It's a unique occasion when some of the smartest business leaders in the country come together with the world's leading social entrepreneurs. Because that's when change happens. They discuss critical problems. Ideate. And co-create solutions to scale. 

Ashoka's #OneSolution will be one such platform where leaders from business and social impact sectors will discuss the important and urgent need for empathy and collaborative leadership in social change. Together, they will envision a journey where everyone is part of the solution.


Secretary, Chief Executive Officer, State Development Council, Govt. of Jharkhand

Shri Anil Swarup is presently posted as Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy, Government of India....

Actor/ Director

Nandita Das has acted in more than 40 feature films in 10 different languages....

Founder and Advisor, SECMOL

By introducing educational reforms in government-run schools, Sonam Wangchuk is encouraging communities to reinforce the cultural identity of minority ethnic groups that live along the northern bor...


Ashoka presents, #OneSolution, a platform that is putting together India's leading social entrepreneurs with dynamic business leaders, to envision the change we need now, as we head into a fast-changing future. The best, most ingenious minds of today, with a proven record of social impact, will discuss, ideate and come up with actionable steps to solve some of our most critical problems. And this year, we collectively tackle the crucial need for empathy as a skill and pushing it to be mainstreamed in discourse and practice among other spheres of influence, especially businesses. The event has no audience, because every individual participates in their capacity as a leader of change! Together, we build a world where Everyone is A Changemaker.

Sat, 27 Oct 2018 to Sun, 28 Oct 2018
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Novotel, Aerocity, New Delhi
New Delhi DL - 110037

Event Timeline

Sat, 27 Oct 2018
8:30 am - 09:15 am

09:15 am - 09:30 am
Welcome & Introductions

09:30 am - 09:35 am
Video Message

by Bill Drayton, Founder, Ashoka Innovators for the Public

09:35 am - 09:40 am
Introduction to Keynote Speaker

09:40 am - 10:05 am
Keynote Address

by Mr. Anil Swarup, Former Secretary, GoI, (followed by Q&A)

10:05 am - 10:15 am
Empathy in a complex and fast-changing world

by Sunish Jauhari, Ashoka India

10:25 am - 11:10 am
Stories of Change: Empathy as the Foundation

Ashoka Fellow Vijay Mahajan (Founder BASIX Social Enterprise Group): "Empathy as a core value across banking, finance, foundations, policy research"

Ganesh Natarajan, (Chairman 5F World & Social Venture Partners India): "From finance to manufacturing, how inclusion is key"

Ashoka Fellow Shanti Raghavan (Founder Enable India)

Sanjay Mittal, (CEO Living Habitats Pvt. Ltd): "Empathy in construction: towards environment & the construction worker"

AP Singh, (CEO India Post Technology Centre): “Your worker as the key to building relationships: The revival story of IndiaPost”

Ashoka Fellow Hasina Kharbhih, (Founder & CEO Impulse Enterprises): “Building empathy among key institutions towards victims of trafficking”

11:10 am - 11:30 am

11:30 am - 01:30 pm
Group Activity - Solutions with Empathy

Followed by Wildcard session, Wrap up with Insights


01:30 pm - 02:30 pm

02:30 pm - 03:00 pm

Ashoka Fellow Anshu Gupta (Founder Goonj) on “Tackling disasters with empathy”

Ashoka Fellow Dr Akkai Padmashali (Founder Ondede) on “Building relationship between law-makers and LGBTQ+ communities towards empathetic policies”


03:00 pm - 03:30 pm
“Institution building for Empathy”

Panel led by Meera K (Founder Citizen Matters), Meenakshi Batra (Director CAF), Shireen Vakil (Tata Trusts), Ved Arya (Founder Srijan)


03:30 pm - 03:45 pm

03:45 pm - 04:15 pm
Conversation: “Expertise is overrated in today’s world”

with Gowri Ishwaran (CEO, tGELF), Ashoka Fellow Ashok Khosla (Founder Development Alternatives Group), Ashoka Fellow Sonam Wangchuk (Founding-director Students' Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh)


04:15 pm - 04:30 pm
Pledging for a better future

by Vishnu Swaminathan, (Leadership Group Member, Ashoka)

04:30 pm - 06:30 pm
Closing + Free time for meetings with tea/coffee

06:30 pm
Grab a seat and a snack!

