What is an Independent Changemaker?

The concept of Independent Changemakers is new and may need some explanation. Actually, it's really simple: an independent Changemaker independently makes change where it is most needed: in poor, unhappy and environmentally fragile communities anywhere on our planet.

They are Changemakers because they often bring transformational change to a community, contributing their skills to local startup initiatives such as microlending groups, community centers, schools, ecotourism initiatives, sensitizing campaigns, or human rights activists.

They are Independent because they can take care of themselves and they can help out initiatives that are not well-managed -yet. That means they can have a true impact.

Independent Changemakers can exist because of our "flat" world, to use a term coined by Thomas Friedman: using websites like kindmankind.net (or better ones - any suggestions?) the chances that a skilled changemaker connects to a place where he can actually contribute that skill have exponentially increased.

The term Changemaker, by the way, was introduced by Ashoka, the well-known organisation for social entrepreneurs that also runs the website www.changemakers.com. They feature magical stories from all around the world, but their selection criteria are tough. Only the best of the best will be able to become Ashoka Changemakers.

We believe that at the phase of inception, the fragile first steps toward development of an initiative where a new idea hasn't have a chance to prove itself yet, the potential changemakers need to be interconnected on a global scale to exchange experience.

In particular, such an connection has bo be North-South, that is between skilled people in developed countries and entrepreneurs in developing countries. This connection cannot be only virtual - physical travel is involved. Our "independent changemakers" travel to communities who need and deserve change and help responsibly.

That responsibility means that 
* all efforts are essentially driven by the community and not create new dependencies on the changemaker, who will some day leave;
* every effort is well documented and carried out professionally according to a feasible schedule the community agreed upon.

However, we will not measure the quality of a changemaker and there will be no ratings for the members of kindmankind. Quality is measured through the reviews on the actual initiatives they have helped out. (Needless to say that abusers will be banned from this website for good)