Ashoka Fellow Michael Sani worked with others to create 40x more impact after implementing a systems change strategy as a result of taking this course in person.
About the learning journey
This masterclass builds on insights gained from 40+ years of experience in observing and supporting the most innovative social entrepreneurs across the globe and captures their most powerful strategies to achieve systems change.
With a focus on scaling impact (versus scaling an organization), this comprehensive course teaches proven powerful tools and essential skills for leading and problem-solving amidst increasing complexity.
It consists of 10 modules to craft your own systems change strategy, and it is applicable in any context whether you have an early-stage idea or an established project.
The course contains concrete case studies of system-changing social entrepreneurs and showcases how true systems change is the result of scaling social impact and encouraging others to join in and implement change.
- 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.
- Define a clear systems change goal and articulate the milestones you need to reach in order to achieve it.
- Practice through worksheets and build your customized systems change strategy deck within a pre-designed template.
- Learn tools to engage a broader audience and how to build a network of allies.
- Reflect on leadership qualities that are essential for systems change and collaboration.
Who this is for
This course is open-sourced. Its learnings are applicable to any sector and can be applied no matter what stage you are in.
Whether you are an early-stage or experienced social entrepreneur, working in the private or public sector, leading a non-profit or just starting out this course is open to all changemakers across fields and levels of experience.
- 10 modules with recorded videos (including theory, exercises and case studies from Ashoka Fellows)
- An editable deck to build your systems change strategy as you proceed with the modules
- Additional resources including articles, podcasts, books and videos.
This self-paced course is open-source and always available upon registration. We also offer a facilitated version of this course: find out more.
Self-paced learning. We recommend blocking 2 hours per week to complete one module at a time (30-minute video, 30-60min workbook, 20-30min additional resources).
We also advise finding a peer or team member to go through the course content with as well as scheduling a specific time to share and get feedback on your systems change strategy. This peer-to-peer element will greatly advance your learning and understanding.
Module 0 - Introduction to the Masterclass
We share an overview of the course through an introductory video.
Module 1 - Learn What Systems Change is and Why it Matters
We introduce the key concepts of system change and how they link together in our methodology. We immerse ourselves in systems thinking and establish WHAT systems change is and WHY it matters.
Module 2 - Analyse Your Systemic Root Causes
We deep dive into the problem analysis and introduce a tool called Problem Tree. We explore the first key steps to develop a systems change strategy and help clarify the big problem that you want to tackle, the key systemic root causes generating it, and the consequences of not solving the problem.
Module 3 - Find your Targeted Systems Change Goal
We clarify the systems change you and your team would like to achieve by using a tool called the 5R framework.
Module 4 - Tell the Story of your Systems Change Strategy (part 1)
We build on your targeted systems change and 5R insights to draft a systems change story – essentially the storyline of how your system might evolve along a number of specific plots and milestones.
We identify your end game – the type of story that is best suited for achieving your goal.
Module 5 - Tell the Story of your Systems Change Strategy (part 2)
We finetune your systems change story and clarify the steps it needs to reach the targeted systems change. We explore how you can deliver and replicate your solution faster, how to partner with a key player like the government, how to reach a large number of people, and how to work on a mindset level.
Module 6 - Rethink Partnerships
We complete the strategy development process. We explore the power of collaborations and understand why engaging and aligning with other stakeholders to drive collaborative action can be a highly effective way to deeply transform systems – and is often also the only way.
Module 7 - Reflect on Leadership Qualities for Systems Change
We explore the personal side of systemic work and collaboration, deep diving into some of the most powerful leadership qualities and attributes that support leaders to facilitate multi-stakeholder collaborations and their systems change work.
Module 8 - Explore Funding Options
We address an important topic that you will have to deal with once your strategy is in place: funding, a challenge in the context of systemic work. We look at why funding systemic initiatives is particularly difficult and some potential solutions.
Module 9 - Evaluate Systems Change
We address another common challenge in the context of systemic work: how to evaluate it. We explore how impact measurement in the context of systemic initiatives takes a rather different and actually simpler shape than measuring direct impact.
Final Assignment - Strategy Deck Template - Fully Designed
By filling out the practical workbook exercises that accompany each module you have a fully customized systems change that can be used to mobilize a broader audience towards your shared vision and build a network of allies that can achieve the targeted systems change goal you identified or refined through this course.
Ada Andreoni co-leads the Systems Change module of the Ashoka Europe Fellowship Program. She is also a co-creator of the Wellbeing module and supports the Elders Council ecosystem initiative.
She joined Ashoka in 2019 as part of the team organizing the Ashoka Changemaker Summit where her passion for systemic change was ignited. She then continued working for Ashoka Spain as Partnerships Manager until 2021.
Ada is passionate about bottom-up approaches and the power of collective action and innovative ideas. At Ashoka, she has been dedicated to deepening her knowledge and expertise on systems change to support social entrepreneurs to scale their impact and achieve systemic change in their field. She has a multicultural academic background in Social Sciences and a master’s degree in Local Development at the University of Padua. Her master's thesis "Youth Leading Change: The Contribution of Social Entrepreneurship to Formal Education" was published in 2020 in the digital journal Synergies – Educational dialogues for social change.
You can reach out to us at [email protected]
Florentine Roth has been with Ashoka since 2018. As a partner at Ashoka Germany, she is currently accompanying potential new Ashoka Fellows through the intensive selection process.
In doing so, she places particular emphasis on diversity and inclusion. As a member of the Globalizer team, she also develops strategies for systemic change with fellows worldwide.
Before Ashoka, she conducted research on value systems in social entrepreneurship and led social projects at a local level for an NGO in Peru.
You can reach out to us at [email protected]