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Reducing education inequality across Asia

Through “Changemakers for Education” we identify, connect and support Asia’s leading young changemakers & social entrepreneurs who are pioneering tangible solutions to systematically address education inequality.
🙋

What do we do

Through this programme we search, identify, select and empower up to 25 young‚ education changemakers from across Asia in 2024.
Through this programme we search, identify, select and empower up to 25 young‚ education changemakers from across Asia in 2024.
More individuals than ever before in human history have access to education, yet the educational gap between the privileged and disadvantaged is wide. Factors such as birthplace, wealth, ethnicity or  gender determine access to education, and achievement. This programme aims to amplify initiatives across Asia that promote equal opportunities for self-development through education, with a particular focus on disadvantaged children, with the following principles in mind.

Closing Circle CXC Thailand 2018_scaled
Systemic and holistic
Equal opportunity for learning and education goes beyond the confines of classrooms; factors such as wellbeing, secure housing, financial security, adequate nourishment or a safe commute to school all influence accessibility of education. This programme seeks to support people who believe that systemic change requires holistic thinking and are tackling one or several of these intricate challenges.
Audience Pitch Night CXC China 2018 _scaled
Multiple stakeholders
While students and teachers are at the heart of education, systemic change will also require the participation and involvement of all relevant stakeholders, including parents, authorities, local communities and businesses, policy makers and the media. We are therefore particularly eager to support initiatives that take a multi-stakeholder perspective or explicitly address education inequality from the angle of crucial stakeholders.
OST7 Climate Action MENA 2022_Chico Shaaban
Foundational skills
In the primary education phase, foundational skills lay the groundwork for a child’s overall development, including numeracy skills, literacy, self-regulation, critical thinking and more. Yet, hundreds of millions of children and youth are out of schools or don’t have access to learning and self-development. The programme’s primary focus is therefore on this phase, and efforts that increase access to primary education for children, improve the quality of education for all through this critical time, and/or focus on the crucial transition to secondary education.
🍒

What we are looking for

We invite applications from changemakers with a diverse range of bottom-up approaches to tackling education inequality from across South and South-East Asia (see full list of countries in the FAQ section).
We invite applications from changemakers with a diverse range of bottom-up approaches to tackling education inequality from across South and South-East Asia (see full list of countries in the FAQ section).
Let’s imagine and build a just education system, together!
💬

What you can expect as a participant and member of ChangemakerXchange

📒
Support
Participants receive customised, needs-based support to build their capacity via an online capacity building programme, which consists of simple but dynamic virtual formats led by experts and leaders with lived experience.
😀
In-Person Summit
An immersive 5-day, in-person summit awaits all participants from 12th to 16th of August 2024. Held in a breathtaking nature-based location, this unique gathering is designed to forge deep connections, foster wellbeing, and sow the seeds for meaningful collaboration.
🤝
Collaboration Funding
We also provide small seed grants to support cross-border co-creation or co-learning initiatives, which can help reduce education inequality across the region, using an approach of ‘participatory budgeting’.
🌐
Ecosystem Building and Networking
Beyond supporting the participants’ respective initiatives and fostering collaboration among the changemakers, we also aim to connect them to a wider ecosystem of partners, experts, supporters, events, gatherings and collaborators, within and beyond ChangemakerXchange’s, as well as Julius Baer Foundation’s networks.
🤗
Community
Participants not only get the opportunity to connect with and learn from other changemakers working across different dimensions of education across Asia, but will also be invited to join the global ChangemakerXchange community, which includes life-long access to resources and regular opportunities to connect, learn & co-create with social innovators across the world.
🕑

The timeline/s

We want to be mindful of your time and help you plan, hence transparently share all the major milestones across the selection process, as well as the programme.
We want to be mindful of your time and help you plan, hence transparently share all the major milestones across the selection process, as well as the programme.
👐

