Of course we can change the world!
Here you will find some information about what we work with, how we work, and how we run the organization. If you are looking to start a Changemaker group in your country, want to learn more about us, or want to cooperate with us, check out the guidelines and application form at the bottom of this article or contact the contact person of the International Committee, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Changemaker is an organization for youth between 13 and 30 years old. Changemaker is the youth organization of the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), one of Norway’s largest aid organizations. Changemaker is free to design campaigns, manage budgets and decide our own politics regardless of NCA’s policies. The General Secretary of NCA formally approves Changemaker’s statutes after the Annual Assembly, but in practice Changemaker is autonomous.
We engage in five different topics:
- International trade
- Global health
- Debt and capital flight
- Climate and environment
How we work
We work exclusively with advocacy, addressing decision-makers, in order to change the structures that creates and maintains global injustice. Behind Changemaker’s policy and campaigns you will find research and a thorough analysis. The work is based on a method that (we) popularly call the Changemaker method. It can be summarized in three simple points:
- Find the fundamental cause(s) of injustice and possible solutions
- Identify the relevant decision-makers
- Make creative campaigns to influence their decisions
In Changemaker it is often said that knowledge without action is cowardice, but action without knowledge is foolishness. We know that the world is not fair, but finding the fundamental causes of injustice and identifying the most efficient solutions is a challenge. We spend hours, weeks and months studying specific subjects prior to a campaign, and we proudly call ourselves experts on the subjects we do engage in.
We primarily address Norwegian decision-makers in our campaigns. When we want to change international practice, we both work to influence Norway’s international agenda and typically call upon Norwegian politicians to present our views in international forums.
We strive to design campaigns that are based on in-depth knowledge and sends a sharp political message, yet easy for youth and others unfamiliar with the issue to understand. A typical Changemaker campaign has an educational component, since several of the issues that Changemaker work with are unfamiliar for to average person. Our current campaign focuses on access to medicines, you can read more about that here.
The local groups play a large role in the creation and implementation of Changemaker’s campaigns. A successful campaign has a political message that can be understood both teens and respected by members of the Government.
Therefore, Changemaker tries to communicate their message in a way that is accurate and fun at the same time. Our demonstrations, stunts and other forms of action usually involve a creative twist. These methods make it easier to reach youth and also draws attention from the press. Even the politicians tend to like these strategies. We think that the most efficient way to change the world is through a mixture of fun, knowledge and creativity!
The organizational structure of Changemaker
This is the Organizational chart of Changemaker:
- The Annual Assembly decide policy and priorities for the organization. Every member is welcome and everyone has one vote. The Annual Assembly also elect people for the central board and political and organizational committees.
- The National Board is Changemaker’s second highest body after the Annual Assembly. The board meets three times a year. The Central Board and each local group have one vote at the meetings. The National Board is an opportunity for the local groups to approve and correct the work and decisions of the Central Board.
- The Central Board makes the necessary decisions between the National Board meetings and the Annual Assembly. The Central Board meets every second week. Together with the staff and the committees, the Central Board runs the organization. Board members work with both political and organizational matters on a daily or weekly basis.
- The Management Team consists of the president, the two vice presidents and the Changemaker coordinator (head of staff). They function as a working group within the Central Board and meet every week to make minor decisions, answer inquiries and prepare the Central Board meetings. The president works full time, and is paid for his/her work.
- The Local Groups are volunteers in all parts of Norway, who engage in a great variety of activities. It can be collecting petitions, addressing local decision-makers, having a stand on the town square, making movies etc.
- The Political Comittees are groups of elected volounteers that work with each of the political topics we work with. The political committees are experts on their specific issue, and they propose policy and educate the organization. Secondly the committees prepare and carry out campaigns, and engage in lobbying and creative brainstorming about Changemaker’s work in their field.
- The International Committee coordinates and works on the development of Changemaker’s international cooperation. Such cooperation may be on both organizational and political levels.
- The staff consists of five people. Norwegian Church Aid formally employs the staff, but they work full time on tasks related to the operation of Changemaker.