Delyse Sylvester, Ashoka Changemakers (CGI 2010)
Ashoka’s Changemakers is a global online community of action that connects people to share ideas, inspire and mentor each other, and find and support the best ideas in social innovation.
Changemakers is among the world’s most robust laboratories for launching, refining, and scaling ideas for solving the world’s most pressing social problems. At every level of engagement – from enthusiastic newcomers to experienced social entrepreneurs to corporate executives looking for promising ventures, the site engages individuals who want to make change happen and helps connect them to solutions that address the issues they care about. Changemakers builds on Ashoka’s™ three decades of identifying and selecting leading social entrepreneurs and its goal of an “Everyone a Changemaker” global society.
Through inspiring stories and discussions, the community advances ideas for change in areas as diverse as sanitation and government transparency, young men at risk and food security, rural development and health care innovation.
Participants in Changemakers online competitions compete to surface the most promising solutions, and then collaborate to refine, enrich, and implement them. Changemakers has launched over twenty collaborative competitions – open source contests that invite entries from all over the globe to vie for profile and cash prizes. All proposals are posted online and open to the community – to review, comment, advise, and find collaborators and supporters. Expert moderators keep the conversation lively, providing invaluable transparent feedback for entrants.
Competition sponsors find brilliant ideas to support and invest in. Among the Changemakers partners in recent Collaborative Competitions are National Geographic, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Nike, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Citibank.
Since 2004, Changemakers competitions have surfaced approximately 5,000 high-impact solutions from over 145 countries. They have attracted approximately $30 million in post-competition investment for innovators around the globe.
And they have yielded unexpected and invaluable connections and collaborations. Innovators learn from one another, improve their own model, and connect with previously unknown partners.
These kinds of collaborations also thrive in Changemakers groups, forums for people working on similar issues and solutions, where support and mentorship can happen all day, every day. And, Changemakers inspiring stories highlight the innovations that are breaking molds and the individuals and organizations that make them happen.
Please explore changemakers.com and join our vibrant community of action.