Ashoka Fellow


Vice-president of Ashoka Latin America, board member of Sao Paulo Education City Council, and of Institute of Advanced Studies at University of Sao Paulo (IEA-USP). In Ashoka, she’s now living the motto “Every Youth can be a Changemaker”, sat on the idea that everyone as the potential, is just has to be unleashed at an young age.

Helena lived almost all of her life in São Paulo, Brazil. Being a PhD sociologist, she’s devoted to the themes of democracy and social innovation. But with a postdoctoral degree in education, most of her projects are focused on the field of education, she created a new very innovative type of school in Brazil. Helena’s drive is a change on the mindset of education, maybe that’s why, in 2015, she was recruited as special assistant to the Minister of Education, fostering innovation in basic education in the country, there she mapped 178 educational institutions.

Helena was the co-director of Learning City School for many years, and even today she’s acts as an adviser for many research projects in education and social innovation. She wrote several books and articles on education and human rights over the last few years and with the “Discursos Desconcertados: Linchamentos, Punições e Direitos Humanos”, in 2003, she won the CES Award for Young Portuguese-speaking Social Scientists. Among many others she is also the author of "República de Crianças: sobre experiências escolares de resistência" (Campinas, 2010) and organizer of the collection "Territórios Educativos: experiências em diálogo com o Bairro-escola" (São Paulo, 2014).

Her cause is education, a relentless believer on children development as a mean to achieve the transformation of the world.