Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

About Changemakers

About Projects

Log in & Password Issues

About Changemakers Challenges


About Changemakers

What is Ashoka Changemakers?

Changemakers convenes and connects high-potential changemakers, and their ideas and resources, through the power of challenges and partner networks. It has built a global network of more than 15,000 innovators, hundreds of partners, and hundreds of thousands of changemakers from 125 countries by running more than 80 online challenges during the past decade, with partners such as GE, Google, the Rockefeller Foundation, and many other innovating organizations. Through a three-step process—frame, convene, ignite—Changemakers works with the rest of Ashoka and its partners to frame an approach to a problem that exponentially accelerates social change. It engages a network to ignite a movement that sweeps through systems, tipping the attitudes and behavior of individuals and institutions. More information.

What is the history of Changemakers?

Click here for a timeline story about the birth and ongoing evolution of Changemakers

How does Changemakers fit within Ashoka?

Ashoka, founded in 1980, has pioneered the global field of social entrepreneurship. It has supported more than 3,000 fellowships for the world's leading social entrepreneurs in more than 70 countries. Changemakers has been an Ashoka initiative since 1994 that focuses on advancing the vision of an “Everyone a Changemaker®” world. Changemakers builds on Ashoka’s three-decade history to engage a global network that embodies the Ashoka vision of an “Everyone a Changemaker” world where people gain the skills and resources they need to collaborate on solving complex social problems.

What is the difference between Ashoka Fellows and Changemakers winners?

Changemakers winners are the best ideas in social innovation from around the world that are discovered through open source challenges. Ashoka Fellows are leading social entrepreneurs who we recognize have innovative solutions to social problems, and the potential to change patterns across society. All Ashoka Fellows must undergo a rigorous search and selection process in which they demonstrate that they fully meet Ashoka’s search and selection criteria, and they are also eligible to enter Changemakers challenges.

How do I become a member of Changemakers?

Easy! Create an online profile page. You can tell the community a little about what inspires you and what change you’d like to see in the world. Changemakers is yours to explore. You decide how it can help you take action, no matter how new or seasoned you are in the world of social change. Whether through discussions, submitting innovations, giving and receiving feedback, following projects, using tools that help you create and pitch a solution and tll your story, or simply learning more about the issues you care about, your participation on the site makes you a member.

If I know of a great idea, or have one of my own, how can Changemakers help?

There are many ways to let this community know about innovative ideas for making the world better. In fact, our community is clamoring to know about them, so please share! You can create a project to start finding collaborators and resources.

Do you have employment opportunities or internship openings?

Changemakers is always seeking individuals who see opportunities when faced with barriers, build meaningful partnerships to collaborate on ideas, and harness technology to build a strong, lasting community for change. Our careers page lists all currently available positions.


About Projects

What is a project?

Projects are a feature of the Changemakers platform that allows anyone to join a movement for change by sharing an idea, offering or seeking skills, talent, and support, or investing in systems-changing solutions. If you’re working for social change, a project is a powerful tool for communicating with funders and streamlining investment.

What will a project do for me?

If you’re working on an innovation or venture, creating a project will make it easier to connect and keep in touch with funders and investors. Projects also provide a place to source the talent, connections, and attention you need to grow. And if you’re an investor, following projects will allow you to more effectively and efficiently discover and track great innovations with a high ROI.

How do I get started?

Just click here to get started. More information.


Log in & Password Issues

I forgot my password. How do I change it?

Step 1: Select "Log In" at the right top of the Changemakers home page.
Step 2: Click the "Forget Your Password?" link. Enter your email address, and we'll send you instructions on how to reset your password.

How do I change the email address registered with my account?

Step 1: Log into your Changemakers account.
Step 2: Click "Edit" in the upper left corner of the page above your profile picture.
Step 3: Enter your new email address in the field provided, confirm it, and click "Save."


About Changemakers Challenges

How can I, or my organization, sponsor a challenge?

Submit your suggestions and ideas for a challenge to [email protected] and we will follow up promptly. Sponsors work with the Changemakers team to frame the central question for a challenge and set goals, and Changemakers does the rest. Our frame-convene-ignite process allows the sponsor, and its community, to engage with on-the-ground innovators around the world in real time, and to help find and support solutions that are ready to scale-up now.

