Ashoka - Scandinavian Fellows

Sweden

Field of Work: Environment
In launching the Natural Step, former cancer researcher and clinician Karl-Henrik Robert has created a unifying framework for social and ecological sustainability, and built a global institutional platform that brings together disparate strands of environmentalism (scientific, social, economic, etc.) to assist institutions, from companies to governments, to create and implement concrete sustainability strategies.  Karl-Henrik has successfully nurtured a global environmental movement, and is currently working on a project called Real Change, which partners with universities to strengthen his framework.

Norway

Field of Work: Human Rights
Despite the image of wealth and renowned social protections in Norway, the voices of young people are not well heard or considered. State-run institutions are staffed by shift workers and young people may often feel they are treated like objects. Prisons mix youth and adult inmates. Many young people in Norway feel they have little voice in their own lives. Marit Sanner is asking kids and young people to find system-changing new ideas and then facilitating their involvement in the policymaking that affects them. 

Denmark

Field of Work: Civic Engagement
Thorkil changes the way society perceives autism by transforming it from a handicap to a competitive advantage. His Specialist People Foundation employs autistic people, who have a ten times lower fault rate in software testing and other tasks. Thorkil now plans to go beyond Denmark, empowering people with ASD globally.

Iceland

Field of Work: Environment
Orri Vigfusson has successfully orchestrated an international effort to conserve and restore the wild Atlantic salmon.

Norway

Field of Work: Health
Heidi Wang is shifting social responses to dementia so that the person with the diagnosis is the focal point for care. Heidi’s system of support positions diagnosis as an opportunity, not an ending.

Sweden

Field of Work: Learning/Education
In Sweden math education for children has stagnated, with math often perceived by young students as something alien, difficult, and irrelevant. A downward sloping performance curve in the Swedish school system has resulted in a substantial gap between what skills the working world demands from their employees and what skills children possess. Johan Wendt is bridging the gaps between education and the business sector in Sweden and revitalizing the whole field of mathematics for young students by addressing how math is perceived and taught inside and outside the system.

Sweden

Field of Work: Health
Anders Wilhelmson, with his partner Camilla Wirseen, is changing the way in which people in poor and crowded urban communities with inadequate sanitation facilities deal with human waste and offering a more dignified daily life. Working closely with such communities, he is providing new opportunities through single-use, biodegradable toilet bags to turn human waste into wealth and solve one of the most intractable problems in such areas. Anders has created a single use, biodegradable bag that can be used as a sanitary toilet in areas where no other sanitation is available.