Pioneering an Experiential Approach to Higher Education

Empowering people to be the change they want to see in the world

Photo of Clément Moliner-Roy
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Written by

Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

November 3rd, 1994

Where are you located:

Maine: Bar Harbor (04609) Developing the initiative from College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor Maine but are creating impact around the world through our changemaker fellows!

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

Date Started

April 2017

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

“How can we contribute the MOST to the world?” This question gave birth to Changemaker Residency. In pondering it over and over, we realized that the most social impact we could have is to make 10, 100, or even 1000 people ask themselves what they want to contribute to the world and then equip them with the tools, resources, and network they need to bring their projects to fruition!

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

84 percent of millennials say that “helping to make a positive difference in the world is more important than professional recognition” (Bentley University’s Center For Women And Business), in other words, they aspire to be changemakers. The problem is that they face societal cynicism with regards to this aspiration and are pushed to enter a "normal" workforce sometime foregoing their dreams and values of wanting to make the world a better place.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

We are launching a new experiential approach to higher education that helps fellows combine their interests, strengths, and the causes they care about into world-changing project idea and then empowers fellows with the “how to”--the skills, the tools, and the mindset--to take their ideas to action. We developed a curriculum that draws inspiration from innovative practices from around the world, including U.N.-mandated UPEACE in Costa Rica, ImaginEx Japan, Stanford Design School, Watson University, and College of the Atlantic. We are now forging partnerships with existing organisations with whom we will strive towards developing changemaker educator training, developing a Watson-inspired semester program for changemakers, and running programs year round in different locations around the globe. To create a world in which everyone is a changemaker--making the change they want to see in the world.

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

Our Ikigai (reason for being) workshops empower people to combine their strengths, interests, and the causes they care about in the world into world-changing project ideas. After running a condensed version of the workshop at the Maine Environmental Educator Association conference, one of the participant came to us and said: "Thank you so much, your 50-minute workshop made me realize that I have been aligned for a career that I really don't want to do." Our leadership workshops empower people to adopt the right leadership style and skills for the right situation while also helping them accelerate their strengths and overcome their weaknesses. After giving a half-day workshop for a students studying entrepreneurship at Sherbrooke University, a student came to us and said "I wish we could do these kind of activities all the time, it's way better than classes!"

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

Synergies--our curriculum draws inspiration from global leaders in educational and social innovation. It was designed after conducting research in 10 educational institutions, and conducting over 70 interviews with educators, researchers, and students exploring: “How to spark one’s desire to contribute to a better world” and “How to equip students with the skills, tools, and network to make positive change?” Personalized--thanks to two business incubators with amazing networks, we are align our workshops and intervention specifically to our fellows interests and learning goals.

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

We've already reached over 50 individuals through our leadership and ikigai workshops. This summer, we will shape our first 10 changemaker fellows through our intensive program for which we are currently developing an impact and personal growth assessment strategy. One of our main sources of inspiration is Watson University in Boulder, Colorado. In 5 years, this university model has graduated 103 scholars who have created over 500 jobs and fundraised over CAD$ 43 million to launch social impact projects. On the long run, we plan to track similar measurements: number of changemakers, social impact projects launched, and jobs created.

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

Our pilot projects aims to create partnerships and build towards: -Running various programs to empower changemakers around the world. -Developing a Changemaker Educator training -Developing a Changemaker Semester

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

The key areas for which we are seeking support: -Funding: We want to make our educational experiences available to all regardless of socio-economic backgrounds. -Recruitment: We would like support in recruiting aspiring changemakers. -Team: We already have an amazing team and board of advisor, but we want more people to join us to cocreate this new approach to higher education!

9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors
  • Donations less than $100
  • Donations between $1k-$5k

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

People have been so excited about our project that we've had strangers reach out and say they would like to contribute their expertise for our pilot program! Please check out our website for details about our team and board of advisors:

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • Self-identify race, ethnicity, or origin: (5)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • No, I do not identify with an underrepresented community

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Ashoka page or contact

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?

Mentor Dida


Join the conversation:

Photo of Imane Tiahi

A huge success you achieved Clèment. Really inspired by your engagement and the programme you found.

Photo of Tiana

I really enjoyed your idea. I would definitely love to collaborate in the future. It would be amazing to see your host some of your workshops during our project. We aim to do very similar things. Great work.

Photo of Clément Moliner-Roy

I'd love to collaborate too! I've posted an organization you might want to get in touch with on your page. Please reach out whenever you are ready to explore ways to collaborate: Cheers!

Photo of Clément Moliner-Roy

I'd love to collaborate too! I've posted an organization you might want to get in touch with on your page. Please reach out whenever you are ready to explore ways to collaborate: Cheers!

Photo of Anastasia Walton

Your project idea definitely blew me away! I would love to get involved! Please contact me and let me know how I can do so. Email:

Photo of Clément Moliner-Roy

Thanks, I just reached out!

Photo of Valerie Weisler

Love this idea! I lead a youth empowerment organization and know firsthand the importance of providing access to opportunities like these. If you see any possibility for collaboration, I think our passions align well.

Photo of Clément Moliner-Roy

Thanks Valerie!
We are always looking to create synergies and to collaborate with other organizations, the Validation Project looks amazing too! I'd love to learn from and exchange with you!

Photo of Jaden Carrier

This is such an important issue for everyone to consider. We all want to make a difference and do something important with our lives, but how many of us actually take the chance? I think your program is a great idea because it will give people the tools and push to do so.

Photo of Clément Moliner-Roy

Thanks for your support and thoughts Jaden. We definitely hope to make "making a difference" a norm, after all, it helps people on a personal level to find a sense of fulfillment while also helping them contribute on a greater level!

Photo of Mark Baptiste

I like that you are bringing people together and encouraging them to help make a difference for possibly everyone. There's a lot of potential ripple effect in this. Its awesome you already have lots of help too. I think this would be an amazing opportunity for a lot of people, but not everyone can make a month long trip. Have you ever considered an online version? Like a video class where people around the world can participate in the conversation?

Photo of Clément Moliner-Roy

Great point Mark!

We are thinking about how to scale this initiative and make it accessible to all. We are also documenting our curriculum and approach thoroughly so we can share it with other educators. We are also currently looking into a partnership to develop a Changemaker Educator training. We also offer workshops and shorter trainings for different organisations.

We have considered the online approach, but this new experiential approach to higher education is so much more than just discussions. It's learning by doing, it's interacting with different guests and experts, it's using an entire community as our learning grounds. We hope to inspire other universities to adopt a more hands-on approach too.

Photo of Nooruddin Ahmad