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Fireside Chat: Hon. Henry F. De Sio, Jr., Global Chair for Framework Change at Ashoka

The Changemaker Effect

The Imperative for a New Societal Framework for Our Everyone A Changemaker™ World

We are at a historic moment. Over the past decades, technological advancement and dynamic social networks have precipitated a societal paradigm shift leading to a global systemic equilibrium imbalance. Developments in the exchange of information and ideas have radically increased the individual’s capacity to innovate. A world once characterized by repetition and concentrated authority is now characterized by collaborative leadership and omnidirectional change.

Henry F. De Sio Jr., Chief Operating Officer of Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and current Global Chair of Framework Change at Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, characterizes this rising level of individual empowerment as the “Changemaker Effect” on society. He describes this phenomenon as follows:

"In today's everyone-leads system, the speed of change accelerates relative to our one-leader-at-a-time past. Why? Leaders make change. If you agree that everything you change changes everything, and everyone is doing it — then it follows that we live in an everyone-a-changemaker world."

In spite of this trend, our educational, political, and financial institutions – which were designed for the system of repetition – have been slow to react. If organizations are to adapt to a world of rapid change and individual empowerment, we must recognize that the strategic landscape has shifted from repetition to changemaking.

In this talk, described as his journey from “Hope & Change to Changemaking,” De Sio invites listeners inside campaign headquarters for an unprecedented glimpse of the frenetic working atmosphere of a national presidential campaign, where he experiences the Changemaker Effect firsthand based on a specific management discovery. The audience will follow him out of the bubble of the White House to discover the same forces at work in society. It is through the lens of the community of world’s leading social entrepreneurs he works with today that an innovative framework for navigating this new strategic landscape is unveiled. Along the way, De Sio also shares how individual innovation, a blossoming citizen sector, and private sector actors are combining to create change for social good in ways never before seen. He also presents a dynamic framework for youth learning that is required for the "Changemaker Economy" awaiting our kids, which he refers to as the new Global Youth Apprenticeship.

This is an apolitical talk (45-60 minutes in length) that introduces the new framework for thriving and contributing that is both inspiring and transformational for innovators across sectors. De Sio’s experiences in cultivating a new generation of leaders converge at a new understanding of how to maximize impact in an Everyone a Changemaker world.


Hon. Henry F. De Sio, Jr. is the Global Chair for Framework Change at Ashoka, and its “Great Changemakers Start In Their Youth” campaign. He is the author of Campaign Inc.: How Leadership and Organization Propelled Barack Obama to the White House. Henry was deputy assistant to President Obama, and previously served as the 2008 chief operating officer in his presidential campaign. Henry is also a 2016 Visiting Scholar to the Underwood Center for Educational Attainment at University of Tasmania and 2017 Resident Fellow at the Rockefeller Bellagio Center on Youth as Agents of Transformative Change.