The real leaders of the world usher in changes that improve society and raise the quality of life for everyone. These leaders are changemakers. They think outside the box and implement new approaches and methods to deal with complex challenges. Their compassion and innovation are the seeds of social change. But what does it really mean to be a changemaker? Here are some basics.
1. Changemaker defined
A changemaker is a person who identifies a problem and sees a way to solve it. A changemaker uses innovative methods and puts them into practice. Changemakers are the social architects — such as organizational leaders or designers — who drive change via their resources, their personal values, or their roles as helpers and humanitarians. They are influencers, much like educators, parents and journalists, who challenge current, ineffective practices through their intellect and decision-making ability. They are the philanthropists and impact investors who provide funding to drive change. They are connectors, inventors and catalysts of skills who help improve society via their tools, relationships and expert resources. They are purpose-driven people who acknowledge the need for change and do something about it.
2. Changemakers aren’t new
Bill Drayton, founder of the social change company Ashoka, coined the term “changemaker” back in the 1980s. Drayton saw the changing landscape that social entrepreneurs facilitate with changemaker mind-sets, and he developed his organization around investing in these changemakers. Former President Bill Clinton reintroduced the term to the public sector during the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Clinton referred to his wife and Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton, as one of the greatest changemakers he knew. Though changemakers have always existed in society, they now have a moniker that adequately describes them.
3. Everyone can be a changemaker
Changemakers include anyone and everyone who is driving social change. From social entrepreneurs who teach lifelong skills to Ebola survivors in Liberia to ex-gang members mentoring America’s youth. Changemakers exist around the globe. They think across disciplines, and they work side by side with others in their communities. They always take action in causes that move them. Yet changemakers seldom work alone. They stand strong behind those who have rolled up their sleeves to dig wells or devote time to at-risk youth. Whether they are experts helping with brand storytelling or social entrepreneurs solving the need to efficiently use water for industrial purposes, everyone has the ability to be a changemaker and the capability to drive change. Each person just needs to realize it.
Changemakers drive improvement for society, but they are not limited to any elite group of people. Everyone has the potential to be a changemaker, and organizations need these changemakers to help drive change.
Hook PR, a nonprofit marketing agency, works with changemakers to build their brands. Do you need help developing your purpose-driven brand? Contact us for details.