eldership and transition

The Elders Council for Social Entrepreneurs

Monthly conversations on eldership and transition to learn from the wisdom of elder members of the Ashoka community and reflect on your future after having founded and led an innovative, impactful organization.



About the learning journey

The Elders Council hosts a series of monthly webinars with global leaders from the ecosystem who share their personal experiences and provide advice and insights to the community on the topic of eldership and transition from different perspectives and lenses. They address topics such as the challenges of exit planning, what is founders’ legacy, the sustainability of what founders have built and their future, leaders’ wellbeing, and much more.  

These conversations create a safe space for social entrepreneurs to support one another in planning their future after founding impactful organizations. It particularly champions social entrepreneurs who are over 55 years old, by working on systems of mutual support and solidarity. It also endorses the wider community of social entrepreneurs by using the wisdom of the Elders to offer assistance, including mentoring, advice on boards, transition, and other critical challenges.  

This offer is not directly led by Ashoka. The Elders Council for Social Entrepreneurs is an initiative co-founded by three Ashoka Fellows – Andrea Coleman, Chris Underhill, and Mel Young – that emerged during an Ashoka Europe Fellowship retreat in Aix-en-Provence (France) in September 2019. 

Learning objectives:

  • Connect with like-minded leaders and changemakers who have been, are going through, or are reflecting on their leadership journey after founding impactful organizations.  

  • Learn and be inspired by the wisdom and experience of transitioning out of an organization by elder social entrepreneurs.  

  • Become a member of a global community of support and get the assistance you need. 

Who this is for

These conversations are designed for anyone going through or thinking about a transition out of the organization they have founded or led, or are facing the challenges of exit planning, thinking about questions of legacy, the sustainability of what they have built and where they are going next.

Everyone, from any generation or background, is also invited to join and listen in.

Older social entrepreneurs are actively encouraged to support one another and share their wisdom across the social entrepreneurship ecosystem. 

Practical information


Monthly webinars of 1 hour each, including insights from guest speakers followed by open conversations with participants. 


Ongoing monthly webinars usually happening on Tuesdays.

Check out the schedule here and stay updated on upcoming dates and topics by signing up to our Newsletter. 


Participating in the full series is not compulsory, participants are welcome to join any webinar. Other resources, opportunities and support are also available for anyone joining the Elders Council as a member. More information here


Find details of upcoming webinars here and access the recording of all past webinars here

Support our work

This learning journey is offered free of cost thanks to the generosity of our community. To help us develop new content and make sure it is accessible to more changemakers please donate to Ashoka today! Any contribution is deeply appreciated.


“Succession and transition: there needed to be a platform for so much wisdom to be shared.” 

Andrea Coleman
Ashoka Fellow & Founder Riders for Health, Two Wheels for Life.
Andrea Coleman

“Social entrepreneurship is still a very new concept and exit planning is something which most founders had never thought about.”

Mel Young
Senior Ashoka Fellow & Founder of Homeless World Cup, New Ism, Sportscotland.
Mel Young

“We are creating a global network which is friendly and open where we can share our wisdom and move forward.”

Chris Underhill MBE
Senior Ashoka Fellow & Founder of Thrive, ADD, Basic Needs, citiesRISE, and Mentor Service.
Chris Underhill

Module Leaders & Facilitators