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News Release

Out to Change the World

UC San Diego to Host Ashoka U Exchange in 2019

May 25, 2018 -- UC San Diego leaders recently embarked on a “changemaking” mission to Boston, accepting the campus’ official designation as a Changemaker Campus by Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs. The designation ceremony was hosted by Babson College as part of the annual Ashoka U Exchange.

Following the designation ceremony, where Executive Vice Chancellor Elizabeth H. Simmons accepted the award on behalf of the campus, Ashoka announced that UC San Diego will host next year’s Ashoka U Exchange, one of the largest international gatherings on social innovation in higher education, from Feb. 21 to 23, 2019.

UC San Diego is being recognized for its ongoing efforts to provide students with highly innovative educational experiences and opportunities inside and outside the classroom, so they are poised to make a positive difference in the world. This distinction acknowledges UC San Diego’s rich history of cutting-edge research, teaching, and action in the areas of social innovation, public service, environmental sustainability, and local and global engagement.

One such program is Global TIES, now completing its 14th year at the Jacobs School. The program allows undergraduates from all majors to collaborate on ambitious social innovation projects with nonprofit organizations and non-governmental organizations throughout the world. Students are currently working with NGO partners in the Philippines and Ghana.  Across the border in Mexico, they are working to optimize communication between ambulance drivers and dispatchers and building solar water heaters for children's homes.  Students collaborate on local projects as well, for instance, designing and delivering STEM curriculum for K-12 classrooms.  Teams work under the guidance of UC San Diego faculty.

“From the time they enter the university, we want students to be thinking about how they can harness their education to address socially urgent problems and to create positive social change,” said Mandy Bratton, Executive Director of Global TIES and one of UC San Diego’s four Ashoka U Change Leaders.  “But we want every member of our campus community – faculty, staff, students, and alumni -  to see themselves as Changemakers.”

UC San Diego will join the Changemaker Campus Network—a dynamic, global network of students, staff, administrators, faculty and community partners who share inspiration, connections and a desire to broaden the reach and impact of social innovation around the world. The recognition is the outcome of an extensive three-year selection process.

In February 2019, as part of the Ashoka U Exchange, over 700 educators, students, entrepreneurs and philanthropists from around the globe will convene in San Diego to share ideas on how to turn colleges and universities into engines of social innovation.

“We are honored to welcome fellow changemakers from around the globe as part of next year’s Ashoka U Exchange,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Driving positive change and social innovation is part of our DNA at UC San Diego, so hosting the annual international gathering is an ideal fit for our campus.”

Because UC San Diego’s faculty, staff and students are constantly seeking to push boundaries and spur change that will make the world a better place, UC San Diego was selected by Ashoka as one of only 43 universities worldwide to be a Changemaker Campus. We are the only campus in the UC system with the honor.

Media Contacts

Ioana Patringenaru
Jacobs School of Engineering