ChangemakerXchange Summit, 31 August - 4 September 2016, Portugal

Robert Bosch Stiftung


July 13, 2016


Event Date:

August 31, 2016 - September 04, 2016

Opportunity Cover Image - ChangemakerXchange Summit, 31 August - 4 September 2016, Portugal

About program

Originally created in Istanbul by Ashoka and supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the ChangemakerXchange is a global collaboration platform for young social entrepreneurs. It gathers some of the world’s most exciting changemakers at summits around the world for the exchange and co-creation of ideas. The ChangemakerXchange now brings together young social entrepreneurs from 40 different countries in Europe, Turkey, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia (Our first summit will be in Japan in June 2016). 

We are now open to applications for a special edition ChangemakerXchange summit for young social entrepreneurs empowering children and youth in Lisbon, Portugal! Split between the unique and colourful city of Lisbon and an eco-friendly, inspirational rural retreat location in a natural park outside of the city, this is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience! The summit will take place from Wednesday August 31st evening until Sunday 4th of September morning and participants must be able to attend all days.

ChangemakerXchange selects and gathers changemakers, aged 18 to 28, with a proven track record in driving exciting social ventures. Giving them a unique chance to share experiences, learn from each other and create cross-border collaborations the program now unites 170 young innovators across 40 countries with many more summits lined up already.


In order to be considered eligible to apply, you must fulfill all of the following criteria:

  • must be between 18-30 years old (a limited number of 3 places is available for 29 and 30 year old applicants)** should lead, co-lead, have founded or co-founded their own social venture which is up and running and addresses a relevant social problem (an idea or volunteering for an organization is unfortunately not enough)
  • have to speak English well enough to understand and make presentations in English and participate in discussions
  • should have the skills and know-how to be part of a special community of collaborative young social entrepreneurs and be willing to play an active role in this community
  • come from Europe, Turkey, the South Caucasus, the Middle East and North Africa
  • special criterion: need to run a venture that empowers children and youth


The Changemakerxchange summit brings together some of the top young social innovators in the region for exchange of ideas, deep personal connections and cross-border collaborations.

The Selection Process is as follows:

1a) Applications are first evaluated on the basis of a set of ‘hard’ criteria: Applicants must be between 18-28 years of age (however a limited number of places is available for 29 and 30 year old applicants) and come from one of the eligible countries  (or reside in one of these countries on a long-term basis for the purpose of implementing their project there).

1b) The application form must be completed (with no open questions or very obviously insufficient answers remaining).

2) All applicants meeting the above criteria are then evaluated on the basis of the following additional criteria:

- applicants must be the founder, co-founder or a very strong driving force behind an existing venture (post launch stage). ‘Having an idea’, ‘Thinking about a project’, ‘being a team member of a project’ or ‘volunteering for a project’ is unfortunately not enough, since Changemakerxchange is about connecting the founders or leaders of projects and ventures. (Where the projects of applicants are very similar or where several applicants come from the same country the applicants whose ventures are at a later stage will likely be chosen over applicants with ventures at a much earlier stage).

- applicants must be able to convey in their application what the impact is they create through their work (or at least have very convincing argument of what kind of impact they’re aiming to create).

- since the Changemakerxchange is all about the personal exchange in a small group of individuals unfortunately good English language skills are a must (we are thinking of ways of how to not make English such a barrier to participation, since we are aware that not everyone necessarily learns/speaks English, however for now it is a ‘knock-out’ criteria). If in doubt in regard to the language skills after looking at the written application we do SKYPE interviews with selected applicants.

3) Since Changemakerxchange is an international collaboration platform and a community of dedicated individuals we strive for great diversity, making sure participants come from as many different countries as possible (from the pool of eligible countries). In addition we also try to make sure there is a good gender balance.

4) After creating shortlists of very strong candidates we include feedback and input on all remaining candidates from Ashoka colleagues and individual references from around the world

5) A final decision is made and communicated to all applicants.

Disclaimer: Changemakerxchange is a very unique “safe space” and platform for the exchange of personal experiences and the creation of collaborations among well advanced young social entrepreneurs. As much as we strive for a maximum level of objectivity we are aware that no criteria-based selection process is perfect. That said the team behind Changemakerxchange will always also, to a certain limited extent, have to rely on their subjective judgement based on past experiences and future goals of the program and make sure to create the ‘right mix’ of participants. We thank you for your understanding.

Please also note that due to very high numbers of applicants for only 25 places unfortunately even some very highly qualified applications will have to be turned down. We however give applicants the chance to be shortlisted and very easily re-submit their original application for future summits.


ChangemakerXchange covers 100% of travel costs and the majority of the conference costs for all 4 nights and 5 days (incl. hotel accommodation, inner city travel, food, entrance fees and more). However a modest participation fee of 100 EURO / 120 USD to cover part of the costs will be charged. (A limited number of stipends in special cases are available upon request - If you really do require a stipend please let us know in the application form).

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July 01, 2016
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