Unsung Hero Spotlight: Noa Gafni

To you, what is an Ecosystem Builder?

An ecosystem builder is someone who can view the complexity of issues while creatively experimenting with solutions and partnering with others who can amplify impact.

What motivates you as an ecosystem builder?

I’m motivated by the people around me — those who work tirelessly on the ground to make an impact in their communities. I feel privileged to be able to tie together different individuals and initiatives, consolidate those learnings, and share and connect them more broadly.

What is the most successful/impactful program/event/thing you do/have done in your ecosystem?

I’m proud of our work at the Rutgers Institute for Corporate Social Innovation. It’s rare for a public university to take on this work, and I’m thrilled that we’re rising to the challenge, creating programs and initiatives for the students who need it most.

What is the biggest challenge you face as an Ecosystem Builder?

Resources! And measuring impact in a holistic way.

What is your biggest frustration as an ecosystem builder?

We live in a world where expectations exist around instantaneous success. In ecosystems, that’s not realistic or even preferable. We need to give people time to adapt.

What ecosystem building skill/knowledge do you want to gain?


What are the most important things that need to happen to advance the field of ecosystem building?

We need to develop a broader lexicon and systematize ways of working.


This article is proudly sponsored by CO.STARTERS. We equip unsung heroes, unlikely starters, and unordinary communities to thrive through entrepreneurship. Learn more at costarters.co.

Anika Horn

Anika Horn is an ecosystem builder for social change, social enterprise advisor and storyteller. She is on a mission to equip ecosystem builders with the insights, resources and community to lead fulfilling lives and purpose-driven careers. Learn more about her work at SocialVenturers.com and AnikaHorn.com.

Ecosystem Builder
Featured Original Content

Help Grow the Field of Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building

Join a collaborative effort to design, create, and validate the advancement of the entrepreneurship ecosystem building field of practice. A small, but growing number of people are turning to entrepreneurial ecosystem building as a strategy to build more inclusive and resilient economies. For years, the leading standard bearer in this nascent movement was the Kauffman […]

Read More
Ecosystem Building Leadership Project Launch
Featured Original Content Press Release

A National Project to Advance Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Building

Leaders Across Thirty Plus National Entrepreneurship Support Organizations Come Together to Advance the Field of Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Building An initiative has launched to advance the entrepreneurship ecosystem building field of practice, hosted by the International Business Innovation Associate (InBIA), with funding and support by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The Ecosystem Building Leadership Project (EBLP) […]

Read More
Cultivating a Practice of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Ecosystem Building Programs
Inclusion & Diversity Inclusive Field Insights from the Field Original Content

Cultivating a Practice of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Ecosystem Building Programs

Cultivating a culture and practice of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has become a core principle for entrepreneurial ecosystem builders. As part of the Insights from the Field campaign, I wanted to hear from other ecosystem builders in the field about their approaches to DEI, and hopefully identify specific techniques that they’ve incorporated in their […]

Read More