Meet the team
Executive Director, ASPIRe | Ashoka
Maria is ASPIRe’s global director. She has been with Ashoka for almost 20 years leading different programs, including Globalizer, Ashoka’s flagship program on scaling. Supporting leading Social Entrepreneurs and helping them think strategically about how to best scale their impact has been at the core of Maria’s work.
Design and Knowledge Director ASPIRe | Ashoka
Irina is ASPIRe´s Program Design and Knowledge Director. Before ASPIRe, Irina worked for over 13 years with leading organizations engaged in social entrepreneurship, philanthropy, education and culture. She has led the conception, design and launch of numerous initiatives with Ashoka, Nilekani Philanthropies and others.
Community and Knowledge Manager, ASPIRe | Ashoka
Deepali works as ASPIRe’s community manager. She brings in six years of experience in operation, implementation and research in the livelihood sector where she has been part of building and leading programs specially with women entrepreneurship and youth skill development. Her interest lies in seeing how technology can support women in financial inclusion and equality.
Eco-system and Partnership Director, ASPIRe | Ashoka
Gopal is ASPIRe´s Ecosystem and Partnerships Director. In the last 20 years, he has led social impact initiatives with a focus on youth. His innovative programs on ecosystem building for inclusion of people with disabilities in corporate sector has changed mindsets and influenced many policies in India, Mauritius and Kenya. He co-led the designing and implementing of one million jobs mission of the Government and the World Bank.
Program Manager, ASPIRe | Ashoka
Polina works as ASPIRe's Program Manager. She has five years of experience in social development sector, in particular UNDP and non-profits. Polina has been engaged at different stages of project management for social change, such as research, design, M&E, implementation, and reporting. She believes that structured approach and interdisciplinary partnerships are critical to the success of social initiatives.
Monitoring and Evaluation Manager, ASPIRe | Ashoka
Sharvari leverages her experience from the private sector and development sector to expertly build evidence, assess impact, and craft compelling narratives. Armed with a MSc in Development Economics and Impact Evaluation, she has worked with renowned organisations such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Thailand and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Jordan. Further, she has a profound understanding of the Livelihoods sector in India and has overseen country-wide impact evaluations and landscape studies.
Societal Thinking Liaison
Vyjanthi is a Program Manager at Societal Thinking. She strongly believes that every individual has an inherent willingness and ability to make this world a better place. She is committed to this transformation movement of activating it with the right energy and inspiration.
Chief Curator, Societal Thinking
Sanjay is the Chief Curator of Societal Thinking at EkStep Foundation. He is a strategic advisor and a mentor to several entrepreneurs & social enterprises.
Anand is a Societal Thinking Strategy and Innovation advisor for organizations looking to solve large scale problems with speed and in a sustainable way.
Ambassador of Ashoka Spain and TEDx Conferences
Antonella spent the first part of her career in commercial communication, working at Ogilvy & Mather and Saatchi & Saatchi as CEO, all around the world. In the last 15 years, she has devoted her life to the communication of social innovation and citizen innovators, in TV programs, TEDxTalks, and events promoting citizen Labs, as a curator, speaker and trainer. She is the Ambassador of Ashoka Spain since 2011.
Director of Strategy, Nilekani Philanthropies
Gautam believes that it is powerful to give people the ability to make a choice and that all individuals are agents of change.
Dr. Pramod Varma is the CTO for EkStep. He continues to be the Chief Architect and Technology Advisor for Aadhaar (UID) project. He is passionate about technology, science, society, and teaching.
Co-founder and Managing Partner at Sattva Consulting
Committed to ending poverty in our lifetime by enabling exceptional leaders & social organisations to achieve orbit shifting change and designing & implementing solutions that will solve social problems for good. My ideal career would be at the intersection of deep social impact, entrepreneurship and Consulting. Which is what I do today.
Founder / Director at Fraktal Impact
Founder and Director of Fraktal; an impact agency specialising in Fund Strategy, Due Diligence and Partner (Fundee) Support. Aside from impact leadership, culture, and organisational design, other personal specializations include solution design, social innovation, systems change and financing, implementing and scaling long-term transformative solutions to deep-rooted social challenges.
Ashoka Fellow since 2009
Sanjeev Arora is the Director and Founder of Project ECHO. He is a Distinguished Professor of Medicine with tenure in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. Project ECHO® (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) dramatically improves both capacity and access to speciality care for rural and underserved populations.
CEO and Co-founder of EkStep
Shankar Maruwada is the CEO and Co-founder of EkStep. He is an entrepreneur and marketing professional with a wide range of experience working on large scale projects. He is also an investor in startups and a mentor to entrepreneurs.