Odin Mühlenbein - Affiliations

Ashoka: I am a Partner at Ashoka Germany. Ashoka is the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs.

  • Payment. Ashoka Germany pays for the time that I invest in LEAP.
  • Expectations. The hope of Ashoka Germany is that LEAP will help the field of social entrepreneurship by making it easier for social entrepreneurs to get funding for systems change work. This is in line with previous ecosystem initiatives that Ashoka Germany co-initiated, including the Financing Agency for Social Entrepreneurship, the Social Reporting Standard, and the Social Entrepreneurship Network Germany. Ashoka has no expectations with regard to how exactly LEAP is supposed to work and organize.
  • Credit/Disclosure. Ashoka Germany will mention my work at LEAP in their yearly report as part of their commitment to transparency. LEAP can mention Ashoka as a co-initiator if they think that that is helpful, but Ashoka does not expect this to happen.
  • Perspective. With LEAP, I want to support social entrepreneurs in Ashoka’s understanding of the word: not businesses that also do some good while selling products and services, but innovators that change social systems to be more efficient, inclusive, and just. I co-authored a report that provides examples: “Systemic and Empowering: Social Entrepreneurship in the Time of Philanthrocapitalism“. My views on how systems change work should be funded are based on the lived experiences of system entrepreneurs in the Ashoka network.
  • Legitimacy and accountability. I believe that being grounded in this network provides both legitimacy and accountability for my contributions to LEAP.
  • Potential conflicts of interest: donors. Before I engage potential donors for LEAP, I check if they already have a connection with Ashoka. If so, I talk to the colleague at Ashoka who manages that relationship. In most cases, that will help us engage the partner, but it could also mean that I need to take myself out of that particular engagement.
  • Potential conflict of interest: vetting. Ashoka has a thorough selection process for social entrepreneurs. Because I trust that process, I believe that members of the Ashoka Fellowship are good to have in the facilitation team and the community, and that they are worthy recipients of funds for systems change work.

Catalyst 2030: I am a founding member and ambassador for Catalyst 2030. Catalyst is a global network of social entrepreneurs that is led by social entrepreneurs themselves and supported by some the world’s largest social entrepreneurship intermediaries, including Ashoka, Echoing Green, the Schwab Foundation and the Skoll Foundation. 

  • Formal connection. My work at LEAP is not tied in a formal way to my work at Catalyst.
  • Similar work and motivation. Within Catalyst, I am a member of a working group that tries to change philanthropy so that more money is invested in systems change work of social entrepreneurs. In that role, I have co-initiated “Investors in Change“, a peer-learning program for donors on systems change. I was also involved in the Catalyst Awards for the best supporters of system entrepreneurs, which included categories for foundations and philanthropists. I hope that, at some point, LEAP will collaborate with Catalyst 2030, but that will be up to Catalyst and the LEAP community.
  • Legitimacy and accountability. Similar to Ashoka, I believe that being part of this community of leading social entrepreneurs provides legitimacy and accountability for my contributions to LEAP.
  • Potential conflicts of interest: global fund. Some members at Catalyst are thinking about setting up a systems change fund for social entrepreneurs on a global level. If that happens, I hope that LEAP can collaborate with that initiative. It might, however, also end up competing with LEAP, at least when it comes to funding systems changing social entrepreneurs. Since this possibility is purely speculative right now, I don’t yet have a clear idea on how to handle it in case it does become a reality.

Embracing Complexity: I am a co-author of the report “Embracing Complexity: Towards a Shared Understanding of Funding Systems Change.” The report was co-published by Ashoka, Catalyst 2030, Co-Impact, Echoing Green, McKinsey, Schwab, Skoll, and SystemIQ.

  • Perspective. The report summarizes five general principles that according to our research, pretty much everybody in the field of system entrepreneurship agrees on. I would like LEAP’s experiments to be guided by these principles.