ChangeMakers: Identifying the key people driving positive change in local areas - RSA

ChangeMakers: Identifying the key people driving positive change in local areas


  • Community and place-based action

Through piloting our 'social network analysis' research method, we have been able to map a diverse local network of ChangeMakers in Peterborough including members of the clergy, artists, head teachers, social entrepreneurs, housing officers, charity workers, police officers and many more. The results of our surveying indicate that such individuals are adept at driving positive change in their local areas. 

This report details the findings from our research and argues that local areas could benefit strongly from better channelling the energy of these key individuals. However these key individuals faced challenges in several areas, including missed opportunities with the third and private sector, ChangeMakers' expertise left untapped in many local issues, the fragility of ChangeMakers' working on the frontline and finally an absent generation.

To overcome these obstacles, our report puts forward the concept of a formal 'ChangeMakers' Network' as a way of enabling ChangeMakers' to work together. This would also allow local authorities to draw upon the ChangeMakers' knowledge, expertise, intelligence and connections. 

Our report put forward several recommendations for central and local government including:

  • Identifying ChangeMakers' and developing Networks.
  • Creating new opportunities for change makers.
  • Recalibrating the practices of local government and public services.


Picture of Benedict Dellot
Benedict Dellot
Former Head of the RSA Future Work Centre and Associate Director

Picture of Gaia Marcus
Gaia Marcus
Former Senior Researcher, Connected Communities

Picture of Steve Broome
Former Director

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