05/08/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

In Retrospect: TEDxAshokaU

What do you call a room full of inspired social entrepreneurs listening to David Bornstein, Earl Phelan, Scott Sherman and half a dozen other sector-leading thinkers at Google's Washington, D.C. office?


This gathering, hosted by Marina Kim and her energetic and talented team from Ashoka U, highlighted the latest thinking in the sector, while bringing together students and academics under the social entrepreneurship paradigm.

Topics covered included "Profit is Power" and "The Death and Life of Great American Cities," by Jane Jacobs and "Are Schools Killing Creativity" by Sir Ken Robinson.

The discussions that came from the 18 minute TED-style talks were truly in-line with the overall mission of the program. We connected with each other to share our work and to invite universities to become more involved. We learned how they were reaching faculty and students alike. We created new opportunities for organizing and developing a common approach to campus-led social entrepreneurship, and we are still collaborating weeks later.

I have to say that the most exciting part for me was to see how different universities are embracing social enterprise. The Changemaker Campuses include Babson College, College of the Atlantic, Cornell University, George Mason University, Johns Hopkins University, The New School, Tulane University, University of Colorado at Boulder and University of Maryland. To hear about their incredible work on campuses reminds me of the dynamism that this sector brings to those who touch it -- those colleges are ready to think about 21st century solutions to global problems.

Follow the work that Ashoka U is doing to change the world -- and get your universities and alma mater involved in the movement by contacting Marina Kim at