years creating a better world

About Marie Ringler

Marie Ringler is leading Ashoka's work in Europe. She founded Ashoka's Austrian office in 2011 and soon took over Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe. In 2015 she became one of Ashoka's Europe Directors, in 2018 she was appointed European Leader of Ashoka. She was born in Vienna, studied Sociology, Political Science and Women`s Studies at the University of Vienna, and holds a degree from ESADE Business School, Spain and an MBA from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. In the late 90`s she helped build Public Netbase, an art institution dedicated to exploring the social implications of the internet and new technologies through the lens of art, and later became its managing director. She was elected into office as a Member of the Regional Parliament and City Council of Vienna in 2001, making her the youngest member. During her time in office, she focused on developing policy to drive innovations in society, and served on the Vienna Department of Commerce Advisory Board, initiated the city’s Open Source Software Strategy and developed a federal policy program for Innovation. After two successful terms in office, she decided against a life-long career in politics and established Ashoka`s Austrian office in Vienna. In her role as Director of Ashoka in Central and Eastern Europe she led Ashoka’s relaunch efforts in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Israel. As Europe Leader Ringler is advancing Ashoka’s work in over 26 country offices who support more than 570 Social Entrepreneurs (“Ashoka Fellows”). Ringler serves as a 2nd Opinion Interviewer in Ashoka’s Global Fellow Selection process and has led the global selection process for more than 50 Fellows in countries such as Indonesia, Nigeria, Mexico, Colombia, and the US. Her work has been featured extensively in international media and she is a frequent speaker at conferences and events focusing on social entrepreneurship, social innovation, cross-sectoral collaboration and policy. She was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Austrian Broadcasting Agency (ORF), and serves on several award juries. Ashoka is the world`s largest network of 3.600 Social Entrepreneurs, spanning across more than 90 countries, who are solving some of the world`s toughest social problems. Ashoka works to identify, elect and support leading social entrepreneurs financially and professionally. We bring communities of social entrepreneurs together to help leverage their impact, scale their ideas, and disseminate their practices. And we help to build the infrastructure, financial systems and mindsets needed to facilitate the global growth of social innovation and an Everyone a Changemaker world:

Über Marie Ringler

Marie Ringler hat mit 2018 die Gesamtverantwortung für Ashoka Europa übernommen. 2011 startete sie Ashoka in Österreich und hat die Region Zentral- und Osteuropa revitalisiert. Ashoka unterstützt seit 1980 mehr als 3600 SozialunternehmerInnen mit dem Ziel: Everyone a Changemaker und ist das weltweit größte Unterstützungsnetzwerk für Social Entrepreneurs. Sie studierte Soziologie und Politikwissenschaften an der Universität Wien und hält einen MBA der Hochschule St. Gallen, Schweiz und ESADE Business School, Spanien. Bereits während ihres Studiums war sie am Aufbau des Instituts für neue Kulturtechnologien/Public Netbase beteiligt, einer internationalen Kompetenz-Plattform rund um die kritische Nutzung von Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien. Von 1998 bis 2000 war Ringler Geschäftsführerin von Public Netbase. Von 2001 bis 2010 war sie Landtagsabgeordnete und Gemeinderätin der Grünen in Wien. Mitglied des Stiftungsrat des ORF (Österreichischer Rundfunk, 2016-2018). Jury-Mitglied, u.a. des Social Impact Award, T-Mobile TUN Fonds, Ö1 Orte in Bewegung und des Betrieblichen Sozialpreis fair-finance. Sie hält regelmäßig Vorträge und Präsentationen auf österreichischen und internationalen Konferenzen und initiierte zahlreiche Projekte und Veranstaltungsreihen zu den Schwerpunkten Social Entrepreneurship, Impact Investing, Zivilgesellschaft, europäische Medienkultur, Bürgerrechte, sowie neuen Kommunikationsformen im Internet und in der Politik. Ashoka ist seit über 30 Jahren die weltweit führende Organisation zur Förderung von Social EntrepreneurInnen. Ashoka unterstützt herausragende Menschen mit unternehmerischem Geist, die mit ihrer Idee ihren Sektor revolutionieren und dabei die dringlichsten Probleme unserer Gesellschaft lösen. Eingebettet in globale Strategie, legt Ashokas lokal adaptiertes Fellowship-Programm den Fokus auf Skalierung und Wirkungsmaximierung: www.ashoka-cee-org.