Our Community

At the heart of ChangemakerXchange is a vibrant close-knit community of over 1000 changemakers from 130 countries working on a vast range of issues, as well as hundreds of civil society organisations, community leaders, partners and fellow support networks for social innovation. See below selected examples of innovators working on education in our extended global network.
Gerson Abesamis
Through the Habi Education Lab Gerson creates spaces for teachers, and other stakeholders, to collaborate towards a more equitable and creative education system and society at large.
Gerson Abesamis, Habi Education Lab
Pin-Qi-Lee.jpg
Founded in Singapore, Edm8ker blends proven pedagogies with emerging technology to impact teachers and students from around the world with high quality teaching and learning. Their vision is to transform today’s educators into edm8kers, so that every child can have access to a thriving future.
Pin Qi Lee, Edm8ker
natalie-hiu-wai-chan
OWN Academy is a movement to empower children and youth to be changemakers of the future and to make the world a better place through reengineering a new education eco-system connecting industries to classrooms.
Natalie Hiu Wai Chan, OWN Academy
Theangsreng Chhour
Teach for Cambodia works towards educational equity and equality by enlisting the country’s most promising future leaders as teachers in high-need schools and communities.
Theangsreng Chhour, Teach for Cambodia
20230916 Taichi Kohatsu
Through partnerships with seasoned educators, the creation of instructional video content, and the provision of computer accessibility in rural areas, E-EDUCATION tackles issues within Bangladesh’s education system, marked by a lack of teachers, steep school and university fees, and a perpetuating cycle of poverty.
Taichi Kohatsu, E-EDUCATION
Lavinya Stennett 1
The Black Curriculum trains teachers across the United Kingdom and Europe on their approach towards teaching Black history.
Lavinya Stennett, The Black Curriculum
odunayo-aliu-scaled-e1582018358946
Bramble creates alternative learning spaces for children in rural and marginalised communities of Nigeria, e.g. through services like “Brambox”,  a device that provides offline access to online learning content.
Odunayo Aliu, Bramble
alex-holmes-1536×1536
Anti-Bullying Ambassadors is a Peer-to-peer support program, which trains young people who work on preventing peer-on-peer violence and bullying in schools ensuring the wellbeing and healthy and empowering educational spaces for all children and youth.
Alex Holmes, Anti-Bullying Ambassadors
🧐

FAQs

Who is the Changemakers for Education programme for?

For the “Changemakers for the Education” programme, we are looking for young changemakers with a diverse range of bottom up approaches to tackling education inequality. You must come from or currently living / having impact in a country in South Asia (which includes  Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) and/or South-East Asia (which includes Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Brunei, Malaysia, East Timor, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore). The programme has a particular focus on (but not limited to) individuals and projects from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan.

We welcome applications from changemakers from a variety of backgrounds working to address the education inequality, including social entrepreneurs and innovators, social change agents and activists, and civil society leaders. We intentionally recruit a diverse variety of changemakers because the education crisis requires an intersectional and coordinated approach between numerous stakeholders that are both tackling the root causes, and those who are responding to immediate pressing issues that result from these, which affect society in a variety of negative ways.

 

Who are the partners for the Changemakers for Education programme?

Changemakers for Education is an initiative by ChangemakerXchange, an international non-profit organisation with a mission to provide inclusive, supportive and collaborative spaces for changemakers, social innovators and activists from across the world.

The initiative is supported by Julius Bär Foundation.

To learn more about our partnerships, including how to join the effort, please reach out to Nick McGirl at

 

Are there any key criteria for joining the programme?

Country: You must come from or currently living / having impact in a country in South Asia (which includes  Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) and/or South-East Asia (which includes Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Brunei, Malaysia, East Timor, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore). The programme has a particular focus on (but not limited to) individuals and projects from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan.

Age: For this programme you must be aged 18–35. Due to permission reasons, we focus on over 18s. (Please note that changemakers of all ages are welcome to join other activities like Train the Trainer programmes, the Changemaker for Democracy programme or activities of the Possibilists.)

Role: You are the founder/co-founder, leader/co-leader, manager/co-manager (or hold an influential position with decision-making power, e.g. intrapreneur) of a social/environmental venture/organisation which is up and running and addresses education inequality. We acknowledge though that positive social change is not a ‘hero fight’, hence we’re also explicitly open to people who have been nominated or ‘put forward’ by their collective or team in order to represent them and their initiative/s. 

Complete application: The application form must be fully completed. Only applications submitted before the deadline can be accepted.

Language: Whilst the selection of ideas will be based on the validity of great ideas rather than high proficiency of English, the programme will be hosted in English, meaning a good level of understanding and ability to express oneself in English is required to participate in the programme. We openly acknowledge that being unable to facilitate multi-language participation is an unfortunate shortcoming and hope for everyone’s understanding.

Do I need to be the original founder or co-founder?

Please refer to the key criteria one question above.

Does my organisation / project have to fulfil certain criteria?

