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Top 100 Changemakers: Celebrating the thinkers, creators and agitators

This week we're shining a light on the new radicals fighting poverty, improving housing, pushing society forward with tech, and much more

Our second annual The Big Issue Top 100 Changemakers list has arrived. In this week’s Big Issue magazine, we recognise those doing what they can to make things better in Britain and beyond. Growing from our weekly Changemakers feature, these are the righteous people and organisations who are grabbing challenges that the world is presenting and navigating a way through them.

We’ve selected 100 Changemakers who we believe will change things in 2020. There are campaigners and campaigns run by groups; there are people working in tech and in business, in music and the arts, in literacy, sport and in charities and social policy. Our list features many people who you wouldn’t normally hear about, plus a number who you do.

Our criteria are simple: this is about investment in a better future for all.

Included in the rundown you’ll find profiles on Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, Chief Fire Officer and Big Issue Ambassador; Rutger Bregman, historian and author; Streetwise Opera; Ross Kemp; Geoff Horsfield, former Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion striker; and Tiny Changes, the mental health support charity set-up in memory of Scott Hutchison, frontman of the band Frightened Rabbit, who died by suicide in 2018.

Editor Paul McNamee said: “This is the second time we have dedicated an entire edition of the magazine to celebrating 100 awe-inspiring people and organisations who we believe are changing the world in significant ways and giving us all hope for the future.

“They all deserve our attention and support for their tireless efforts to make a difference. These are the true champions of change in our society and The Big Issue is proud to shine a light on them.”


The Big Issue has inspired the launch of 120 street papers globally, including sister titles in Australia, South Africa, Japan, Taiwan and Korea.

Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, chief fire officer and Big Issue ambassador, revealed in 2019 that she sold The Big Issue as a teenager when she experienced homelessness for two years from the age of 15.

Cohen-Hatton said of being named a Changemaker:  “I’m just chuffed to bits – I had no idea that I was going to be a Changemaker. I haven’t done any of this for any kind of recognition. It’s been the most difficult thing that I’ve ever done in my life. I would rather walk into a burning inferno any day of the week.

“But I did it because if I’m feeling like this, there must be so many other people who’ve had a similar experience and don’t feel they can talk about it. I want to encourage people not to feel ashamed of their backgrounds or where they’ve come from.”

The full list is only in this week’s magazine, which is available now from your local vendor or from The Big Issue shop.

Ernst & Young and Warwick Business School are official partners of The Big Issue’s Changemakers special edition and winners event, to be held in 2020.