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    Jeroo Billimoria's changemaking journey began in her childhood. Starting young made all the difference

#LeadYoung - Great Changemakers Start in Their Youth

Starting young makes all the difference

The majority of Ashoka’s leading social entrepreneur Fellows started their first change experience before 20, according to two internal surveys. This pattern of early achievement also holds for the business sector: a recent study based on Linkedin data for all professionals (400 million or 66% of total professionals) found that those who signaled they started something noteworthy in their teens are 4 times more likely to be entrepreneurs and 4 times more likely to be a top corporate (C-level) executives.

 

The rate of change is accelerating exponentially. The new game is change. These are the facts. When anyone builds a team now, they need everyone on it to be ready to play in this game, i.e. to be a skilled changemaker. A hundred years ago, accelerating change had reached the point that society needed everyone to be literate. Now it needs everyone to be a changemaker. It needs every young person, parent, and educator to grasp this new paradigm for success in growing up – and in life. Young people had better be practicing having an idea, building a team, and changing the world now to be a valued player at any level tomorrow.

 

Stories

The Director of Ashoka’s Fellow selection program in the U.S., shares how he seized his own opportunity to lead as pre-teen when family circumstances demanded and how didn’t stop there.
Raising Changemakers: Two leading social entrepreneurs, mother and son, share what it takes to #LeadYoung and help others do the same
Raising Changemakers: Two leading social entrepreneurs, mother and son, share what it takes to #LeadYoung and help others do the same

Leading Young

Students going back to school rejoin an educational assembly line designed to get them to adopt vocations which are now phasing out. It’s estimated 65% of children entering primary school will someday have jobs that don’t yet exist. We’ll need to prepare young people very differently to handle the coming changes.

Videos

Robin Chase: Excuse me, may I rent your car?
A decade ago, Robin Chase founded Zipcar in the US, now the largest car-sharing company in the world. Now she's exploring the next level of car-sharing: Buzzcar, a French startup that lets people rent their own cars to others. The details are fascinating (how does insurance work, exactly?), and the larger vision (she calls it Peers, Inc.) points to a new definition of ownership and entrepreneurship.
Jeroo Billimoria
Ashoka Fellow Jeroo Billimoria shares her changemaker journey at the TEDxHamburg. How she argued with her mom at the age of 16 to start her own organization.
How the sharing economy has redefined the way we interact with things
Robin chase co-founded Zipcar, one of the precursors of the sharing economy: "If you share something, you can use it quickly and easily, and it's better than owning it. People are interested in sharing, people are interested in collaborating and technology makes it work."

JP Maunes: putting accessibility and inclusion center stage in the Philippines

English

In April 2016, JP Maunes became a household name in the Philippines when his sign language interpretation for a heated presidential debate led a number of prominent media personalities to name him as the winner.

Memes with JP’s exhausted hands bursting into flames went viral on social media.

on July 19, 2016

In April 2016, JP Maunes became a household name in the Philippines when his sign language interpretation for a heated presidential debate led a number of prominent media personalities to name him as the winner.

Memes with JP’s exhausted hands bursting into flames went viral on social media.

He was under the spotlight.

And ready to play along.

JP became a hero when just years before, the presence of sign language interpretation and many other mechanisms for inclusion of persons with disabilities were absent from the national discourse.

Today, because of JP’s pioneering work, a prominent senator has sponsored a national law which requires Filipino Sign Language interpretation for televised news, and the police have begun integrating interpreters to help address the impunity of crimes perpetuated against the Deaf community.

 

A photo posted by Jp Ecarma Maunes (@jpmaunes) on

JP’s life’s work to change mindsets in Filipino society about disability inclusion started when he was a teenager, growing up in the central Visayas region of the Philippines. His best friend in high school, Peter Paul, was deaf. They met playing basketball and JP made a special effort to learn how to communicate with him.

JP Maunes with his high school friend, Peter Paul

That sensitivity had come from seeing how his mother, herself a physician with a physical disability, had worked to heal people with disabilities in rural communities. When JP began studying nursing at 17, none of the other students had any exposure or experience working with the Deaf.

JP saw there was a need throughout Cebu City for sign language interpreters in health centers, police stations and even courts and so created a program to train volunteers as interpreters for the Deaf who were “on call” for local agencies.

Over the years, JP formalized this work through the organization Philippine Accessible Disability Services and came face-to-face with the shockingly high rate of sexual and physical abuse among deaf women and minors in the Philippines.

He used this to galvanize a major shift in the law enforcement and judicial system which now demands training for its own staff from deaf teachers to incorporate interpreting and other inclusion mechanisms for people with disabilities into their daily work. JP is not only providing people with disabilities access to information and justice, he is empowering them as leaders in driving this change.

For JP, starting this important work in his teens was not easy. Although his family had helped him empathize with people with disabilities, he grew up in an environment where young people were seen and not heard. He was told to go to school and get a good job and not waste his time on his volunteer signing program. He felt he had no voice and was invisible, perhaps not unlike those whose voice was excluded because of their disability.

It was the principal at a local deaf school who encouraged JP to launch his idea with the youth in a local youth group that would seed the work that is changing the conversation about disability inclusion in the Philippines today.  

With the elections behind him, pictures of JP’s burning hands are no longer at the top of everyone’s newsfeeds. But his resolve to ensure that the Philippines become a place where all people are fully able to participate and thrive has only deepened.

Change is happening faster and faster and positive solutions must outpace the problems. Young people, particularly those with disabilities, may hold the key to solving the problems they face and JP is committed to helping them find their power and #LeadYoung.

Read more:

Robin Chase: leading one entrepreneurial coup after another, like Zipcar

Jeroo Billimoria: a global movement that started with a simple gesture in her teens

Robin Chase: Excuse me, may I rent your car?

Robin Chase: Excuse me, may I rent your car?
A decade ago, Robin Chase founded Zipcar in the US, now the largest car-sharing company in the world. Now she's exploring the next level of car-sharing: Buzzcar, a French startup that lets people rent their own cars to others. The details are fascinating (how does insurance work, exactly?), and the larger vision (she calls it Peers, Inc.) points to a new definition of ownership and entrepreneurship.
English

How the sharing economy has redefined the way we interact with things

How the sharing economy has redefined the way we interact with things
Robin chase co-founded Zipcar, one of the precursors of the sharing economy: "If you share something, you can use it quickly and easily, and it's better than owning it. People are interested in sharing, people are interested in collaborating and technology makes it work."
English