"Innovation and social change requires different leadership"

The Organization

Ashoka is the world's largest organization for the support of social entrepreneurship. We work to create a society in which every individual is encouraged and supported to help solve social problems and create positive social change. Everyone should have the opportunity to be a changemaker.

Why New Work and Inner Work?

Bei der Unterstützung von sozialen Gründer*innen hat Ashoka gesehen: Es ist nicht nur wichtig, woran eine Organisation arbeitet, sondern auch wie man sie führt. Gesellschaftlicher Wandel braucht menschlichere, partizipativere Formen der Führung. Ashoka will deshalb selbst Labor sein und experimentieren, wie viel möglich ist und was wir dabei über uns und eine neue Form von Gemeinschaft und Unternehmertum lernen können.

Our concrete New Work Practices


We disssolved formal hierarchy in 2016. Any team member can make any decision after consulting the team members concerned. All permanent members of the team refer to themselves as "Partners".

So-called Keepers hold the space for central processes such as finance, strategy, HR, culture, etc. Holding the space here does not mean having sole responsibility, but ensuring that in day-to-day business these central topics have enough space in the team.


There is the greatest possible transparency about all decisions, including salaries.


In our company, all employees bear leadership responsibility – for themselves, the team and the organization as a whole. The role and scope of this responsibility can be determined by each individual according to his or her interests and competencies. Decisions should be made in the organization where the most competence lies; projects should be set up and implemented in such a way that they have the greatest possible impact.


The most important rules for our mutual interaction, in particular our consultation and conflict resolution processes, are written down in a Code of Conduct.

Our concrete Inner Work practices with which we create the basis for this

The foundation in terms of self-awareness, trust and communication skills for this high level of self-responsibility and self-organization has been practiced by Ashoka over months, with in-depth individual and group reflections, personality tests and experience-based exercises on trigger points and self-sabotaging patterns.

All team members, including new ones, share self-generated personality profiles with each other (e.g., a "User Manual for Working With Me"), based partly on self-reflection and partly on professional frameworks such as the Gallup Strengthsfinder or Positive Intelligence.

Each team day (every 8 weeks) starts with an in-depth Wellbeing Checkin. Content discussions are held by the team in new formats such as Triads, Fish Bowls, etc. For tense topics, the team prefaces a self-reflection session to talk out the emotions and fears in the room – and what each person will need to feel safe. At least once a year, the team meets for supervision, a culture check, so to speak.

All (larger) meetings start with a short meditation and check-in ("How am I arriving right now?" "What do I expect from the meeting?"), the main goal of which is to gain awareness of each other's current situation. We call this "being at work as a whole person." Every major meeting ends with a check-out focused on self-reflection. A personal check-in question at the weekly team meeting promotes getting to know each other, trust, and communication skills.

Contact Person