Based in Minneapolis and Dublin, Ireland we are a small team of entrepreneurs passionate about scaling proven social innovations and making change easy.
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.
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.
Before joining ChangeX, Paul Watson was Storyful's Chief Technical Officer. He joined Storyful in 2011 and has overseen the growth of Storyful's technical team and capabilities. Paul previously co-founded FeedHenry, recently acquired by Red Hat, and has worked in web development and research for the past two decades.
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 StudyNotes.ie and his own startup Idea Starter, Ireland's multiuniversity student entrepreneurial community.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Hamse is a social entrepreneur and the founder and Principal of TAYO Consulting Group LLC, a professional services firm comprised of cross-sector experts with broad and deep experience in human development and poverty solutions. Hamse is connected to local, national and global networks of human development professionals, thought-leaders and policy experts.
Dana has dedicated her professional life to educating and engaging youth in community and world affairs, to close the global competence gap in American education. Her deep belief in the transformative power of global education to contribute to peace, justice and equity on a global scale led her to co-found World Savvy in 2002. She has since led the organization through extensive growth and expansion –reaching more than 405,000 students and nearly 3,000 educators from three offices nationwide.
Vayong Moua is a Senior Advocacy and Health Equity Principal at the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. He has also held positions at the American Cancer Society and Achieve! Minneapolis. He has worked with Minneapolis Public Schools as a Story Teller working with the program to Preserve Culture Through Story Telling.
Prior to her election to the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners, Toni Carter served as a member and chair of the Saint Paul Board of Education. Active in community building for over 30 years, Commissioner Carter has served on numerous community boards, including the Saint Paul Planning Commission, the Metropolitan Area Library Service Agency (MELSA), ARTS-Us, the Walker West Music Academy, the West Side Community Health Center, the Saint Paul YWCA, the Jeremiah Program, Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, and Community Action Programs of Ramsey and Washington Counties.
Karabi is a Director at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She directs the Foundation’s strategies for global learning as it identifies best practices in other countries, including poorer or less-developed ones, and adapting them to improve the social determinants of health in communities in the United States. Previously, Acharya was global director for Ashoka, a network of social entrepreneurs worldwide, with nearly 3,000 fellows in 70 countries putting their system-changing ideas into practice on a global scale.
Scott was CEO of St. Paul-based GovDelivery for 17 years and has recently moved into the role of senior adviser. GovDelivery is the only communications platform built exclusively for the public section. He co-founded GovDelivery in a St. Paul basement in 2000 and has been an active mentor and investor in the Twin Cities startup community ever since. Scott recently joined the Minnesota Philanthropy Partners board of directors.
Michael is a founding Managing Director of Split Rock Partners and focuses on investments in software and internet services companies. Prior to founding Split Rock Partners, Michael was Managing General Partner of St. Paul Venture Capital, which he joined in 1995 and focused on software and internet services investments. He is an active supporter of the Minnesota entrepreneurial community, and works closely with organizations providing guidance to emerging companies. He is also a Working Team Member of The Itasca Project, an employer-led civic alliance focused on regional competitiveness and quality of life.
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!
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, 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. 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.
Supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Global Ideas Fund at CAF America, Minnesota is our first U.S. expansion location. It’s our hope that ChangeX can be a catalyst for community-led efforts across the state contributing toward a culture of health and community wellbeing.
You can read about the impact of our first year in Minnesota in this Impact Case Study