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You are passionate about your project and you are willing to work hard to provide something that will really change not only the lives of single users, but the way the whole system operates? What kind of changes do you need to achieve within your organization in order to deliver such kind of impact? We asked 8 successful social innovators from different fields, sectors and countries how they managed to change the whole system and they shared with us how they do it.

In our case, one teacher at a time. Each teacher can decide to change something in their classroom, even if it is just a little support for one dyslexic child. It might have a small impact on the system but a huge impact on the life of that child. And since the system is made up of people, I believe that these small changes result in a big change eventually.

Ursula Lavrenčič

The same way you eat an elephant. One bite at a time. Never forget your big goal to change the whole system, but you should solve your everyday challenges to get there. Then there will be moments when you will look back and realise how many things you have achieved (…) Similarly to corporate volunteering, in the beginning we had to offer what companies needed. Then, initiative by initiative we transformed those partnerships to be more long-term impact oriented and changed the way they were thinking. If we were trying to change the whole system, there was no way to achieve this without first winning their trust through their game and their language.

Kostapanos Miliaressis

If we all look to others to take action, nothing will change. WokenUp doesn’t of itself change the whole system, but WokenUp does provide the catalyst and the environment to empower you and millions of others to build the society and environment in which you want to live at the end of this decade (…) No action, and no person, is too small to make a difference.

Simon Puleston Jones

We can’t change the whole system, but we believe we can use business as a force for good. We focus on positive solutions for one part of the system we want to change (food waste). We think global and act local.

Laure Dupuy and Ben Liegey

I’m not sure I really changed the system; however, I think we proposed a new model of business and we showed that it can work.

Enrico Dolza

I did not have this idea, but it would be unfair if I did not say that we changed something. But there is still a long way to go (…) we are changing, society is changing, I just made a little symbol to identify colours, society did the rest, my team did the rest, you’re doing the rest so, in fact, this change has not been made by one person, it’s been made by several people, and more and more. It’s already in the order of the day. But now we must know that we are on this side, and you are also on this side, it is communicating.

Miguel Neiva

As what we are looking at is rewriting the core rules of the economy, that’s a gazillion dollar question, isn’t it? I’m convinced the survcoin has tremendous potential to trigger wide-ranging change because it taps into our money-related reflexes, which are intrinsically, culturally ingrained in the way we interact with each other. However, there is a more sober, down-to-earth way of looking at what the survcoin can contribute to: by fostering the adoption of less carbon-intensive lifestyles, it can help make mandatory changes, which in my view are not just necessary but long overdue, more socially acceptable.

Jean Lasar

So ultimately how was GoosED trying to change the system? It was intended to give community groups agency to tackle loneliness and exclusion rather than reliance on Government/Council initiatives. It was aiming to encourage improvements in digital literacy in Civil Society through an applied project that was of community concern and also intended to help to address the digital divide. The Open Badges themselves have a mission to democratise accreditation and recognition by enabling other organisations outside of Further Education and Higher Education as well as potentially acting as a vehicle for peer to peer recognition.

Kevin Field

Would you like to learn more from other inspiring social innovators?

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