The Launch of The Possibilists

June 17, 2021

Dear Changemakers around the world,

We are so excited to announce that, on June 16th, The Possibilists, a new study - the first of its kind - initiated by ChangemakerXchange community and conducted by a global alliance of youth communities, reveals the pressing needs of young changemakers worldwide who dedicate their lives to social and environmental causes.

"Young changemakers are resilient, innovative and intrinsically motivated to change the world and improve the lives of others. But, in doing so, they’re sacrificing their wealth and wellbeing. As a society, we need to step up our game and better support young people who dedicate their lives to social and environmental causes," says Nick McGirl, our Co-Founder & Managing Director at ChangemakerXchange, the umbrella organization that hosts The Possibilists.

The study surveyed a diverse group of about 800 young social innovators aged 16-35 from 137 countries who all lead impact-focused initiatives, social businesses, non-profits and campaigns related to every single one of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, from lobbying for the rights of migrant construction workers to supporting sexual violence survivors.

The participants in the study come from the different organizations supporting young changemakers; Ashoka, ChangemakerXChange, Global Changemakers, Kofi Annan Foundation, MasterPeace, Obama Foundation, One Young World, Peace First, Social Impact Award, Social Shifters, SOS Children’s Villages, The Diana Award, Unleash, We Are Family Foundation, Young Sustainable Impact, and Yunus & Youth.

The Possibilists is kindly supported by the SAP Foundation and Google.org.

"If you want to spark change in the world and demonstrate what's possible, look to the youth for inspiration. The valuable impact that these social entrepreneurs are delivering can be attributed to their fresh perspective; the world has a lot to learn from their ingenuity and perseverance. SAP is proud to support this research, connecting people and information to accelerate solutions for the world's most complex challenges," says Alexandra van der Ploeg, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at SAP.

"Young social innovators can play a key role in helping our societies recover from the pandemic and in building digital, inclusive and sustainable economies that work for everyone. Google.org is proud to support many young changemakers through our programmes and grants. We're also delighted to support this important research which shows that so much more can be done to help them overcome significant personal and financial barriers, and provide access to capital, skills and support networks to enable them to tackle some of the world's biggest systemic challenges," says Rowan Barnett, Head of Google.org for Europe, Middle East and Africa

The report outlines recommendations for organizations to better support changemakers on a personal level and in their work with their initiatives and organizations.

The Way Forward

The study shows that young changemakers are willing to take on the world’s greatest challenges to create a better future, but they cannot do it alone. That is why at the launch event, the Ecosystem Solutions Initiative was launched. It will source, document, present and connect the world’s best ecosystemic solutions which address the challenges and recommendations presented in The Possibilists study.

We are looking for ecosystemic solutions which truly improve the lives, work and wellbeing conditions for young changemakers:

  1. Innovation and Relevance. The solution should be innovative and address the actual needs and wishes of young changemakers as presented in the Possibilists study.
  2. Impact and Scalability. We look for solutions which already create tangible impact and have the potential to scale.
  3. Willingness to connect. The innovators behind the solutions should have an interest and desire to connect with like-minded individuals and the broader ecosystem.

The deadline for submissions is August 15.