Ashoka Europe Leader
Since 2018

Leading a team of 120 colleagues in 18 European offices who work with over 550 Social Entrepreneurs in 26 countries. Driving Ashoka's mission of Everyone a Changemaker and building ecosystems for Changemakers.

Ashoka Europe Director
since 2015

Marie Ringler founded Ashoka in Austria in 2011 and since 2015 she is also one of Ashoka`s Europe Directors. In her role as Director of Ashoka in Central and Eastern Europe she has been leading the relaunch efforts in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary and is also responsible for Ashoka`s work in Poland and the Baltics.

Founder Ashoka Austria
since 2011

For over 30 years Ashoka has been the leading worldwide organization in supporting social entrepreneurship. In 2011 Marie set up the Austrian office of Ashoka.

Elected Member of the Vienna Federal State Parliament and Vienna City Council
2001 - 2010

Landtagsabgeordnete und Gemeinderätin, Die Grünen/Green Party, Vienna/A. Reelected for second term 2005 – 2010. Spokes person for culture and technology policy.

Delegated or elected into the following political committees
2001 - 2010

2001 - 2010 Vienna City Council committee for culture and science 2005 - 2010 Vienna City Council political board of Vienna Business Agency 2005 - 2010 Vienna City Council committee for the Vienna Court of Auditors 2005 - 2010 National Media funding committee of the Republic of Austria 2001 – 2005 Vienna City Council tourism commission 2001 – 2005 Vienna City Council historic town conservation fund Internal party positions: 2005 - 2011 member regional-level steering board of the Vienna Green Party 2004 – 2005 founder, coordinator and spokesperson of the Green Party's national committee for a new party platform on innovation and technology policy 2003 – 2005 member regional-level party board of the Vienna Green Party 2002 - 2010 founder of technology policy networking group of Vienna Green Party 2001 - 2010 founder cultural policy networking group of the Vienna Green Party 2001 – 2004 member of the board of districts of the Viennese Green Party

Selected political achievements and projects
2001 - 2010

Spokesperson for Arts & Culture. Spokesperson for Media Policy and Innovation. 2008 Co-founder and spokesperson of "Platterwatch” - initiative against the surveillance state. Website: Concept, organization, recruitment and supervision of hundreds of activists, development of nation-wide campaign. 2007 Co-initiator of research and development call focusing on Open Source Software development with ZIT Zentrum für Innovation und Technologie - the technology promotion agency of the City of Vienna. 2005 Coordinator and spokesperson of the Green Party's national committee for a new party platform on innovation and technology policy. 2004 and 2005 Mentor for mentoring project "Genderize” of the Bundesjugendvertretung / Austrian Federal Youth Representative Council 2004 Campaign to raise public attention for Free and Open Source Software and Linux: development of free Linux Test CD, in cooperation with Munich Green Party and European Green Party. Concept, organization. 2004 Initiator of nation-wide competition for "Art in the Public Space”, sponsored by Vienna Green party. Concept, organization.

National Democratic Institute
July - August 2004

Volunteer Consultant, Kathmandu/Nepal. Advised political leaders on campaign development, issue and message development; counseled local parties on nation-wide survey and issues of political governance (anti-corruption, democratization of internal party structures).

Public Netbase tO/ Institute for New Culture Technologies
1998 - 2000

General Manager, Vienna/A. Responsible for financial management, fundraising, human resources management, production management, key account, investor communication.

Public Netbase tO/ Institute for New Culture Technologies
1996 - 1998

Assistant to the Director, Vienna/A. Conceptualized and designed concepts and organized various events, assisted with fund raising, press and public relations, key account management.

Public Netbase tO/ Institute for New Culture Technologies
1994 - 1996

Production Assistant, Vienna/A. Production support, technical support (online research, editing and web design, user support hotline of non-profit internet provider unit).


100 %
95 %
75 %
35 %


2008 - 2010
University of St.Gallen and ESADE Business School (MBA)

Master of Business Administration (MBA), University of St.Gallen, Switzerland first phase “Programme for Leadership Development” joint program with ESADE Business School, Spain, graduated top 20% of class, member of Beta Gamma Sigma - Honor Society for business programs.

1993 - 2002
Degree program, University of Vienna (Magister)

Degree program University of Vienna in Sociology (major), Gender Studies and Political Science (minor) at the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences (Magisterstudium), Vienna/A. Graduation 2002.

Federal grammar school XXIII Anton-Baumgartner-Straße

Vienna/A. Graduation (Matura) with distinction.