Connecting the Connectors of Social Change

Terri Jayme Mora, Ashoka Philippines

This profile is part of a series on the social entrepreneurship movement in Manila. Read the main article here.

“People are realizing that if they want to solve issues at a certain scale, they can’t to do it on their own.”

Terri Jayme Mora started her career in search of opportunities in mediation and small arms disarmament. Along the way, she found herself working with an organization that promotes peacebuilding through martial arts; marketing for a lifestyle and beauty brand; and today, leading the Philippines office of Ashoka, an international organization that has driven the growth of the social entrepreneurship sector over the past 36 years.

Her own zigzagging path has endowed Terri with the uncanny ability to weave in and out of different perspectives. She sees the next chapter of supporting social entrepreneurs — and building a stronger global society — as one that hinges of this ability to empathize, connect deeply, and build upon a foundation of mutual understanding.

After working abroad for several years, Terri returned to the Philippines in 2013 to launch Ashoka Philippines, and through this platform, begin to identify and accelerate the work of system-changing innovators across the Filipino archipelago.

In the Philippines, Ashoka Fellows include Girlie Lorenzo of Kythe, who is galvanizing hospitals, university students, and government institutions towards greater support for children with terminal illnesses; Laurindo Garcia of B-Change, who is bringing together business, local government units, and young men with HIV to promote health and wellness; and Cristina Liamzon of Leadership & Social Entrepreneurship, who is creating a network of Overseas Filipino Workers to reclaim their financial independence and contribute to their communities.

Together, they represent a larger movement of ethical and entrepreneurial leaders crafting new solutions that change policies, industries, and systems in the Philippines. From their mosaic of ideas and initiatives, a core insight has emerged: that the most effective social entrepreneurs reach unparalleled scale through building bridges, engaging networks, and activating the potentials of others to lead their own change.

With this insight and Ashoka’s vision of an “Everyone a Changemaker” world at heart, Terri is now leading the Ashoka Philippines team and its Fellowship network to unite the different silos — to connect the connectors of development — around higher standards of inclusivity and social change.