This initiative was born out of one purpose, to be the voice and data for all the grassroots innovations around the globe.
CHANGE is a media platform by Development Innovation Insider (Diinsider) where articles, videos, and monthly e-magazine about grassroots initiatives and changemakers are published. We
operate through worldwide volunteers of young writers and media practitioners who are passionate about grassroots development and innovation.
As to date, there are no existing database that focuses on social innovations and development. Even the international NGOs and research institutions like the United Nations, World Bank, and the likes, don’t have a wide-range of data and information about organizations and projects working on the ground with the element of philanthropy. Most research institutes and some organizations are only focusing on the data but not the stories inside which is a very important aspect as well in showing impact.
Same goes to the big media institutions. Mostly they only feature those projects that are worthy to their regular audience and are interesting enough to be on their news or feature segments. The development sector lacks voice to the mainstream and that must be altered.
This is where CHANGE comes in. With proper branding, marketing, and goal, we saw the great potential and relevance of the topic on social entrepreneurship and innovation hence for the past year, CHANGE has been the voice of the grassroots innovation and changemakers around the globe. We wanted to be the leading media that promotes stories and case studies of different aspects of social innovation and entrepreneurship around the globe. Moreover, we wanted to use data journalism to map out and have a holistic picture of the scope of social innovation around the globe which is relevant for a lot of purposes in the future of social development work.
CHANGE has been targeting young to mature professionals in the development sector, government, and academia around the globe.
Many media have been discouraged in covering this topic because it doesn’t sell for advertisers. Sometimes it’s true especially for a start-up like us. We still push for advertisement as one of our source monetizations but it’s not enough. We then resort to our database. Diinsider, the organization of CHANGE is an internet database platform that connect grassroots social impact organizations in emerging countries with forefront intellectual resources, international talents and impact investors, in order to scale up social impacts with the grassroots.
As I’ve mentioned, there is no data on this kind of topic and impact investing organizations, INGOs, government, and the academia need this data that is why another most effective monetization we have is through our data and research. We are also gearing up to offer other media contents soon like original documentaries and we are looking for a possibility for that as our another source of income.
What makes this project innovative?
It is a struggle for social development work to have a voice in the mainstream media. The soft culture that infiltrates people through media has always been effective in a lot of cases like Korean-pop, Hollywood, and even its effect on highlighting war and terrorism. The influence of these media contents had been proven effective that we wanted to realize too with things about innovation, technology, and development towards common good. Through CHANGE, we give high standards and professionalism to the untapped sector, the grassroots. Through our articles and videos, we wanted to get rid of the concept of “poverty porn” and give our audience the ultimate immersion of the grassroots world and social innovations and its high relevance for future development.
Moreover, what makes CHANGE special is that it is a very participatory project. We work with writers around the world who not only have good background on journalism but most importantly is passionate with grassroots innovation and development and connect them with the changemakers, policy makers, impact investors, and the communities who are hungry to get their stories out there.
As a media start up, we have known that our greatest challenge in this would be how to penetrate as much audience as possible that is why we tried to experiment lots of techniques. The most effective things we’ve done so far are through targeting audience in social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, WeChat, WhatsApp), having some collaborations and PR with media companies (Social Space Magazine, CGTN, Smart Communities), and building partnerships with influential INGOs and academia (United Nations Development Programme, UNESCO, Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation, Social Change Central, Duke Global Health Institute, Princeton University, etc.)
We have also strategically penetrated countries and regions through our global correspondents and media managers from Asia-Pacific to Middle-east, Africa to Europe to North and South America. So far for the past one year and three months of work, we have over 50,000+ audience from 70 countries and counting.
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
From December 2016 up to date, these are the measurable impact that we have contributed:
1. 100 feature articles and case studies published.
2. Five (5) e-magazines published
3. 50 global correspondents have participated voluntarily from 15 countries.
4. 300,000 times our audience have read our articles.
5. More or less 3,000 engagements every month on our articles and contents on social media sites.
6. 22,300 video reach
Source and methodology
As for the featured stories and case studies, we chose organizations that we worked on in two ways; (1) we choose through our wide database in Development Innovation Insider and (2) those who inquired to be featured by us.
Development Innovation Insider is the mothership company of Change and one of its innovation is the worldwide database for social innovations and impact investors. All of those who registered has put their necessary contact information that is why it’s easier for Change to get in touch with the organizations themselves. So far, our article interviews are done with the CEO or president of the organizations themselves and is by far credible than any other sources.
For those who wanted their organizations to be featured but are not on our database, we still get ahold with them as they email us themselves with contact information.
After our writers draft their articles, we asked them to send it back to the organizations they have interviewed for further verification of data and information. All the featured organizations have contacts with the editorial team so if they have questions and concerns about the piece then they can verify that directly with us.
Still, even though we get our information from the organizations themselves, our editorial team will further cross-refer those to avoid plagiarism and misinformation.
As for our video, mostly we do documentaries so usually those are all authentic scenes but to abide professionalism and ethics we still verify information through cross-reference and research just to avoid confusion and misinformation.
To further spread the contents, we use our social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, WhatsApp in sharing and boosting views on our contents. We also spread it on WeChat and has translated our articles to Chinese and provide Chinese subtitles for our videos. We invested on Chinese translation as we have a high readership in that region and most of our readers are not familiar with the English language and requested to have translations as well.
Aside from e-magazines, we do have physical magazines as well where we distribute to our strategic partners like Impact Hubs, NGO offices and headquarters, universities, and during events that we organized and or invited.
Editor-in-Chief: Gladys Llanes
Senior Editor: Adrienne Villaruel
Editors: Bolun Li, Zhe Kong, Lulu Wang
Lay-out Artist: Lara Frayre
1. Philip Subu- Pacific Islands
2. Farhana Shahnaz- South Asia
3. Ridwan Sifat- South Asia
4. Janelle Dulnuan- Southeast Asia
5. Gatien Aba- Africa
6. Martin Reategui- South America
7. Maggie Yang- Global
8. Pranichia Resya- Southeast Asia
9. Mostafesur Rahaman- Global
10. Adam Abdulraheem- Africa
11. Lalon Altap- South Asia
12. Babajide Oluwase- Africa
13. Kent Harry Cumpio- Southeast Asia
14. Christine Tan- Global
15. Anika Nawar- South Asia
16. Eva Tang- Global