ChangemakerXchange in 2023

December 20, 2023

Dear Changemakers around the world,

As we stand on the threshold of 2024 and reflect on the last twelve months that have shaped ChangemakerXchange, it has been a year of careful growth and positive impact, as the seeds we planted in the past year are beginning to bear fruit.

Yet, as we see so many heart-wrenching conflicts and crises around the world, our reflection begins with an acknowledgment of the challenges faced by many. We know that by taking a moment to pause, reflect, and celebrate, we not only appreciate how far we’ve come but also strengthen our resilience, enabling us to better navigate times of uncertainty. We hope this inspires you to pause and reflect on your own journey too.

So, let’s dive into it. ChangemakerXchange in 2023, across the three core pillars of our work.

Pillar 1: ChangemakerXchange Community

Through the ChangemakerXchange Community, we reach and work directly with ± 1000 changemakers across 130 countries globally. New members join via our flagship summits, a unique experience of connecting, co-learning, and collaborating with other social innovators from the region. This is then followed by ongoing, and life-long, community engagement, capacity building, and support for their work.

Online Co-Creation Summit

The ChangemakerXchange Co-Creation Summit has been an integral part of our community, bringing together members to collectively shape its direction. This year, we focused on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), as part of our commitment to deepen our understanding of this topic.

The importance of DEI resonates with our own findings from The Possibilists study, which shows that young social innovators who identify as being marginalised face even greater barriers, leading to increased burnout and financial insecurity. Additionally, DEI is essential for fulfilling our vision, as deep connections and co-creation rely on people feeling included and belonging.

Over 60 members participated and contributed ideas to promote DEI in key aspects of our organisation. As one of the results, our community members have the opportunity to host events and activities that promote DEI for their local communities, team, and ChangemakerXchange overall.

At the heart of ChangemakerXchange is a vibrant close-knit community of 1000 changemakers united by shared values, vision, and mission. Discover more about our community by following the link below.

Member-Hosted ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’ Events

From August of this year to January of the next, our community has been actively engaged in organizing a total of 13 events—both online and offline. These events have been spearheaded by 13 community members, covering a wide range of diverse topics, ranging from raising awareness about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) among children, online training sessions aimed at promoting DEI in the workplace, to hosting dialogues on disability.

We supported these efforts financially and piloted a process of participatory budgeting, embracing a community-driven approach to decision-making in allocating the funds.

We have created dedicated page containing guidelines, resources, and documentation to uphold Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) within the ChangemakerXchange core team and the community. This information is accessible to the public.

Secret Buddies | New Year Edition

Beginning as an experiment and later sustained through various iterations, known as ‘Secret Buddies,’ we cultivate connections among our community members by connecting them in pairs from across the world while maintaining anonymity. Over 100 members have participated, describing it as a special experience where they can build genuine connections without any judgments or baggage.

At the start of this year, we introduced the fourth theme to kick off the year with a sense of connection and grounding: the New Year Edition. This activity and the responses we received serve as a reminder that cultivating connections is vital in today’s world. It reinforces the importance of building relationships that go beyond surface-level interactions.

If you wish to connect with our changemakers, we have a dedicated page that can assist you in finding them based on their area of work and demographic information.

Changemakers for the Planet

Supported by our partners SAP and Apple in different regions, we carried out activities under the Changemakers for the Planet umbrella in MENA, Latin America, Sub Saharan Africa & Europe. Through this global initiative, we connect, support, and amplify the work and voices of hundreds of young changemakers, activists, and innovators from all regions of the world who address the planetary crisis.

This year marks the first time we expanded the program to include the Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America regions. With the generous support of our community members, we received a record-breaking number of applications in the history of the ChangemakerXchange Summits —over 1800 applications in total. As the year concludes, we proudly welcome 80 climate changemakers to our global community.

We are committed to prioritising the addressing the planetary crisis and empowering climate changemakers globally. Visit our dedicated page to discover more and engage in our initiatives.

ChangemakerXchange at COP28

The participation of young changemakers at COP28 was more crucial than ever, as we are at a halfway point between the Paris Agreement and 2030. Recognizing the active involvement of numerous participants from the Changemakers for the Planet program, we were committed to empowering them to maximize their impact at COP28.

Thanks to the support of our program partners at Apple and SAP, we eliminated financial barriers, ensuring some of our changemakers could fully engage in COP28. Additionally, we facilitated their connection to the local ecosystem and provided platforms for showcasing their impactful work and stories.

Learn more about how we supported our climate changemakers at COP28 through the link below.

Mental Health First Aid

Mental health is a universal and worldwide concern. Recent statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) reveal that approximately 20% of the world’s children and adolescents grapple with mental health conditions. It is often asserted that the impact of mental health extends to each of us, whether directly or indirectly.

Over the past year, we have been committed to supporting our community members in need. Our efforts included offering a series of 1:1 and group sessions. These sessions were facilitated by our certified Mental Health First Aid Respondents from our trained group of facilitators.

Bosch Alumni Network’s Social Innovation Cluster

Through the Social Innovation Cluster, our partnership with Bosch Alumni Network, our community members have benefited from a range of programs. A notable initiative within this collaboration is ‘The Abundance Fellowship.’ It is an in-depth programme tailored for social innovators looking to regenerate their relationship with money, economy, and livelihoods.

Members from both networks actively participated, and we hosted three masterclasses featuring leaders and thinkers in the sector.