You can also sponsor a community to foster a spirit of collaboration and rapid innovation around a particular idea, and channel support to the best ideas that rise from that collaboration.

How do you decide the theme of a challenge?

Changemakers challenges are sponsored by motivated companies, organizations, and individuals who want to engage their networks and new communities around social challenges that represent opportunities to solve problems. Through the challenges, they source innovative solutions from every part of the world, engage participants from every level and sector of society, and drive issues to the next level of innovation. Sponsors collaborate with Changemakers team members to frame the central question for a challenge, aligning the process to achieve desired outcomes. Changemakers can do the rest: managing administrative, technical, marketing, and challenge judging responsibilities. The open sourcing process allows sponsors, and their communities, to engage with on-the-ground innovators in real time, and to help drive the field to a new level of innovation and action.

Does registering on and creating a profile page automatically create a challenge entry for me?

No. Registering on and creating your profile page is the first step to get started. Once you have your username and password, select the challenge you want to enter and then click on the "Enter an Idea" tab to go to the online entry form. Once completed and published, your entry will appear on the list of submitted entries that anyone can view online. If you can see your entry listed, you have successfully participated in the challenge.

How can I view my past entries that I submitted for challenges, or track my past discussions and comments?

Simple! Once you are logged into your account, scroll down to view the “All Activities” tab below your profile picture. This will allow you to view your various activities on the website. For example, you could select the “Entries” tab to review or edit your idea submissions to a challenge, or you can select the “Comments” tab to track past discussions and comments, and click on the underlined links to change and revise your comments. You can easily browse through the specific tabs to make or edit any activities on the website.

Can I submit an online application more than once?

Because challenges vary in topic, any individual or organization is eligible to participate on the challenges that are relevant to them.

What are the standard assessment criteria to win a specific challenge?

Our assessment criteria depend upon the field and sector of a challenge. However, as a general standard, qualifying entries will be evaluated against the following basic criteria:

  • Innovation: This is the knock-out test. The entrant(s) must describe a systemic or disruptive innovation with the potential to develop lasting partnerships for the advancement of the sector involved, and related fields.
  • Social Impact: This criterion focuses on the candidate's idea, not the candidate. It is important that the challeng entry provides a system-changing solution for the issue it addresses. Some entries will have proven successes at the local level, while others may have already engaged millions of people across multiple regions. Innovative ideas must maximize the opportunity for collaboration in the challenge’s focus sector and have demonstrated impact, as well as the potential for scale-up and replication.
  • Sustainability: The proposals must have a clear “road map” for reaching long-term goals and securing financial backing—entries should describe not only how they currently finance their work, but also how they plan to finance in the future. They should also have a realistic time frame for implementation. Proposals should highlight the support they have received from both the public and private sectors.

You can find specific criteria and guidelines for each challenge on a criteria and guidelines page for that challenge.

What if my idea is not ready to win a prize in a challenge–should I still submit it?

Certainly! You can benefit by receiving feedback from the reviewers of your entry, and from other participants. Additionally, other changemakers may find your entry and contact you to suggest possible collaborations and share networks.

What other benefits do I get for entering a challenge other than being eligible to win the prizes?

The primary benefits of sharing your ideas on Changemakers include increasing your level of visibility, connecting with peers and gaining opportunities for collaborations, giving and receiving feedback, and increasing the number of connections and networks you get through the Changemakers community. In addition, stories and updates about our entrants, finalists, and winners are regularly featured on our blog and through our external content partners, such as Forbes, Hufffington Post, etc. Participants who submit ideas that match the scope of a particular challenge may also gain future funding opportunities with our partners. We regularly find additional funders to help some of the best ideas grow, even after the close of a challenge.

Can I enter an idea in languages other than English?

Currently, Changemakers supports four languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French. While we welcome applicants from around the world, we require that applications and any subsequent materials be submitted in the above four languages (unless otherwise specified).

Who do I contact if I have a question or problem or need help?

Send an email to [email protected] and we will respond promptly.