Ashoka, the world’s community of leading social entrepreneurs, is expanding it’s operations in the Middle East and Europe due to the increasing number of social entrepreneurs who are creating solutions to critical social issues. In response, Ashoka has announced the advancement of Iman Bibars and Konstanze Frischen to Leadership Group Members (LGMs), Ashoka’s highest professional level. LGM’s are every bit as powerful in entrepreneuring major structural social change within Ashoka as the Ashoka fellows are in their work bringing basic change to the environment, health and all the other areas of human need. Together the Fellows and LGM’s must help their regions move quickly to build a world of changemakers, towards the establishment of Ashoka’s everyone a changemaker(TM) vision, as well as lead major global collaborations to ensure, among other things, that all citizens have access to the law and an opportunity to become full economic citizen.
The new LGMs embody the demanding leadership qualities Ashoka seeks.
Iman Bibars of Cairo, Egypt. Bibars first built a dynamic program in Egypt, electing 35 leading social entrepreneur Fellows over the last four years while also building broad awareness, understanding, and engagement across Egypt and the region. She has also been leading Ashoka’s start-up across the Middle East and North Africa. Over the last year, she has successfully elected the first Ashoka Fellows in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, and Lebanon. This has required significant fundraising, organizational skill and the educational effort involved in introducing a very new idea. Bibars has been instrumental in helping her Ashoka colleagues on three other continents, demonstrating a key Ashoka quality, collegiality.
Konstanze Frischen of Frankfurt, Germany. Frischen introduced a very new idea to Germany, working skillfully with the press, the universities, and other opinion leaders. She sought out and won critical funding and other support from the area’s leading business entrepreneurs, Ashoka’s second major constituency. She has now completed two years of quality Fellow and Member elections and is now working on introducing new programs in the region. Germany, for example, led Europe in introducing Youth Venture, a critical Ashoka program that enables all young people in their teens to 21 to initiate social change projects. This experience helps them master the skills and confidence to be changemakers for life. Frischen has also been very important to the success of wonderfully collegial multi-continent teams that have made possible major advances for Ashoka programs (such as the Entrepreneur to Entrepreneur program or the Social Financial Services initiative) on several continents and also a major global initiative, Housing For All. Currently, she is also helping lead the organization’s global Strategy Committee.
Ashoka CEO Bill Drayton commented: "Over the last few years, Iman and Konstanze have both changed their regions of the world quickly and significantly. They are great social entrepreneurs whose impact on history will only grow." Ashoka President Diana Wells added, "They have also strengthened our global team and movement. They are great colleagues."