When assessing the work of changemakers who apply to become a part of ChangemakerXchange we usually take the following aspects into account:

  • Clear Assessment of the Need and Opportunity: The idea or initiative needs to be rooted in a clear understanding of what the specific need, challenge or opportunity is that the idea is trying to address or solve.
  • Established Ideas / Initiatives: Ideally the ideas or initiatives candidates apply with to the programme need to be well thought through, tested, and have some initial traction already. We are also open to very early-stage initiatives or initiatives in the idea-stage, this will however require a clear analysis of the potential of the idea and ideally references from other existing projects or a track record in the field of education / education inequality.
  • Impact: The initiative should either have some proven impact already or show clear potential for future impact. An assessment of the idea’s impact can include the relevance of the problem the idea is trying to solve or the number of people who would potentially benefit from it.
  • Scale: The idea or initiative should be ambitious and have the potential to scale or to be replicated or have impact on a  systemic level. Please note that we consider scale in the broadest sense. Whilst the idea or initiative should be ambitious, and could have the potential to be replicated or grow, we are mostly interested in the impact on a system – for example, your work may be only relevant to a specific community, but could be really significant in terms of inspiration to others, and thus ‘scale’ is reached this way.
  • Innovation: The initiative should show ideally some elements of innovation for the specific context (meaning the ideas should be ‘new’ or applying new ways of thinking or new elements to existing approaches).

Principles and “Theme-Fit”: Please also see the three key principles we’d love to see represented in the initiatives that are part of this programme – Systemic and holistic, multiple stakeholders and foundational skills – outlined on the top of this website.

What personal criteria are important to ChangemakerXchange?

  • Values: Applicants for a ChangemakerXchange summit should demonstrate an alignment with the CXC values.
  • Character: Applicants should show an entrepreneurial and creative mindset.
  • Motivation: Applicants should show motivation to co-create and collaborate.

Diversity: Diversity is also a critical criteria for us. Education inequality disproportionately affects society’s most at-risk individuals and regions. As such, we are putting a strong emphasis on curating cohorts that are diverse in terms of demographics and types of initiatives. Applicants from marginalised contexts and those with intersectional initiatives are a great fit for this programme and encouraged to apply!

Who covers the costs of my participation in the summit and programme?

Participants are asked to cover their own transportation costs from where they live to the country / location of the summit. However, ChangemakerXchange will cover ALL OTHER COSTS associated with the summit and programme, such as: accommodation, catering, local transportation, room hire, equipment & material, COVID-19 rapid tests, FFP2 masks, facilitation & hosting compensation, programme manager compensation, carbon emissions offsetting derived from the local hosting, post-summit capacity-building programme and post-summit community engagement activities.

What happens if I cannot afford the trip to the summit?

We always strive to make our summits accessible and inclusive. If you are accepted to the summit, but your circumstances do not allow you to afford the trip to the summit you will have the chance to state so in the confirmation form (So please do not let that prevent you from applying for the programme). We will evaluate the possibility of offering you a partial or full stipend to ensure you can join the summit.

What does your selection process look like in detail?

Our selection process involves the following steps:

  • Interested candidates are asked to submit their application before the deadline.
  • Initial applicants are all read by at least two project team members and compared against the key criteria stated in the FAQs and on this website
  • We then meet in the project team to create an initial shortlist of around 40-45 of the most promising candidates, with notes on areas we’d love to explore further in the interview phase.
  • There is then a dedicated interview team, featuring local and content experts, who conduct online interviews with the candidates (we have a streamlined scheduling process to make this smooth).
  • Interviews take place over a two-week period with all shortlisted candidates.
  • There is then a final selection call between all interviewers and the project team to make the final selection of the 25 participants.

Please note: Given the high number of applications we receive and the limited staff capacity, only candidates who are being considered for the final shortlist will be invited to a short informal interview to ensure their suitability in the programme and their fit with the community. This informal interview will take place online and will be conducted by a member of the CXC core team or community. Please also note that given the high number of applications we expect we won’t be able to provide individual feedback to candidates who are not shortlisted or interviewed. We thank you in advance for your understanding.

Is there an interview as part of the selection process?

Given the high number of applications we receive and the limited staff capacity, only candidates who are being considered for the final shortlist will be invited to a short 30-45 minute informal interview to ensure their suitability in the programme and their fit with the community. This informal interview will take place online and will be conducted by a member of the ChangemakerXchange core team or community member.

When and how will I hear back if I was selected?

Please note the following timeline:

  • Application phase: February 19th to March 17th 
  • Deadline for applications: March 17th ‘24 (11:59 PM GMT)
  • Review of applications: March 18th to March 27nd
  • Next Steps: March 28th – All candidates will be informed, and shortlisted candidates will be invited to a 1 hour online interview.
  • Online in-person Interviews: March 28th to April 26th
  • Notification of final outcome: May 3rd – shortlisted candidates will be informed if they’re selected for the programme.

