First Book, the largest online community of educators serving kids in poverty, and Ashoka, the largest global network of leading social entrepreneurs, today announced the launch of Time For Change: Dream, Act, Change Our World, an initiative designed to further educational equity through changemaking, made possible by Audemars Piguet. The initiative kicks off this month with a new resource for educators that introduces changemaking and suggests actionable and practical ways to inspire and support students to become changemakers for their schools and their communities. Time For Change will launch in the U.S. and expand internationally in 2023.
Time For Change is founded on the understanding that a world of accelerated change requires everyone, regardless of geography, race, or socio-economic background, to adapt to and create change for the common good. For young people to thrive as changemakers, it’s important for schools, teachers, their parents, and their peers to support them in relating to problems, build teams to address the problems and develop solutions that benefit all. However, young people in low-income and historically excluded groups are less likely to have the opportunities, recognition, resources (human or financial) needed to support their changemaker journey, to know they are changemakers confident in adapting to and contributing to change.
The initiative will reach young people from low-income communities and build on their unique perspectives and lived experiences to solve the problems they care about including a research-based accelerator guide to introduce the concept of changemaking to students, campaigns to drive mindset shifts, books to inspire kids to be changemakers, and step-by-step guides to practice changemaking in their schools and communities. The program will then showcase stories of participating young changemakers and their ideas for making positive changes in their classrooms, communities, and the world beyond. At this time of tremendous change and opportunity, this effort will catalyze a movement to make changemaking the norm for all young people.
“Our vision is a world in which all young people, particularly those from under-resourced communities, grow up with the support and resources to thrive as lifelong, dynamic changemakers, equipped to solve problems large and small in their families, communities, and beyond,” said Kyle Zimmer, President, CEO, Co-founder of First Book, and a Senior Ashoka Fellow. “Thanks to this partnership with Audemars Piguet and Ashoka, we can bring this vision to life.”
A changemaker is someone who takes creative action to solve social problems through conscious empathy, teamwork, changemaking leadership, and changemaking action. The initiative will convey the importance, elements, and values of changemaking to First Book’s Network of more than 525,000 educators before presenting these concepts to young people.
“Ashoka knows that all young people can see a need, have a dream, build a team, and change their world. And that it is this experience that gives them the superpower to be givers — i.e., to have a good life,” said Bill Drayton, CEO, Ashoka. “In a world now defined by change, not repetition, ethics requires that everyone have this, life-giving power to give, i.e., to be a changemaker.”
According to a recent First Book survey of educators, 76% of educators serving low-income populations believe that developing changemaker mindsets among the young people they serve is an urgent matter. However, only 30% feel adequately prepared (very or extremely prepared) to develop their students as changemakers. In addition, 83% of educators would find it very or extremely valuable to have access to resources that help incorporate changemaker content into their work with young people. Educators hope changemaking resources will help their students develop and apply empathy and increase their confidence and self-esteem.
Over the years, Audemars Piguet has supported a variety of non-profit organizations invested in promoting educational programs and initiatives for young people. Time For Change is a long-term collaboration coinciding with the launch of Audemars Piguet’s partnership with Marvel in the spring of 2021, paying tribute to the next generation of agents of change.
A unique version of the Royal Oak Concept “Black Panther” Flying Tourbillon timepiece was auctioned off to support the long-term educational program Audemars Piguet has established with First Book and Ashoka.
“We believe that unlocking everyone’s potential will inspire changemaking, perpetually. This belief strongly resonates with the talented artisan community we have grown in the Vallée de Joux and around the world since 1875,” said François-Henry Bennahmias, CEO, Audemars Piguet. “We have at heart to accompany, empower and inspire people to be a force for good and this starts by trusting in the power of young people today and giving them the tools they need to make a change in their communities and lives.”
Visit firstbook.org/time-for-change to learn more.