Marie Ringler is leading Ashoka’s work in Europe. She founded Ashoka’s Austrian office in 2011 and soon took over Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe. In 2015 she became one of Ashoka’s Europe Directors, in 2018 she was appointed European Leader of Ashoka. She was born in Vienna, studied Sociology, Political Science and Women`s Studies at the University of Vienna, and holds a degree from ESADE Business School, Spain and an MBA from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.
In the late 90`s she helped build Public Netbase, an art institution dedicated to exploring the social implications of the internet and new technologies through the lens of art, and later became its managing director. She was elected into office as a Member of the Regional Parliament and City Council of Vienna in 2001, making her the youngest member. During her time in office, she focused on developing policy to drive innovations in society, and served on the Vienna Department of Commerce Advisory Board, initiated the city’s Open Source Software Strategy and developed a federal policy program for Innovation.
After two successful terms in office, she decided against a life-long career in politics and established Ashoka`s Austrian office in Vienna.
In her role as Director of Ashoka in Central and Eastern Europe she led Ashoka’s relaunch efforts in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Israel. As Europe Leader Ringler is advancing Ashoka’s work in over 26 country offices who support more than 570 Social Entrepreneurs (“Ashoka Fellows”). Ringler serves as a 2nd Opinion Interviewer in Ashoka’s Global Fellow Selection process and has led the global selection process for more than 50 Fellows in countries such as Indonesia, Nigeria, Mexico, Colombia, and the US. Her work has been featured extensively in international media and she is a frequent speaker at conferences and events focusing on social entrepreneurship, social innovation, cross-sectoral collaboration and policy. She was a member of the Supervisory Board of the Austrian Broadcasting Agency (ORF), and serves on several award juries.