Also, please note that you should have received a thank-you message when submitting your applications successfully and a short notification email from with a summary of your responses (please check your junk folder). If you did not see either, please contact us at .

Can I receive feedback on my application?

Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual feedback on each application. But we do send a thorough email to all applicants outlining the full application and selection process, as well as sharing useful resources for changemakers, which has always been appreciated by applicants in the past.

Can my co-founder join instead of me?

ChangemakerXchange invests first and foremost in the person, aka you. In the event that you cannot attend the summit anymore, we unfortunately cannot accept your co-founder or other colleagues of yours, as there are other candidates who went through the whole application process and have been waitlisted.

 

Can I join only part of the summit?

Unfortunately, no. The ChangemakerXchange summit is an intense and intentionally designed journey that makes sense if undertaken from start to end. This means we can only accept applicants who can commit to the full duration of the summit. Also, we will only allow participants who have joined all sessions on all days into the ChangemakerXchange community.

 

What is your approach to Disability Inclusion?

We strive to be as inclusive as possible as an organisation and for all our activities, including the in-person summits. This includes physical disabilities (i.e. needing a wheelchair, being deaf or blind), as well as cognitive disabilities. Whenever possible we try to accommodate all accessibility needs participants have. If you have any specific questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to .

Also, if needed, we will prepare a personalised “onboarding toolkit” ahead of the summit to answer any questions you might have RE disability inclusion.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

  • We aim for a richly diverse cohort in all meanings of the word: including but not limited to gender, demographic, class, ethnicity. (ChangemakerXchange has a dedicated DEI Team with a strong mandate and tools to ensure a high level of diversity and inclusion of candidates and participants in our programs).
  • We also aim for a truly diverse range of approaches and lenses on education inequality. We believe this leads to richer co-learning in the cohort and lays the ground for unexpected and creative collaborations to potentially emerge. (We ensure this through working with diverse organisations from across Asia as multipliers for our outreach).
  • We also explicitly invite feedback throughout the process and the programme as to whether we are building a sufficiently inclusive, non-discriminatory and anti-racist approach. We are committed to doing our very best to create and host a safe(r) space. We are only human though and have no moral authority, meaning we might make mistakes. If you feel there’s anything we said or did that we should set right or improve on, please let us know via the anonymous feedback form → https://cxcforms.typeform.com/to/OdACru3V

 

What is your COVID-19 policy?

We take the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath extremely seriously. The health of our team, participants and partners is the highest priority for us! Since we cannot yet predict the exact situation at the time of the in-person summits in August 2024 we won’t be sharing recommendations and notes on restrictions just yet, but in case you are accepted as a participant please expect to receive an extensive COVID-19 briefing several weeks ahead of the summit.

Will you support with Visa applications?

Whilst we do everything we can to support your visa application by providing you with an invitation letter and hotel confirmation, please know that we cannot call the embassies / consulates to push for your visa. You will be responsible for your visa application process.

What happens right after the summit?

Attending a ChangemakerXchange summit is the first step into the program, connecting you with our global community of over 1200 changemakers from around the world. After the summit, you will be invited to reflect on whether you would like to join our vibrant global network.Also, as part of the specific programme you join, there is a modest budget to provide funding to go towards collaborative efforts among participants. And last, but not least we’ll make personalised recommendations for support and connections, based on your needs.

What is the value of joining ChangemakerXchange?

We believe the words of our community do the best job of highlighting the value of joining ChangemakerXchange. Here’s just some of the feedback we’ve received from members throughout the years:

“I wanted to change the world for the better since I was 14. But everyone around me would tell me ‘be normal, go to college, get a job, don’t try to do more than you can’. After CXC, I realised that I don’t want to have a ‘normal’ life. I want an extraordinary life. I want to fully realise my mission to paint the world in bright colours of peace, unity, and love. And ChangemakerXchange catalysed the process of realising my mission. Thank you!”

“CXC is an incredible platform to change the mindset and perspective on many things (to the best of course). I can definitely say that I’ve been transformed, and I now have a much better understanding about what it takes to be a social entrepreneur, scaling impact and opening yourself to others.”

“CXC gave me a feeling of belonging. I have been part of many conferences and different communities, but CXC still feels like home because of the genuine values, the genuine goals and long-lasting friendships.”

 

As a member, what are opportunities to get engaged in the community?

