In early February of 2018, the New York Times published an article about the idea of a changemaker. The man who coined the term, Bill Drayton, and started the idea of social entrepreneurship, discusses in the article the importance of a changemaker in our society, and how to instill this idea in the next generation. Drayton’s passions are very similar to the passions of Sundance Family Foundation, and why they started their mission of supporting youth development and strengthening family stability.
Google defines social entrepreneurship as “a person who establishes an enterprise with the aim of solving social problems or effecting social change.” Similarly, in the article Drayton defines a changemaker as someone who “can see the patterns around them, identify the problems in any situation, figure out ways to solve the problem, organize fluid teams, lead collective action and then continually adapt as situations change.” The core of these two ideas is problem solving, and how being a problem solver can open so many doors in someone’s life, and make a positive impact on society and in their own community.
There are no parameters set for who can be a changemaker, it can be anyone who desires to make a difference. This is an important value to Sundance Family Foundation, that there are no limits to who a person can become, no matter their background or upbringing. SFF strives to enable youth with the tools they need to be successful in their life, with a job they enjoy, while earning a good living. They endorse teaching the concept of entrepreneurship to young people, by route of using agile problem solving and entrepreneurial thinking in a job or apprenticeship. Employers want to hire problem-solvers, they want a workforce made up of changemakers, and as Drayton says in the article, “the challenge is to make everyone a changemaker. To do that, you start young.”
Think of the butterfly effect, where a minute change can have exponential impact elsewhere. Now think of a young girl, maybe in elementary school, who is taught to be a changemaker – to problem solve. As she grows up and interacts with countless people in her life, she will be a changemaker in everything she does, maybe teaching others to be changemakers themselves. Children are able to pick things up much more quickly than adults, in everything from language, to math, creativity, etc.
As workforce needs change with the advancement of technology, the approach to adulthood, education, and job training must also change and adapt in a way that will benefit the individual and the society. There are many people in this country that don’t feel equipped to take control of their lives and future, and instilling this confidence in young people is where Sundance Family Foundation truly has their heart. Working towards empowering and educating young people who may feel as though they are at a disadvantage when it comes to obtaining marketable skills, experiencing opportunities and network to advancement, no matter where they are located, whether it be urban, suburban, or rural. If we start teaching the younger generation to take charge of their own life and instill positive values and a yearning for positive impact, those young changemakers may eventually sit in the Oval Office or a senate seat.