and catalyze transformative change. They are known as Ashoka Fellows.
These Fellows effect change on a systemic level addressing underlying issues. Ashoka’s 2018 Global Fellows Study revealed that 90% of Fellows report having seen their idea replicated by independent groups or institutions, 93% report having changed markets and/or public policy, and 97% report that their strategy focuses on mindset shift.
Ashoka is now democratizing the skills of social entrepreneurs in order to increase the number of changemakers worldwide. We are creating a radically new world where problems no longer outrun solutions – and where everyone plays a role; a world where more and more people respond efficiently and imaginatively to social problems, and where each person has the confidence, skills, and support to drive change. We are creating an Everyone a Changemaker™ world.
Like its Fellows, the Executive Director of Community Greens must be an outstanding changemaker who has founded or co-founded an organization or substantially transformed how an organization views itself and conducts its business.
Ashoka is seeking a serial entrepreneur dedicated to the commons, the sharing economy, and an Everyone a Changemaker ™ world to lead the Community Greens movement from our Arlington, Virginia world headquarters.
Community greens are shared commons on the inside of city blocks collectively owned and managed by the neighbors whose homes enclose them. They can be created by merging backyards or repurposing alleys and, when considered on a collective basis, represent the largest potential for creating common open space in many dense cities.
Ashoka’s Community Greens envisions a movement of changemakers across the globe creating new urban commons and, in the process, transforming private property laws, making it progressively easier for other changemakers to follow.
New legislation – varying from locale to locale – that will more easily allow homeowners on a block to merge backyard spaces is needed. Individual legislatures must be called upon to think anew and act proactively, balancing multiple stakeholder needs. Incentives will have to be created for residents and others involved in forming these new ‘neighbor commons’. As the model grows, it will be applicable to other types of property and assets beyond just backyards.
While there may be many paths to achieving this end, Ashoka’s Community Greens believes that creating robust communication strategies to tip the world’s thinking towards commons development as well as catalyzing demonstration projects in various communities around the world will be critical to success.
At the deepest gut level, the life mission of a Community Greens leader is to assist in the evolution of property ownership so that communities, individuals, and the environment can thrive.
Such individuals will have been active in the commons/shared economy sector and demonstrated their ability to unite disparate stakeholders and effect concrete positive social change.
Such an individual will be highly entrepreneurial, have already given birth to a new idea and scaled it, creating significant social impact. Their work should be widely recognized and respected in their field.
In addition, potential staff will have:
A strong self of Self Definition – Ashoka staff assume that changing the world in big ways and at least at a continental scale is what he or she will do in life.
Understanding and believing in an Everyone a Changemaker™ world - Ashokans understand and believe in the Everyone a Changemaker™ vision. Their broad and inquisitive intellect and thinking patterns connect the dots between historical trends and current social context.
Strong Social and Emotional Intelligence – Our staff understand how individuals, groups, and societies work. They are naturally collaborative and easily work in fluid, ever-changing team settings.
Ethical Fiber – Ashoka staff exemplify exceptionally strong ethical and empathic behaviors.
If you or anyone you know is interested in exchanging ideas regarding strategies for commons creation/backyard co-ops, we would enjoy speaking with you. If you -- or individuals in your networks -- are interested in a full time role focusing on such at Ashoka, we would love to learn about more you/them, and in particular relevant past entrepreneurial innovations and their impact. Please feel free to reach out to us.
In lieu of a cover letter, please answer these 2 questions (no more than 200 words each):
1) Please explain the origin and implementation of your most impactful new idea. What was it, how was it different from others in the space at the time, and what was the impact?
2) What do you value most in your work and what do you want to do next?
Thanks for your interest in Ashoka!