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GET INSPIRED by landmine-sniffing rats, social entrepreneurship in action and our new Leadership Program!


by ashokaaustria

Inspiration is coming to your doorstep, Vienna! On October 1st Ashoka will host the first in its series of Social Entrepreneurship Talks (more), a set of special evenings open to the public that will accompany the events of the groundbreaking Leadership Program in Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation (currently The Visionary Program). The October 1st Kick-Off event will feature fantastic speakers you cannot afford to miss—especially since the event is free of charge, though space is limited!

DATE: Thursday, October 1st, 2015
TIME: 6:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Garage X Theater, Petersplatz 1, 1010 Wien



Ashoka will bring to you one of its most famous Fellows as our keynote speaker for the evening, Bart Weetjens of apopo, an organization that trains the famous HeroRats (more) to detect thousands of buried landmines on African soil, freeing up farming land and living space at a fraction of the cost and time it takes with traditional detection equipment. Bart will be talking to you not only about the incredible success of apopo itself, but how ideas like mine-sniffing rats represent a movement of innovative solutions to lingering challenges. (watch the New York Times video)

You will also hear from Mark Cheng, Director of Ashoka Europe and founder of Chelwood Capital, a social investment firm that supports mission-driven organization. He has more than 15 years of experience in finance, having previously worked at Deutsche Bank and AMBAC Assurance. If you are wondering how we can scale the important solutions for society’s biggest problems and start creating worldwide system-change, Mark has some ideas. His recent article “Moving Ideas to the Mainstream” in Stanford Social Innovation (co-author Caroline Guyot) presents “three steps to changing societal norms to create massive scale,” and he will elaborate on these ideas for us on October 1st.



Ashoka Fellow Norbert Kunz (Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2010, Social Entrepreneur of Europe 2011) will also be sharing in-depth knowledge and diverse experience from his work as co-founder of numerous organizations, such as the German Microfinance Institute and Stattauto Carsharing AG Berlin. With over 20 years in the field, Norbert has been working in social entrepreneurship about as long as we have had a word for it!

Of course the evening would not be complete without hearing about how our very first year of the Ashoka Leadership Program in Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation will change the way its participants think about their work. We have a full class of daring business leaders and framework-changing social entrepreneurs who are about to embark on a rich journey, and Program Director Raphaela Toncic-Sorijn and Ashoka Austria Director Georg Schön, along with all of us here at the Ashoka Vienna team, would like to welcome them and celebrate changemaking together!

The Leadership Program in Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation focuses on collaboration between the business sector and social entrepreneurs, and will feature many expert voices on the topics that are inspiring and revolutionizing this field. Having such energetic and knowledgeable voices here in Vienna for our program participants, Program Director Raphaela Toncic-Sorijn and the Ashoka team really felt that the greater community in Vienna could benefit from these perspectives. Out of this desire to share the inspiration with the public, the Social Entrepreneurship Talks have been created—for anyone interested in the social entrepreneurship movement, impact-based solutions and truly collaborative business for the future…for YOU!


DATE: Thursday, October 1st
TIME: 6:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Garage X Theater, Petersplatz 1, 1010 Wien


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