Who exactly is a changemaker or social influencer? We can easily think that the traditional and “official” way of exercising influence – through party politics, say – is the only way to be a changemaker. But there are many ways to get involved and to influence things and drive change, and all of them are necessary. The survey Finns as civic activists investigated different ways of exercising influence in society. The profiles identified in the survey are: the person who looks the other way, the advocate of local issues, the informed sceptic, the armchair activist, the promoter of the common good and the active builder. One thing the survey shows is that people have very different motivations when it comes to exercising influence. In addition to motivation, the means used vary widely, from activism to clicking through social media.
So there are many different kinds of changemakers. The idea of this tool is to first identify a changemaker who inspires you and then find out how that person has contributed to the change they wanted to see. Using this tool in a group provides a varied overview of different kinds of changemakers and the different ways to influence society. Of course, the ultimate aim is to steal and improve on the most effective methods from the changemaker’s toolbox.
- Each participant chooses a person who they believe is a changemaker in one way or another. This can be a historical figure or a current influencer, a world-famous influencer or a local person they are familiar with, a traditional influencer or a developer of new operating models, or something in between. The most important thing is that the chosen person inspires you.
- Each participant does a bit of research and clarifies the kind of changemaker the chosen person is. Find out at the minimum the following information:
a.What is the change that your chosen person drives / drove?
b. What methods did your chosen person use as a changemaker?
c. What did your chosen changemaker achieve?
Use all possible sources of information. The point is not to create a perfectly accurate profile, but rather a general description of your chosen person as a changemaker. You can spend 15 minutes, for example, on researching your chosen person. You don’t have to go too deep, as you are looking for inspiration rather than to create a history of the person.