Episode 4: Michael Sani discusses the evolving roles of a social entrepreneur

Michael Sani founded Bite the Ballot (BTB), an organization in the UK that mobilizes young people to vote. BTB started as an idea in one classroom and grew into a national movement. At a national election in 2014, over 400,000 people registered to vote via BTB's platform. For the BREXIT referendum, that number was 1.9 million. The organization also promoted a number of policy changes that made voter registration easier for young people.
Each step of the journey required Michael to assume a different role, including teacher, organizational developer, campaigner, advocate, network builder, and others. In the interview, Michael walks us through his thought process of why he decided to transition from one role to another, as well as the difficulties and conflicts that these decisions entailed. He also highlights the importance of personal development and letting go of "ego" in order to have more impact on a systems level.
Key questions explored in this episode include : How do you decide which role you should play as a social entrepreneur? What is the relationship between systems change, personal development, and well-being?

Om Podcasten

In 2020 Ashoka’s Globalizer launched a new podcast series on systems change with the first 6-episode season. That season was produced in partnership between Fergal Byrne, the host of the well-known Inspiring Social Entrepreneurs podcast, and Odin Muehlenbein, partner at Ashoka Germany and co-lead of the Systems Unit at Ashoka Globalizer. The first season explores how experienced social entrepreneurs - Jordan Kassalow, Jeroo Billimoria, Michael Sani, Kendis Peris - and Silvia Bastante, as a supporter to social entrepreneurs at Co-Impact, use systems change approaches in their work. Complement listening to the first season with reading the “Systemic and Empowering” report featuring five case studies of social entrepreneurs working to improve systems - https://lac.ashoka.org/story/systemic-and-empowering. In early 2021, we continue to explore the topic of systems change and are launching the second mini-season with 4 episodes. This time we will explore how social entrepreneurs can effectively work with governments to improve systems together. This season is co-hosted by Sascha Haselmayer, a seasoned social entrepreneur and an Ashoka Fellow who has worked with 135 municipal governments across the world to improve the provision of public services, and Olga Shirobokova, co-lead of the Systems Unit at Ashoka Globalizer. The 2nd podcast season complements the free online course for social entrepreneurs on Working With Government that Ashoka launched in fall 2020: www.ashoka.org/working-with-government . Please listen to the podcast on the platform of your choice and leave an honest review. Share it with fellow changemakers and funders and continue the conversation using #systemschange and @ashoka. We can all have more impact together if we work systemically.