Strengthen Your Community

ChangeX is a platform of proven innovations from across the world. Our mission is to build community wellbeing by unleashing the potential of changemakers everywhere.

Our Team

Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland we are a small team of entrepreneurs passionate about scaling proven social innovations and making change easy.

  • Paul O'Hara Founder/CEO

    Before starting ChangeX, Paul was director of Ashoka in Europe, who have invested over $50M building the field of social entrepreneurship, backing 400 social innovators across the continent. Paul is also founder of Change Nation, a successful platform that accelerates the spread of proven solutions to societies’ challenges by building local demand. A business graduate, he previously worked at Unilever and Cadbury.

  • Niamh McKenna Head of Impact

    A graduate of NUI Galway, Niamh spent four years consulting in the Financial Services department of PwC Dublin before completing a Masters in International Management in Trinity College Dublin, specializing in social entrepreneurship. Niamh spent a year working with Social Entrepreneurs Ireland before joining ChangeX as the first full time team member in January 2014.

  • Sean Hanly CTO

    Sean Hanly is CEO of Ticketsolve and co-founder of Exoftware and Ticketsolve Ltd. Sean is an industry-leading expert in maximising Agile processes for profit with over a decade of senior management experience in software companies. He leads the product team at Ticketsolve as well as managing key client relationships. With his direction, Ticketsolve is continuously breaking new ground in ticketing that delivers significant benefits to its clients. Prior to Exoftware and Ticketsolve, Sean has also managed software teams at companies such as Allied Irish Bank, American Management Systems and Jeffries and Co.

  • Daniel Paul Developer

    Daniel is an entrepreneur passionate about all things web & tech. He has been building websites since he was a teenager and is looking back on over 6 years experience building products and services as a full stack developer. He last worked on and his own startup Idea Starter, Ireland's multiuniversity student entrepreneurial community.

  • Niall O'Hara Growth Lead

    Before joining ChangeX Niall founded Yomojo, a digital communications agency focused on building online communities to empower offline citizen participation. Over the last 18 months he has worked on mobilising public support and involvement in Galway’s successful bid to become the European Capital of Culture 2020. Niall completed a degree in Civil Engineering and a Masters in Structural Engineering before deciding to focus his skills on social impact through growth hacking and community building.

  • Katie Smith Operations Lead

    Before joining ChangeX Katie worked with the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice on securing global justice for people vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Previously she spent two years with Web Summit, focussing on partner relations and event management at global tech conferences. Katie holds a degree in Neuroscience and a Masters in Leadership for Sustainable Development.

  • Jen Aspengren Minnesota Director

    Before joining ChangeX, Jen worked with Ashoka's United States team where, most recently, she did search and selection for Ashoka Fellows and staff. She is passionate about empowering people to be changemakers throughout their lives, and supporting those on the changemaking path. A graduate of the Humphrey Institute of the University of Minnesota, Jen holds a Masters of Public Policy. She also serves as the board chair for Alia, an organization focused on transforming the U.S. foster care system.

  • Brendan Dunford Offline Communities

    Brendan founded the Burren Life Project, an initiative that places farmers at the creative center of developing and delivering key conservation actions. In 2001, he completed a doctorate on the impact of farming on the heritage of the Burren and is co-founder of landscape charity, Burren Beo Trust. He is an Ashoka Fellow and has extensive experience, knowledge and networks in the Burren region.

  • Julia Hildebrand Head of Community

    Julia has a background in journalism. Before joining ChangeX she was Social Media Manager at Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle. She led several projects aiming to engage audiences through social media. Julia is passionate about community building, storytelling, user-centered design and everything DIY.

  • Robson Mafra Developer

    Robson is a software engineer and technology enthusiast. He has ten years of experience helping companies and startups to build their dreams. He believes that education has the power to change the world and supports Deaf education in Sign Language at Surdo para Surdo.

  • Board of Directors

    • Caroline
      Caroline Casey Founder of Kanchi

      Caroline is Founder of Kanchi – a global disability movement. A former strategy consultant with Accenture, Caroline is widely recognized as a world leading social entrepreneur - she has received several awards in recognition of her work including an Ashoka Fellowship, an honorary doctorate from UCD and was appointed a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in 2006.

    • Sorcha
      Sorcha McKenna Partner, McKinsey

      Sorcha is a Partner at McKinsey. She joined in 2003 and her work focuses on organizational change in health care. She has a special interest in integrated care, leading McKinsey’s work in this area across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Before joining McKinsey, Sorcha obtained a degree in microbiology and a PhD in molecular microbiology from Trinity College Dublin.

    • Michael
      Michael Kelly Founder of GIY (Grow it Yourself)

      GIY is a social enterprise creating a healthier, happier and more sustainable world where people grow some of their own food. In 2018 GIY will support over 800,000 people to grow food for the first time. Michael produced and presented the RTE TV Series GROW COOK EAT with Karen O'Donohoe, has written 3 books on food and self-sufficiency and has won awards for his work with GIY from Ashoka, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland and the Arthur Guinness Fund.

    Advisors and Investors

    • Albert
      Albert Wenger Partner at Union Square Ventures (USV)

      Albert is an investor and advisor at ChangeX. USV is a New York-based early stage VC firm focused on investing in disruptive networks. Before joining USV, Albert was the president of through the company’s sale to Yahoo and an angel investor (Etsy, Tumblr). He previously founded or co-founded several companies, including a management consulting firm and an early hosted data analytics company. Albert graduated from Harvard College in economics and computer science and holds a Ph.D. in Information Technology from MIT.

