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Ashoka U Exchange Comes to USD

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What happens when 650 innovative thinkers, representing 40 countries and 150 institutions, come together for one weekend in San Diego?

Inspiration. Education. Knowledge. New ideas. Networking. Change. Changemaking.

The University of San Diego, one of only 19 universities designated as an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus, hosts the third annual Ashoka U Exchange Feb. 21-23. This year’s event, “Unlocking the U in University,” provides a platform for engaged discussion, innovative presentations, ideas, meeting Ashoka Fellows and more.

The Ashoka U Exchange is sold out, but several USD organizations have teamed up to provide students, faculty and staff opportunities to still be involved. Having exposure to a few free presentations on campus and by attending a TEDx talk (ticket required) in downtown San Diego, the USD community can enhance its understanding of changemaking and to inspire them going forward.

“Educate 20/20” Road Tour Bus: Wednesday, 3-5 p.m., Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice

Co-sponsored by the USD Changemaker Hub and Center for Community Service Learning (CSL), the Educate 20/20 bus will be parked in front of the IPJ and eight education leaders are conducting “office hours” to meet with students, staff and faculty on Wednesday. The bus tour, which started at Penn State University in State College, Pa., features men and women who’ve been traveling the country to meet people and learn about innovative ideas and programs tied to the future of education. Use this time to connect with these education leaders about an idea you have or, perhaps, learn more about an idea they’ve seen along their journey. The bus will be on campus the rest of the week, too. Check out the Educate 20/20 Road Tour website.

• Ashoka Fellow Visits: Thursday, 12-1:45 p.m., multiple USD sites

Ashoka Fellows, as defined by Ashoka, are “leading social entrepreneurs who we recognize to have innovative solutions to social problems and the potential to change patterns across society.” Three Ashoka Fellows will give a presentation at different sites.

University Center, Room 113: “The Underground Railroad for New Life,” with CNN Hero and Ashoka Fellow Kathryn Hall-Trujillo;

Mother Rosalie Hill Hall (SOLES), Room 102: “Innovating for Impact,” with Ashoka Fellow Jorge Camil;

UC Forum A: “Promoting Empathy and Tolerance Toward Otherness,” with Ashoka Fellow Andreas Heinecke (pictured, left).

The Ashoka Fellow visits are co-sponsored by the School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES), USD Changemaker Hub, CSL, Women’s Center, University Ministry and Student Wellness.

• Story Swap: An Exercise in Empathy: Thursday, 3:30-5 p.m.

How many times have you heard “try putting yourself in another’s shoes?” How many times have you actually tried it? Hone your empathy muscles by stepping into another’s story as though it were your own. Using an exercise likely to be found at acting studios and leadership seminars, this is a great chance to learn something about another person, and maybe even yourself. The event is open to K-12 teachers, educators, students and community organizations. This event is co-sponsored by CSL and the Ashoka Empathy Initiative. Email RSVP to CSL’s Ilana Lopez,

TEDx AshokaU Talk: “Find Your Place in the Universe”: Friday, 5-7:30 p.m., downtown San Diego, Balboa Theatre (ticket required)

Seven innovative speakers, including four Ashoka Fellows, come together for one incredible and enlightening program. The scheduled speakers are Alex Bernadette (Ashoka Fellow, Founder/CEO, Beyond 12), Chris Crane, pictured, right, (CEO, Edify, Inc.), Eden Full, pictured, left, (Founder, Roseicollis Technologies, Inc.), Andreas Heinecke (Ashoka Fellow, Founder, Dialogue in the Dark), Anya Kamenetz (Higher Education Author and Futurist, Fast Company journalist), Billy Parish (Ashoka Fellow, Author, Making Good: Finding Meaning, Money and Community in a Changing World) and Felipe Vergara (Ashoka Fellow, Co-Founder/CEO, Lumni). Ashoka U Executive Director Marina Kim is the event’s mistress of ceremonies. Tickets are $42 via; Special USD student ticket price $15 (with student ID) at UC Box Office.

Game Changer: Through March 3, University Center Exhibit Hall, Exhibit hours vary

Check out the latest art gallery exhibit with items loaned by the Matthew and Iris Strauss Family Foundation. The examples of photography, video, sculpture and installation art in this collection tackle conventional frames and challenge canonical narratives. Free of instrumental obligations and institutional conventions, the artists in Game Changer create a realm of provocation and reflectiveness for the viewer, suggesting that change, it would seem, is launched by consciousness. The exhibit is co-sponsored by the Ashoka U Exchange and USD Changemaker Hub. Exhibit hours: Tuesday-Sunday, noon-6 p.m.; Thursday, noon-7 p.m.

— Ryan T. Blystone

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