Rise Challenge

We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with Rise, a global initiative of Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust. Together, we’re on the lookout for young trailblazers with world-changing ideas.

Rise seeks promising young people ages 15-17 and encourages a lifetime of service and learning by providing support that may include need-based scholarships, mentorship, networking, access to career development opportunities, and the potential for additional funding as Rise Global Winners work toward solving humanity’s most pressing problems.

If you know talented young individuals aged 15 to 17, make sure they do not miss out on this opportunity.

Pillar 2: Facilitators for Change

Through our Facilitators for Change programme, we have now trained 100 community members (and counting!) to be world-class facilitators. They now facilitate our summits and accompany other networks of changemakers in their work. Building on our learnings from working with hundreds of social innovators, we have also trained in total of over 250 civil society leaders in the facilitation skills needed to create spaces for collective impact.

Our Global Facilitation Pool is Growing!

This year, we reached the milestone of having 100 ChangemakerXchange facilitators. These facilitators represent the diversity of our global community, bringing different experiences and backgrounds to help us work together for positive change worldwide.

Training for Our Internal Facilitators

We view our global facilitation pool as a laboratory for experimenting with innovative and participatory facilitation methods. That’s why ongoing training is crucial for us. We’re committed to enhancing the skills and expertise of our facilitators, with a focus on key areas; creating  deeper human connection, fostering wellbeing and enabling peer to peer learning and tangible  collaborations.

Earlier this year, in collaboration with the Beisheim Foundation, a select group of our facilitators gained access to Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Training by Mental Health First Aid International. After completing the training, these facilitators gave back by providing supportive spaces for community members in need.

Moreover, we conducted an in-person training-of-trainers for 28 facilitators, aimed at strengthening the diversity of the CXC Global Facilitation Pool. This initiative aligns with our commitment to enhance our capacity to host and facilitate high-quality learning experiences. The goal is to ensure ongoing knowledge exchange, peer learning, as well as increased engagement and collaboration within the CXC community.

Training-of-Trainers on Online Facilitation (for external)

In February this year, we hosted our renowned training on ‘Creating Transformative Experiences Online,’ where we shared our knowledge and expertise in hosting dynamic and engaging online spaces. We’re excited with the outcome—20 individuals equipped as proficient online facilitators and community builders.

You can access some of our favourite tips and tricks when it comes to facilitating online gatherings. Visit our open-source toolkit for online facilitation and unlock your online facilitation superpowers.

Facilitation Partnerships (for external)

Throughout this year, ChangemakerXchange has been actively involved in numerous impactful facilitation partnerships.

In May, we conducted approximately 10 sessions at ChangeNOW, featuring a variety of activities such as panel discussions and pitching sessions. Additionally, we led two sprints during the symposium, each uniting a team of experts to address unique challenges related to the global water and sanitation crisis. In the subsequent months, our facilitators played a key role in supporting two parallel online summits, catering to both young individuals and SOS Children’s Villages youth workers.

We also got to host a three-day retreat for Famtastich Stiftung. The retreat encompassed various sessions covering topics like systems thinking, well-being, collaboration, personal bonding, and more.

All year round, we hosted the Bosch Alumni Network’s Social Innovation Cluster, providing extensive facilitation and convening support to the broader network. Under the umbrella of the Social Innovation Cluster (SIC), we organized a diverse range of activities focusing on four pillars of action: human connection, inspiration, capacity building, and collaboration.

If you’re eager to delve into more details about our past and ongoing facilitation projects and partnerships, or if you simply want to learn more about our outstanding facilitators and their work, visit our dedicated page through the link below.

Pillar 3: The Possibilists

Through The Possibilists we work towards aligning the support ecosystem around a shared understanding of the needs and challenges of young changemakers and to create the best possible conditions for them to thrive and to deepen or scale their impact.

The Possibilists Alliance and Network Partners are growing strong.

The Possibilists is an alliance of some of the world’s largest youth social innovation networks. Currently, the Possibilists Alliance is flourishing with 21 of the world’s largest youth social innovation networks collaborating.

In an endeavor to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion within our data set and to authentically represent the perspectives of young people worldwide, we extended invitations to local organizations across the globe to join our initiative. The count is now at 60 and still growing.

Explore more about us and our initiatives through our interactive website.

Launch of the 2023 Global Study & Report

This year, we conducted our most extensive and diverse scientific study to date, involving 1650 changemakers, activists, and social entrepreneurs from 135 countries who shared insights into their impact, needs, and challenges.

The findings from the 2023 Report offer support organizations worldwide the necessary data to enhance conditions for young changemakers globally. Furthermore, it includes sets of recommendations for key stakeholders in the changemaking ecosystem; support networks, funders, policy makers, and changemakers themselves.

We encourage you to dedicate some time to explore The Possibilists Study 2023.

Launch of the We Are Family Foundation x The Possibilists Compendium Study on Intergenerational Collaboration.

Designed in partnership with The Possibilists and the University of Vienna, We Are Family Foundation launched a Global Study that delves deep into the present and future of Collaborating Across Generations. The study will aim to shed light on how we can co-create more effective collaboration between generations—a vital step in solving our planet’s most pressing issues.

The detailed analysis and findings will be made available in the coming months. Stay tuned for more updates!

Thank you for staying with us until the end!

Your support means the world to us as we strive to continue to empower changemakers and nurture the changemaking ecosystem. We look forward to another year of meaningful growth and impact in 2024.

Be well!

– Your ChangemakerXchange Team