    • Bill
      Bill McKiernan WMC Capital

      Bill is an investor at ChangeX. He founded CyberSource Corporation in 1994 and served as its Chairman and CEO for 16 years. CyberSource is one of the largest payment processors of Internet transactions with over 300,000 customers processing transactions worth over $100 billion per year. In July 2010,CyberSource was acquired by Visa, Inc for $2 billion. Mr. McKiernan holds a B.S. from Boston College and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.

    • Brian
      Brian Caulfield Draper Esprit

      Brian is an investor and advisor at ChangeX. Brian is partner at DFJ Esprit Venture Capital. Previously he co-founded Exceptis Technologies, which he sold to Trintech Group in November 2000. In 2001 he co-founded Similarity Systems, a business focused data quality management software company. Brian currently sits on the boards of AePONA, ezetop, Clavis Technology and The Irish Times and and has personally invested in companies including Cicero Networks and GridStore.

    • Colm
      Colm Lyon Founder Realex Payments

      Colm is an investor at ChangeX. He was the founder and CEO of Realex Payments up until the time the business was acquired in March 2015 being one of Europe’s largest online payment gateways. His latest venture, a regulated Payments Institution called Fire Financial Services aims to transform the way people and businesses pay and are paid. Colm is heavily involved in working with the internet community – chairing the Irish Internet Association for several years and founding the Internet Growth Alliance.

    • Jerry
      Jerry Greenfield Co-founder Ben&Jerry’s

      Jerry is an investor at ChangeX. He is the co-founder of the ice cream company Ben & Jerry's and a philanthropic investor. In 1995 he founded the Ben & Jerry's Foundation together with his partner Ben Cohen, mainly for the purpose of giving back to the Vermont community and to support grassroots activism and community organising for social and environmental justice.

    • John
      John O’Farrell General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz

      John is an investor and advisor at ChangeX. A partner at Andreessen Horowitz, he has played a key role in many high-growth startups. John sits on several boards and specialties include global expansion, partnerships and M&A. He has worked in global leaderships roles at Silver Springs Network, Opsware and Excite @Home. John holds an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

    • Mark
      Mark Little Founder and CEO Storyful

      Mark is an investor and advisor at ChangeX. Mark is Founder and CEO of Storyful, an Irish news startup recently acquired by News Corp. Storyful discovers, verifies and acquires social media for newsrooms, brands and video producers. Prior to Storyful, Mark was a primetime news anchor, Washington bureau chief and foreign correspondent with Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTE.

    • Mike
      Mike Lee Co-Founder & CEO MyFitnessPal

      Mike Lee is Co-Founder of MyFitnessPal, the leading free resource helping people improve their health. Prior to founding MyFitnessPal, Mike co-founded NextC, a venture-funded startup focused on building online communities. During his 20 year tenure in the technology industry, Mike has held leadership positions at several other top start-ups in Silicon Valley, including Palm, Handspring, and Regis McKenna.

    • Vic
      Vic Parker Managing Director Spectrum Equity

      Vic has been with Spectrum Equitey since 1998. His areas of investment focus include Internet, software and information services. Prior to joining Spectrum, Vic worked at Summit Partners. He is a member of the National Council of the World Wildlife Fund and serves on the Board of the Natural Capital Project, a joint venture between WWF, the Nature Conservancy, and Stanford University.

    How ChangeX works

    ChangeX is a platform of proven ideas for anyone who wants to strengthen their community. ChangeX allows you to discover proven ideas and provides all the information and support you need to get these ideas up and running in your local community. We make it easy for you!

    Discover proven ideas

    ChangeX provides you with everything you need to know to improve your community, whatever your passion: Health, education, inclusion, the environment. Discover proven social innovations you can bring to your local area and find out all you need to know to become an expert in each of them. We provide a step-by-step-guide on how to get started, connect you with other ideas in your area and we're always here to support you and answer any questions you have. You can find more support, inspiration and resources for your community work on our Blog.

    Start the ideas you love

    We help you to start any of the proven innovations from the ChangeX network and we'll make sure you won't be left alone doing it.
    We guide you through the process, connect you with a "change buddy", someone who has set up the same idea before, and provide you with a mini-website that allows you to build your team, create events and will soon provide fundraising functionality and more. With ChangeX, a whole network of people who care about their community stand by your side.

    Connect with others

    Sign up to ChangeX to connect with other changemakers or to join existing initiatives in your area. Whether you're an experienced community leader or a newbie, let's make improving our communities shared experience.
    By connecting and learning from each other we can all have a bigger impact. On you can promote your own project, follow ideas, get in touch with anyone who has started one of the ideas before, and bring people together in your community to make great things happen.

    Our story

    The idea for ChangeX began in Dublin, Ireland when Paul O’Hara, Founder of ChangeX decided he would like to tackle some of the social challenges in his local community. Through his work with Ashoka, a global network of social entrepreneurs and having just launched Change Nation, a social innovation platform that accelerates the spread of proven solutions to society's challenges, he knew that many of the solutions to society’s greatest challenges exist but the difficulty lies in scaling these solutions to communities across the world. Social innovations are often badly packaged for online distribution and changemakers can feel disempowered and disillusioned while social entrepreneurs struggle to have the global impact they want. He decided there must be a way of making the process more effective and more efficient and set out to build ChangeX, the world's platform for change.

    You can read about the impact of our first year in Minnesota in this Impact Case Study

    Some of our partners

    • A&L Goodbody
    • Allison Partners
    • Google
    • McKinsey
    • Morrison Foerster
    • CAF
    • RWJ
    • OMP
    • Publicis
    • WebSummit
    • bigOmedia
    • mgpartners

    Company Details

    CHY# 21264

    RCN# 20153618

    CRO# 555232