Bringing Young Changemakers to the Front Page: Changing the narrative

We are thrilled to see our young changemakers from the Ashoka Generation Changemaker Program celebrated on the cover of Trend magazine, one of Austria's leading business publications.

This cover highlights the extraordinary impact they are making in their communities and beyond. It serves as an inspiration for other young people to take the initiative and underscores the importance of recognizing and supporting these young leaders as impactful and influential contributors to societal change.

Bringing Young Changemakers to the Front Page: Changing the narrative

A Mission-Driven Generation

Austria is witnessing an unprecedented surge of young entrepreneurs and changemakers, never before have so many companies been founded by people under 20 years old as in 2023. These young founders are driven by a combination of factors: the desire to create a better world, achieve personal and professional growth, and make a living. Their motivation is fueled by experiences from the pandemic, climate anxiety, and a strong determination to create tangible change. This new wave of talent is characterized by a mission-driven approach, focused on solving specific local problems while simultaneously developing solutions with global potential. They are not solely focused on creating profitable businesses; they are deeply committed to making a positive impact on the world. 

Today's young entrepreneurs are redefining what it means to be a successful business leader. Rather than aiming for quick exits or immediate financial success, they are prioritizing sustainable growth, social impact, and collaborative efforts. Their entrepreneurial projects reflect a shift in values, emphasizing equality, climate protection, and education. This new approach is setting a powerful example for future generations of changemakers.

The article showcases the remarkable stories of several participants in our Generation Changemaker Program:

  • Lina Gallei: Her learning platform, AHA Lernen, aims to revolutionize education by offering alternative tutoring methods. Lina celebrated her 20th birthday in April and just completed her written Matura exams in May. Her commitment to her company's growth is evident as she has already hired her first employee. 
  • Thomas Nayer: Born with cerebral palsy, Thomas has faced numerous barriers His determination to improve accessibility led to the creation of do-gether Services GmbH. Their first product, an app that assists people with similar challenges in navigating daily life, will be launched in June. His entrepreneurial spirit is driven by a desire for rapid, effective solutions that traditional politics often fail to provide.
  • Anna Greil: Anna’s company, uptraded, brings the circular economy to the fashion industry. Her focus is on sustainable growth and collaboration rather than quick financial gains. Anna’s journey reflects a new entrepreneurial ethos that values social impact over rapid profit.
  • Luis Kalckstein and Lilia Gerber: These tech-savvy students developed an AI-supported project to monitor soil sealing worldwide, addressing a critical issue for climate conservation. Their passion for technology and its potential to tackle environmental challenges embodies the spirit of the new generation of changemakers.
  • Banan Sakbani: Banan’s journey from Damascus to Vienna is a story of resilience and innovation. She created WeStitch, a project providing job opportunities for women with migration backgrounds through sewing and knitting circles. Her initiative addresses economic challenges while fostering community and support.

Changing the Narrative

While 90% of young people between 14 and 20 have ideas to change the world, many lack the support to bring those ideas to life. This is where the Generation Changemaker Program steps in, providing essential resources, mentorship, and a platform for young changemakers to thrive. Our mission extends beyond supporting individual projects; we aim to cultivate a culture where young people see themselves as changemakers and are recognized and valued as powerful contributors to societal development. By amplifying their voices and showcasing their projects, we aspire to inspire others to follow their lead and take the initiative.

Be part of the Generation Changemaker!

Applications for the next round of the Generation Changemaker Program are open until June 15th. If you are, or know, a young person between 14 and 24 in Austria, Switzerland, or Liechtenstein who is passionate about making a difference, nominate them or encourage them to apply here.

Let's continue to support and inspire young changemakers. Together, we can change the narrative and create a better future for all.

This article was published in the latest edition of Trend Magazine. You can read the full story here (in German).