8 Steps To Becoming A Changemaker In 2013

Submitted on Fri, January 4, 2013

Building an Everyone a Changemaker society

To Ashoka Fellow Charlie Murphy, a Changemaker is “someone who has figured out how to connect their creativity with what they care about and has summoned the courage to do so.”

“They understand the difference, (as philosopher Immanuel Kant pointed out) between “moral acts” and “beautiful acts”.”

He continues, “We perform moral acts out of a sense of duty or obligation. We engage in “beautiful acts” when we do something that is necessary AND attractive to us.  A Changemaker is motivated more by a desire for the common good than by duty.  A Changemaker has a sense of self that is connected to the larger web of life and finds beauty in building a life-affirming world.

Someone becomes a change-maker by first discovering who they are in relationship to self, other, and the wider community of life. They find that place where their greatest joy and the worlds need intersect. I am in this for the long haul and joy is one my most reliable organizing principals.“

The next 8 steps are a selection of the great ways you can become a Changemaker in your world...


1. Start Empathy

start empathyIf there’s one thing Ashoka Founder Bill Drayton is convinced of, it’s that empathy is the key to a new world. He lays it out simply and logically: The future is change-making; empathy is critical to change-making; developing empathy skills is the key to the future.  Aspiring social entrepreneurs must be rooted in an empathetic mind frame if they hope to create any real impact. Or, more simply, “If you don’t have empathy, you are out of the game.”  This ‘Guide to being an Empathy Explorer’ by our Start Empathy team is a great place to get started. 


2. Do What You Love (rather than love what you do) 

Love what you doWe are so inspired by the manifesto laid out by our friends at Escape the City, and are thus re-posting them for you here.  If after reading you’re not inspired to start your journey to becoming a Changemaker, then we’ll eat the proverbial hat. 

“All our life we jump through hoops.  Often without asking why. It’s easy to feel stuck – a small cog in a big machine. It doesn’t have to be like this.  Don’t waste your life living someone else’s.  Don’t wait for permission.  Life is too short to do work that doesn’t matter to you.  Want your memoirs to be worth reading?  Make your choices your own. Be brave. Be inquisitive.  Stop using lack of money or experience as an excuse.  You don’t have to risk it all to explore new options.  It is possible to find work that really makes you tick.  Our world is changing. Careers are changing.  Take advantage or keep your head down. You choose.  The winners are building lives on their own terms.  Take small leaps. Meet people. Ask for help. Save. Plan.  Change jobs. Build businesses. Go on BIG adventures.  Start something you love. Push. Sweat.  No one ever changed the world by toeing the line.  You are capable of more than you realise.  This is no dress rehearsal – make it count.  There will never be a perfect time.  And the first step is often the hardest.  So stop dreaming, start planning…”

3. Grow Your Idea with the Changemakers



The Ashoka Changemakers can support for you every step of the way!  Whether you want to test your idea with an in-the-know sector, raise money, or make connections, start your journey with the Changemakers Changeshops. http://www.changemakers.com/getting_started 




4. Build a Brand

buildabrandBuilding a brand, whether it is for yourself, your community group, your new business, or even just an idea, is the greatest way to turn your vision into a reality. buildabrand is a good place to start – a one-stop shop to create professional logos and business cards in seconds.  They are offering our network a FREE professional, customisable logo, plus an exclusive 50% discount on a complete logo pack that includes 168 logo variations, logo font and logo colours.  Go one step further and add, create and order business cards with a 20% discount - just use the following codes when you check out: ASHOKALOGO or ASHOKACARDS (depending on your purchase!)


5. Invest in Innovation


Becoming a Changemaker doesn't have to mean life changing decisions, fleeing your house, car and job to seek thrills in doing good.  A Changemaker is an enabler, a connector, and investor in an idea or mantra. Last year Ashoka launched its new crowd funding platform ‘Invest in Innovation’, to 1. Discover Ashoka's newest Fellows and their ground-breaking solutions to the world’s most pressing problems 2. Choose the innovations that inspire you and help Ashoka support their work and 3. Allow you to become a part of Ashoka's global community of Changemakers. 


6. Listen Up and Listen In - Grow Your Network 

Social Networking


One of the best ways to start your Changemaker journey, whether you’re at work, on the move, or pondering life on a Sunday afternoon, is through the conversations happening in Social Media.  Twitter can be a creative, professional way to connect with people.  Utilize it!  A great start is following these top 500 ‘tweople’ in the world of social enterprise and social good.  Listen, engage, re-tweet, share - #bethechange!


7. Create a Changemaker Campus

Never stop learning

Get you, your school or university involved with Ashoka U! We believe higher education can help society innovate at the rate the world is changing.  Dig in and start using your time as a way to strengthen your leadership skills.  Be a Changemaker while at Uni in 2013, and develop and refine your skill set in order to prepare to be a force for social good.  This report “Changemaking 101: A Student Guide To Social Entrepreneurship” is quite literally amazing. 


8. Search, for Good!

Making a difference could be as easy as a single click, with web browsers now clued up to make donations to a charity of your choice. Read this story from Mashable to change your habits, chose, click, and fundraise! 



Good luck, and wishing you all a very happy 2013!




This post was written by Felicity McLean, Head of Communications at Ashoka UK.  Follow her on twitter at @flickmclean