With the creation in 1981 of Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, Bill Drayton put forward the notion that the individual person driving the change is worth supporting, rather than the organization itself. He contends that the most powerful force is a big idea in the right hands: those of an entrepreneur who is not only going to make the idea happen, but spread it across society. Drayton shares his belief that the need for entrepreneurship is just as strong in areas such as education and health as that of hotels and steel.
Bill Drayton is the CEO, Chairmen of the Board, and Founder of Ashoka, which strives to shape a global, entrepreneurial, competitive citizen sector. Prior to Ashoka, Drayton was a McKinsey and Company consultant and served as Assistant Administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He also served briefly in the White House, and has taught both law and management at Stanford Law School and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
Ruth A. Shapiro
Dr. Ruth A. Shapiro is the inaugural "social entrepreneur in residence" at the Commonwealth Club of California. This position allows her to further public understanding and discourse on social innovation in the United States.
Dr. Shapiro has put together a series of speakers on the subject of social entrepreneurship. These programs will be available live, on local and national radio and will serve as the content of a book to be edited by Dr. Shapiro and published by Stanford University Press in 2012.
She is also the Principal of Keyi Strategies, a consulting firm specializing in creating broader networks, understanding and business ventures between individuals and companies in Asia, Europe and the United States.
Prior to founding Keyi Strategies, Ruth Shapiro founded the Asia Business Council and served as its Executive Director since its inception in 1997 until May 2007. She is now Senior Advisor to the Council. The Asia Business Council is an independent association of chief executive officers from leading Asian companies or multinational corporations with significant Asian operations. Its membership shares a deep interest in the continued economic and social development and competitiveness of the region and is committed to guiding Asia as it increasingly influences the global marketplace.
As the Founding Executive Director, Dr. Shapiro raised all the start-up capital from private foundations, recruited key chief executives to develop the initiative and built the Council into the formidable organization it is today. On a day to day basis, Dr. Shapiro oversaw the Council's strategy, management, membership, program and finances. She was instrumental in broadening the scope of business issues to include many social themes. In overseeing the Council's programmatic initiatives, Dr. Shapiro gained expertise on issues such as corporate social responsibility, scenario planning, education, training and innovation, corporate governance, energy efficiency, trade policy and regional economic growth.
Prior to joining the Asia Business Council, Dr. Shapiro worked in the field of international development. Within this field, she held management positions and built new program areas at the Academy for Educational Development, the Harvard Institute of International Development and Global Outlook.
Dr. Shapiro holds a doctorate from Stanford University and Masters Degrees from Harvard University and George Washington University. She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Michigan. She is a regular speaker to business groups.
Bill Drayton, founder of Ashoka, explains the importance of empathy in a rapidly changing world. He discusses the work of an Ashoka fellow named Mary Gordon, who implemented a program in elementary schools that not only decreased bullying, but actually taught empathy.
Voluntary, organized efforts intended for socially useful purposes. Philanthropic groups existed in the ancient civilizations of the Middle East, Greece, and Rome: an endowment supported Plato's Academy (c. 387 BC) for some 900 years; the Islamic waqf (religious endowment) dates to the 7th century AD; and the medieval Christian church administered trusts for benevolent purposes. Merchants in 17th- and 18th-century western Europe founded organizations for worthy causes. Starting in the late 19th century, large personal fortunes led to the creation of private foundations that bequeathed gifts totaling millions and then billions in support of the arts, education, medical research, public policy, social services, environmental causes, and other special interests. SeeAndrew Carnegie; B'nai B'rith; Bill Gates; George Peabody; Rockefeller Foundation; Straus family.
Gustav Gilbert, the prison psychologist during the Nuremberg trials, defined evil as "a lack of empathy". He said Rudolph Hess was "outwardly normal, but lacked something essential to normality, the quality of empathy, the capacity to feel with our fellow man."