Episode 28 - The Change Maker Journey with Mentor Dida Part 1
In the next two episodes, we learn about the Change Maker Journey with Mentor Dida of the International organization Ashoka. Mentor shares his personal journey through growing up in a war zone to his transformation into a change maker and then to a change leader. In this episode specifically, Mentor shares his own change maker journey.
Biography of Mentor Dida
I’m a people person who always gets excited about new ideas and possibilities to design meaningful solutions to advance humanity. Advancing humanity is dear to my heart because after having lived through the 1999 Kosovo war, I realized that the real problems were not the people who caused the problems, but those who did not do anything about them. I’m a firm believer that all of our problems are just opportunities that we have not designed the right solutions yet; what we need is some more empathy, sophisticated teamwork, collaborative leadership, and changemaking.
During high school, I found a deep appreciation for physics. It is a science that aims to make things simple and explain why things happen the way they do. That was the reason why I chose to study engineering, and I ended up graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Alternative Energy Technologies from Arizona State University (ASU).
While I was an engineering student, I had a realization that moved me profoundly and was the reason why I chose to dedicate my time on advancing humanity. That moment triggered an inner drive in me to take many leadership roles including co-founding 5 student organization, leading a university initiative, serving as a student senator, and co-founding two non-profit organizations. I continued to pursue a graduate degree in Global Technology and Entrepreneurship at ASU. My graduate thesis was studying the human-centered design approach to problem-solving; where I got to explore ways people come up with powerful ideas. ASU provided incredible recognitions including Valedictorian, Graduate Commencement Student Speaker, the prestigious Pitchfork Award as the Outstanding Graduate Student Leader, Lean Six Sigma Black, and Green Belt, and more.
All of this led me to Ashoka, the world’s pioneer network of system-changing social entrepreneurs, and its mission to catalyze a future in which everyone has the necessary tools and knowledge to drive change for the good of all.