Introduction To Systems Change

A facilitated 4-week introductory journey to learn how to craft a systems change strategy and collaborate with other leaders to create deep, equitable, and lasting impact.

Course dates & times:

April 16th, 23rd, 30th and May 7th 2024 | 16:00-17:30 CET / 10:00-11:30 am ET

Applications are open until March 24th.

About the learning journey

This introductory course introduces the key frameworks and practical tools to equip you in developing your systems change strategy and to explore collaborating with other stakeholders, while reflecting on the essential leadership qualities for effecting deep lasting change. We have distilled insights from Ashoka’s 40+ years of experience in observing and supporting the most innovative social entrepreneurs across the globe and have captured their most powerful strategies to achieve systems change.  

This version of the course allows you to meet Ashoka Fellows and other social entrepreneurs and learn from their experience in a live peer-to-peer format. There will be room for theory, exchange and inspiration from guest speakers. The sessions will also allow you to explore what systems change looks like in your field and to define the next steps on your systems change journey.  

This series is complemented by the self-paced Systems Change Masterclass which you are highly encouraged to take in parallel or following the course.

Learning objectives:

  • Gain concrete tools that can be applied to your social impact strategy as well as knowledge on different systemic interventions that you and your organization can implement to achieve greater, equitable and longer-lasting impact.  
  • Receive guidance from experienced facilitators and other systems-changers to start flexing your systems thinking muscles and draft your systems change strategy.  
  • Reflect on leadership qualities that are essential for systems change and multi-stakeholder collaboration.  
  • Engage in peer learning with like-minded changemakers.  

Who this is for

This experience provides an introductory and solid basis for anyone interested in taking their impact to a deeper level. It is open to: 

  • Ashoka Fellows and members of their team 
  • Ashoka Young Changemakers 
  • Ashoka Support Network members (ASN) 
  • Ashoka staff 
  • Ashoka corporate partners and their employees 
  • Ashoka School Change leaders and educators 
  • Other Ashoka allies and collaborators 

If you are not yet part of the Ashoka network, you are also welcome to apply. We might ask you to share more context about your work or to join a quick selection interview. 

Applications are open until March 24th.

Practical information


  • 4 weekly online sessions of 90min (including theory, guest speakers and peer exchange) 
  • Extra videos and additional resources that can be used to support the learning in between sessions will be provided but not compulsory.


April 16th, 23rd, 30th and May 7th 2024
16:00-17:30 CET / 10:00-11:30 am ET


This series intends to create a community of learning and practice. We encourage you to register if you can join all live sessions. Extra resources for self-learning will be provided, but not required for the completion of the journey. 


Module 1 - What Systems Change is and Why it Matters

April 16th, 2024 | 16:00-17:30 CET / 10:00-11:30 am ET

In this session, participants explore the key concepts of systems change and how they link together in Ashoka’s methodology. They learn about insights and challenges of working at a systemic level from the experience of a leading systems change practitioner.


Module 2 - Introduction to Systems Change Strategy Frameworks

April 23rd, 2024 | 16:00-17:30 CET / 10:00-11:30 am ET

In this module, we share and explore concrete tools that can be used to develop a systems change strategy to achieve greater, equitable, and longer-lasting impact. Participants will learn from an expert systems changer how these frameworks supported the gaining of a deeper understanding of the problem and system of focus and the development of a clear action plan.

Module 3 - Collaboration and Leadership for Systems Change

April 30th, 2024 | 16:00-17:30 CET / 10:00-11:30 am ET

This session will focus on the key ingredients for effective collaboration for systems change as well as essential qualities for Systems Change Leaders that are particularly powerful for enabling collaboration. In conversation with a leading systems changer, participants will reflect on the importance of acknowledging existing systems of oppression while doing systems change work and the leadership challenges that come with it.


Module 4 - How to Measure and Fund Systems Change

May 7th, 2024 | 16:00-17:30 CET / 10:00-11:30 am ET

In this session, we address two important topics in the context of systemic work: funding and how to evaluate it. We will look at why funding systemic initiatives is particularly difficult and some potential solutions. We will explore how impact measurement in the context of systemic initiatives takes a rather different and actually simpler shape than measuring direct impact. Participants will also hear insights and challenges connected to funding and measurement directly from an experienced systems changer.

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. 

The experience helped me consolidate and develop my ideas. Lots of the thoughts from the process are going to be part of our new strategy.  The materials like the videos, the workbooks and the huge number of other links and resources were excellent.

Systems Change course participant

The experience enabled us to rethink our theory of change, gather the whole team around this new vision and broaden our activities to advance towards systemic change for women and LGBTIQ+ people. It also enabled me to connect with amazing changemakers and people from the Ashoka Support Network...

Systems Change course participant

Module Leaders & Facilitators