Ashoka was Emperor of the Mauryan Empire in the third century BC.
Asoka is a 2001 film giving a largely fictional account of Ashoka's life story. It was directed by Santosh Sivan and stars Shahrukh Khan as Ashoka and Kareena Kapoor as Kaurwaki, a princess of Kalinga.
The Ashoka tree is a flowering tree found in India and Sri Lanka.
Ashoka is also the name of a global organization (www.ashoka.org) that accelerates social change by identifying and investing in leading social entrepreneurs. Ashoka's mission is to develop the profession of social entrepreneurship around the world.
Leading social entrepreneurs (Ashoka "Fellows") work in every area of human need and are found in every country around the globe. What defines them and their work, and what Ashoka demands of its Fellows, is the highest standard of innovation, entrepreneurial skill, creativity, social impact and human ethics.
Ashoka invests in people. It is a global non-profit organization that searches the world for social entrepreneurs?extraordinary individuals with unprecedented ideas for change in their communities. Ashoka identifies and invests in these social entrepreneurs when no one else will. It does so through stipends and professional services that allow "Ashoka Fellows" to focus fulltime on their ideas for leading social change in education and youth development, health care, environment, human rights, access to technology and economic development.
Ashoka first began electing leading social entrepreneurs to its global fellowship in India in 1982. Today, 20 years later, the fellowship comprises more than 1,200 leading social entrepreneurs in 44 countries throughout Asia, Latin America, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe and the United States. All Ashoka funds are privately raised from individual donors and private or corporate charitable foundations.