The Changemaker Education Research Forum (CERF) brings together practitioners and scholars from around the world to enhance the knowledge base of social innovation and changemaking.

CERF was initially launched by Ashoka Canada in 2020, previously the Canadian Changemaker Education Research Forum (C-CERF) and has now grown into a global gathering hosted by Ashoka U and Ashoka Canada. 100% of attendees found the most recent CERF to be a valuable experience.

CERF is a valuable opportunity to learn from others’ experience of changemaking across all sectors. The insights, examples and presenters are inspiring and well worth attending!” Deb Friel, CQUniversity Australia 

2024 CERF

The New Horizons of Social Innovation in Changemaker Education and Research

The 2024 CERF was held virtually February 29-March 1 and brought together 50+ practitioners, researchers, academics and students from Changemaker Campuses and beyond to explore the New Horizons of Social Innovation in Changemaker Education and Research. This Forum featured sixteen presentations over two days, including special presentations from Ashoka Fellows Camesha Cox, Tatiana Fraser and Ilona Dougherty. Through interactive Q&As and networking sessions, participants discussed innovative new paths forward in how changemaker education is taught, researched and measured. To learn more, click here to download the 2024 CERF Program. 

“I’m truly inspired by the collective energy at CERF and commitment to making a difference in the world. The experiences shared at the forum, along with the insights from other changemakers, have provided me with valuable perspectives that I intend to integrate into my work. We’re constantly striving to enhance our impact, and the forum has definitely equipped me with fresh ideas and approaches.”Dr. Guydeuk Yeon, Founder 

Special Edition of Social Innovations Journal

The Social Innovations Journal (SIJ) published a special edition in January 2023 highlighting research from the 2022 Changemaker Education Research Forum, titled Identifying and Addressing Cultural, Geopolitical, Structural, and Educational Barriers to Social Innovation. Click here to explore the research.

A “Meet the Authors” virtual symposium was held on January 25, 2023 to launch the special edition. Click here to watch the recording.

2022 CERF

The 2022 CERF was held at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and online from September 17-18. For the first time, CERF was held in conjunction with the International Social Innovation Research Conference (ISIRC). There were two thematic streams for this Forum: The Impact of Changemaker (Social Innovation) Education and Cultural, Geopolitical and Structural Barriers to Social Innovation. Over the course of two days, CERF featured 14 presentations and two Lunch & Learns, including a Lunch & Learn with Ashoka Fellow Jennifer DeCoste. The Forum hosted 30+ people in-person, 25+ people online and 30+ people at Lunch & Learns, including Ashoka Change Leaders, practitioners, researchers and students.

To learn more, click here to download the 2022 CERF Program.

2021 CERF

The 2021 CERF was held virtually from March 15-18 alongside the Ashoka U Exchange. The theme was Changemaking Research and included two streams: the Changemaking Research Showcase, through which researchers shared their insights, findings, and learnings with other participants, and the Research Connector Workshop, a space for collaborations that link the research capacity of Changemaker Campuses with the research needs of Ashoka Fellows, Ashoka Staff, and other Changemakers. To learn more, click here to download the 2021 CERF Program.

2020 CERF

The 2020 CERF was held at the Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto, Ontario on January 15. As the inaugural CERF, this Forum focused generally on bringing together researchers, practitioners, and theorists to discuss changemaking practice and theory.


Thanks to our partners RBC Future Launch for their continued support of CERF and Changemaker Education.

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