Attending a ChangemakerXchange summit is the first step to joining a global community of over 1200 changemakers from all over the world. Once you are part of the community, there are several engagement opportunities you can benefit from, including: 

  • Joining our private Facebook and Linked groups where you can engage with the rest of our community members from all over the world.
  • Joining the Bosch Alumni Network to access various opportunities such as job vacancies, workshops, seminars, travel grants, etc.
  • Joining additional community engagement activities to expand your network, connect with other members, and collaborate to amplify your impact.
  • Joining our Global Facilitation Pool to facilitate CXC-like experiences for other changemakers around the world.
  • Becoming a Community Host to bring the CXC summit experience to your country.
  • Getting access to a range of offerings and platforms offered by our partners, including everything from learning exchange grants to pro-bono coaching and law support.

The beauty of ChangemakerXchange is that it is a very dynamic and constantly evolving community, continuously shaped by the needs and feedback of its members.

 

🙌

The people behind the programme

Portrait Nadya Saib Changemakerxchange.org
Multiply talented Nadya creates beautiful communication for ChangemakerXchange, and besides her content production, will also bring her facilitation and wellbeing ‘superpowers’ to this programme.
Nadya Saib (she/her), Commmunications and Facilitation, Indonesia
Pin-Qi-Lee.jpg
Pin Qi is the founder of the education venture edm8ker, and a long-term member of ChangemakerXchange, as well as a facilitator. She is the host of the Changemakers for Education summit in Singapore.
Pin Qi (she/her), Host, Singapore
Gerson Abesamis
Gerson is the founder of the Habi Education Lab, a member of ChangemakerXchange and contributes to this programme as a facilitator for the Changemakers for Education summit.
Gerson Abesamis (he/him), Facilitator, Philippines
angela-sujadi
Angela is a social entrepreneur and founder of Lifebuoy with impact in over 60 countries globally, as well as a member of ChangemakerXchange. She also is a facilitator the summit.
Angela Sujadi (she/her), Facilitator, Singapore
sudarshan-mahajan-scaled-e1581948807634
Sudarshan is the founder of Tiny Monkey Stage and a member of ChangemakerXchange. He supports the programme by interviewing candidates during our selection process.
Sudarshan Mahajan (he/him), Interviewer, India
min_chia.jpg
Min Chia is the founder of E-LLuminate and a member of ChangemakerXchange. She also supports the programme by interviewing candidates.
Min Chia Teoh (she/her), Interviewer, Malaysia
Portrait Miriam Sweeney Changemakerxchange.org
Miriam is the overall programmes lead at ChangemakerXchange and brings her community building and activism campaigns experience to this programme.
Miriam Sweeney (she/they), Co-Lead, Germany
Portrait Matthias Scheffelmeier Changemakerxchange.org
Matthias is a member of the core team at ChangemakerXchange and brings 15 years of experience in supporting social entrepreneurs, activists and changemakers to this programme.
Matthias Scheffelmeier (he/him), Co-Lead, Germany
CXC Headshot – Mubarak Idris
Mubarak is ChangemakerXchange’s Storyteller and brings his experience in building and managing digital campaigns through multimedia to promote social justice and gender equality to this programme.
Mubarak Idris (he/him), Storytelling and Social Media, Nigeria
Portrait Anouk Siegrist Changemakerxchange.org
Anouk is the Finance & Operations Lead at ChangemakerXchange. She brings extensive experience in finance management from working with food waste social enterprise SIRPLUS and CXC.
Anouk Siegrist (she/her/they), Finance, Germany
Portrait Greta Rossi Changemakerxchange.org
Greta is a Co-Founder of ChangemakerXchange and supports the programme by designing learning experiences (incl. the 5 day summit) and selecting / coordinating the team of facilitators and trainers.
Greta Rossi (she/her), Facilitation, Italy
Nick McGirl
Nick is the Co-founder and Managing Director of ChangemakerXchange. His background straddles multiple countries and has been at the intersection of social innovation and education for over 10 years.
Nick McGirl (he/him), Partnerships, Germany
😊

Changemakers for Education

The deadline for applications for programme ended on March 17th 2024.

Changemakers for Education

  • Online / Singapore / Malaysia
  • Deadline passed
  • Supported by Julius Baer Foundation
Meditation CXC Thailand 2018
  • We invite applications from changemakers with a diverse range of bottom-up approaches to tackling education inequality, with a focus on primary education, from across South and South-East Asia.
  • For all eligibility criteria, please refer to our FAQs above.
 

ELIGIBLE COUNTRIES
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam