What Changemakers means for us
At EY, we are passionately committed to building a better world, and are delighted to partner with The Big Issue in championing those that are at the very forefront of this at a grassroots level. In the face of a rapidly changing world and increasingly challenging social problems, we pride ourselves in a relentless focus on solutions and knowledge of the capability of human endeavour. We hope that this rundown of the top 100 Changemakers in 2020 will shine a spotlight on the extraordinary potential of social innovation, allow what is proven to work to grow and inspire others to follow in their footsteps.
Just as we do at EY, The Big Issue recognise the problem-solving power of diverse partnerships. In Changemakers, you will read about figures across art, tech, literacy, journalism, housing and many more who are networked together to solve systemic issues. This is an issue we have extensive experience of within EY, where we frequently convene local ecosystems around shared goals with our public sector clients.
Our social innovation programme: Igniting Innovation
One recently launched strand of this programme is our Igniting Innovation programme, which works with those who have lived experience of core problems to design solutions and improve lives. In this, we bring policymakers from across central government, start-up founders, third sector leaders, seed funders and other fellow visionaries and place them in teams with people with lived experience of the problems we are working on.
Our most recent event tackled themes such as financial inclusion, loneliness, intergenerational inequality and mental health. We then guide attendees through a ‘hackathon’ process to develop and refine solutions before they are pitched to a panel of social enterprise and business experts. For the winners we then allocated some expert business development advisors to work on a pro bono basis with the teams over the next three months so that the ideas were built out into viable business propositions. These propositions were then pitched for funding to our partners in the social investment sector. We know the power that innovative thinking on social problems can bring.
Why is it important?
While social problems are being solved every day somewhere in the world, we have extensive experience helping organisations increase the good that they can do. Changemakers is not only a thoroughly well deserved accolade for these outstanding individuals and organisations, but also an incredible opportunity to spread the word of what works across the millions of Big Issue readers and improve the world a whole lot.
What will we learn?
Together with The Big Issue, we are committed to ensuring that the impact of Changemakers endures long after this issue has been delivered. We will take the key messages of the issue back to our people, our clients and our firm and use them to spur us on in our day-to-day problem solving. Namely that:
- Challenges, more often than not, are ‘system-wide’. Enduring solutions developed in traditional silos (be those organisational, personal and so on) seldom work
- The more diverse the group of people coming together, the more diverse their perspectives are, the better the solution is likely to be
- No matter how tough a problem is, never underestimate the power of determined minds bent on coming up with a solution
- This world is jam-packed with people that want to deliver lasting, sustainable change