When the marketing team (current brand communication team) of Root Impact officially kicked off in January 2017, the very first question that crossed our minds was 'who are the real customers of Root Impact?' It's pretty obvious that Root Impact is an organization to discover, nurture, and support Changemakers to make a better world. From this perspective, these Changemakers are the top priority customers. However, clearly defining who these 'Changemakers' are was a whole different question.
According to Ashoka, the organization that first invented the word ‘Changemaker’ in 1981, Changemakers are those who provide solutions to tackle social issues. In other words, consumers who purchase Marymond products may not fall under this group. That is why Root Impact decided to deep dive into redefining Changemakers in our own unique way.
Classifying the Types of Changemakers
In the beginning, we looked at what these Changemakers have in common regardless of their organization scale or the speed of their solutions. After that, we drafted up a graph on the assumption that Changemakers may put in different levels of a) time and b) commitment or dedication, to tackle social issues.
[First draft of the Changemaker type matrix]
소비자: consumers / 창업가: social entrepreneurs
As per the graph, we put social entrepreneurs at the upper right corner because they put in great levels of time and devotion to tackling social issues. We then located consumers at the bottom left-hand corner mainly due to their relatively limited time commitment to social issues. Then, we had to ask ourselves, "Does that mean consumers who put in fewer hours are lower level Changemakers? Is there an ideal point that all Changemakers need to move towards?" We do not think that everyone should start a social venture to become a Changemaker. We believe that the role of Changemakers is to do what they can, at their end, to solve social problems. That is also parallel to the vision of Root Impact: a world in which everyone can contribute to tackling social issues in their genuine way.That has led us to rename the x-axis from 'Hours put into Changemaking,' to 'Scopes of Changemaking.' We altered the graph so that those towards the left-hand corner contribute through their everyday lives, where those towards the right-hand corner contribute professionally through work. Then we thought of different types of Changemakers along with the graph. We largely categorized them into sixteen groups, including those who prepare to launch a social venture, those who do impact investing, those who consider converting a career into the social sector, those who use their specialties to help tackle social issues such as pro bono service providers, those who work in the social sector like us, employees in Root Impact, and more. They all had different characters. Of course, there were gray areas as well. Through this process, we came up with a matrix to show it clearly for convenience reasons.
Understanding Sixteen Changemakers Better
To show the examples about each type of Changemaker, we created the documentary 'Are you a Changemaker?,' which invited six Changemakers in each category to talk about their thoughts, values, and lifestyles. We hope that this documentary could allow other Changemakers not only to feel a sense of belonging in the same category but also to be able to easily understand other types of Changemakers.
[Documentary, Are You a Changemaker]
In addition, we developed a 'Changemaker Test,' which allows people to identify themselves as what type of Changemaker they are through simple yes or no questions. We hope that more and more people can realize that the concept of Changemakers is not something difficult and serious, but rather, that it is something you can think of and get into more easily and immediately.
[Brainstorming results for the Changemaker test]
[The Changemaker Test]
We did not stop here. In December 2018, we published a book <Are you a Changemaker?> that had impact stories of sixteen different types of Changemakers interviewed by Kyungsun Chung, a founder of Root Impact.
Root Impact knows that still, there is a long way to go, but we will do our best to enhance the awareness of Changemakers and hope that these tools help to discover more potential and capable members of society to become a Changemaker for making a better world together.