06:30 pm - 06:40 pm

by Ashoka Fellow Anshul Tewari (Founder, Youth ki Awaaz)

06:40 pm - 07:00 pm

by Actor/Director, Nandita Das

07:00 pm - 07:15 pm
Ashoka - The Journey so far

by Sunish Jauhari, India Leader, Ashoka

07:15 pm - 07:45 pm

by artist Danish Husain, Hoshruba Repertory

07:45 pm - 08:00 pm
Vote of Thanks

by Ashoka Fellow Anshul Tewari

08:00 pm - 09:30 pm
Sun, 28 Oct 2018
09:10 am - 09:40 am
Ashoka Fellowship: Going Ahead

by Rameez Alam & Trina Talukdar, Venture and Fellowship Ashoka

09:40 am - 10:40 am
Inclusion of Young People in the Social Sector

by Ashoka Fellows Deep Jyoti Sonu Brahma, Saurav Kumar Ghosh, Priya Agrawal & Kuldeep Dantewadia

10:40 am - 11:40 am
Fellow Facilitated Parallel Sessions

Session A: "Scaling work with technology" - session anchored by Anand Arkalgud (Founder, Socion), co-led by Ashoka Fellow Arjun Venkataraman (Founder Mojo Lab), and joined by Sahana Jose (Societal Platform, Nilekahni Philanthropies) & Sanjay Podder (Managing Director, Accenture Tech Labs)

Session B: "Amplification of work - transforming the sector using media as allies" - by Ashoka Fellows Hasina Kharbhih & Gangadhar Patil (Founder, 101 Reporters)

11:40 am - 12:00 pm
Tea/ Coffee

12:00 pm - 01:00 pm
Wellbeing and the Social Sector

by Manoj Chandran (CEO, White Swan Foundation)

01:00 pm - 02:30 pm

02:30 pm - 03:30 pm
Reverse Pitch

A session by three funders pitching to Ashoka Fellows - sharing their high-level strategy and pen-profile of Ashoka Fellow partners they would like to work with - Participants: Pooja, Tata Trusts; Hanumant Rawat, AIF


03:30 pm - 04:00 pm
One to One Meetings

04:00 pm
Closing Remarks & Tea

by Sunish Jauhari, India Leader Ashoka


Abu Naser Khan

Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon

A skillful coalition builder, Abu Naser Khan is engaging social and intellectual leaders in developing new forms of citizen engagement to halt environmental degradation.

Aditya Natraj

Kaivalya Education Foundation

The 2009 Right to Education Act makes free elementary education the right of every child between the ages of 6 to 14 years in India. This is a historic milestone for the country and implementation...

Ajit Singh

Anant Learning and Development Pvt Ltd

Ajit Singh is building a effective and ethical skill development value chain in India to empower India's large youth demographic dividend to gain full economic citizenship.

Akkai Padmashali


Akkai Padmashali is an Indian transgender activist, motivational speaker, and singer. For her work in activism, she has received the Rajyotsava Prashasti, the second highest civilian honor of the...

Akshay Saxena

Avanti Learning Centers

To ensure students from low-income households have realistic access to higher education, Akshay Saxena is creating an affordable alternative to the expensive tuition classes that currently serve...

Amol Goje

Vidyaprathisthan Institute of Information Technology (VIIT)

Amol Goje is enabling rural communities in India to participate effectively in the new economy, driven by computers and rapid information exchange. By educating and equipping rural producers with...

Anant Sharma

Consumers Action & Network Society

In order to spread consumer awareness to rural areas, Anant Sharma plans to train and create a network of 1,000 local consumer consultants/activists in the villages and small towns of Rajasthan...

Ananya Raihan


Ananya Raihan is ushering in an era of information-on-demand in the rural areas of Bangladesh by building a network of locally-run kiosks that offer villagers access to everything from up-to-date...



Changemakers are people who can see the patterns around them, identify the problems in any situation, figure out ways to solve the problem, organize fluid teams, lead collective action and then continually adapt as situations change. To form and lead this community of communities, leaders have to possess what Drayton calls “cognitive empathy-based living for the good of all.” Cognitive empathy is the ability to perceive how people are feeling in evolving circumstances. “For the good of all” is the capacity to build teams.


Business is about being able to meet the unmet and unarticulated needs of customers and there is just no way we are going to be able to succeed in doing that if we don’t have that deep sense of empathy.


Innovation only happens in an organization where its people feel empowered, understood, and trusted with the work delegated to them. People do not innovate in a climate of fear, hierarchy or bureaucracy. In a hyper-competitive world, the benefit of innovation is an obvious one. You have to position empathy as a key element in building a more innovative organization.




Ashoka would like to thank the following partners for their generous support.