Creating Social Value Blog / Social Innovation

Honoring Len Schlesinger: Chief Changemaker

Babson is a unique community that regularly attracts people looking to make a significant change in the status quo. Tapping into our entrepreneurial spirit, many of us in the Babson Community are oriented toward seeing things differently and discovering new outcomes to existing dilemmas—both on and off campus. The Lewis Institute celebrates these Changemakers and looks to promote Babson’s role in reshaping the world, whether that’s on campus, in the local community, or on a global scale.

The Lewis Institute Changemaker Award is designed to recognize members of the Babson Community who have set something in motion in order to create positive change.  These Changemakers influence us in profound ways that become part of who we are, how we act and how we in turn influence others in positive ways. Changemakers are so powerful that we metabolize their influence and it becomes a new part of our thinking and acting.

The number of nominations doubled from within the Babson community this year. Of these nominees, five were honored as Lewis Institute Changemakers in four categories at a ceremony on May 1st:

Faculty: Dennis Hanno
Staff: Kate O’Leary (HR)
Graduate Student: Chet Clem M ‘13
Undergraduate Students: Lindsey Tarr ’13 and Amy Malinowski ‘13


2013 Changemaker Award recipients. Photo Credit: Ben Staples, BDS Photo

This year we also launched a special recognition award honoring a Chief Changemaker. This is a person who supports, enables and uses his or her power and influence to leverage the work of Changemakers to allow for greater impact.   We were proud to recognize Len Schlesinger as the recipient of the 2013 Champion Changemaker Award. He has created the environment for social innovation to thrive at Babson, evidenced by the fact that Babson is the ONLY school where:

  1. The Social Innovation Team is represented on its cabinet.
  2. The President has year in and year out been visible at some of the leading social innovation summits like Net Impact and Ashoka and has influenced their leadership.
  3. A book has been developed, The New Entrepreneurial Leader, that codifies and provides the way to create entrepreneurial leaders who challenge the status quo.
  4. An honorary degree has been given to the father of social entrepreneurship, Bill Drayton, and in so doing signaled the importance of social innovation and change as a central part of the commencement message to our graduates.
  5. The Changemaker campuses were assembled and briefed on our methodology of ET&A as a way for them to be to be better able to make impact on their campuses.

So, Len we all acknowledge your influence. You created the type of environment where changemakers can grow thrive and do what they do best….  Positively disrupt the status quo to make the world a better place.  Changemaking is not an individual sport. It is a co creative process and having champions is key to all of what we do. You enabled Babson and all of us to be the ONLY by your acts of leadership and generosity. Thank you from all of us.


2013 Changemaker Award recipients plus past recipients Rachel Greenberger M’11, Katrina Fludd ’08 MSM ‘10, Mathew Paisner M’12, Jamie Kendrioski, and Bob Turner. Photo Credit: Ben Staples, BDS Photo