Colleges and Universities are complex organizations with lots of deep thinkers and multiple stakeholders. Marina Kim has had a lot of practice at working across complex cultural boundaries. The daughter of Korean and American parents, raised by a single mother, summers in Costa Rica, moved to northern England at 10 years old, and then attended Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
Today, Marina is the cofounder of Ashoka U, where they take an institutional change approach to impact the education of millions of students. Ashoka U has three primary programs:
- They have a Changemaker Campus designation where, through a rigorous 1-2 year selection process, they recognize colleges and universities that have embedded social innovation as a core value.
- There is the Ashoka U Commons, where cohorts of institutions work together on specific building blocks of social innovation education.
- They hold an annual conference called the Ashoka U Exchange.
Key quotes from the interview:
- “I feel extremely comfortable adapting to new contexts, new cultures and environments.”
- “I feel right at home in many different places in the world.”
- “Millennials are dedicated to success, but the metrics are different.”
- “Millennials have a lower threshold for work that does not mean anything to them.”
- “Ashoka has shifted its mission to create a world where everyone can be a changemaker.”
- “A lot of energy and a lot of fearlessness in the early days.”
- “We believe that colleges and universities should be the place where people can find their potential to be a changemaker.”
- “If you have the identity of a changemaker, you’ll take that with you for the rest of your life.”
- “Lead with your super skill.”
- “Are you better suited to be an entrepreneur or an intrepreneur?”
- “She would model it, she would coach us, we would do it and then debrief.”
- “Give yourself time. If you want to make big social impact…it takes time.”