ChangeX aims to strengthen communities with innovative ideas

A non-profit online platform aimed at boosting local community schemes and involvements held its first meeting as part of a tour of Cork this week.

ChangeX is a website that allows users to seek out social innovations such as coderdojos or men’s sheds in their area, and provides access to related information and support needed to get such ideas off the ground.

Launched last year in the Burren, ChangeX recently raised €400,000 from investors including Storyful founder Mark Little; Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Jerry Greenfield; financier Dermot Desmond; John O’Farrell, general partner of Andreessen Horowitz; Albert Wenger, managing partner at Union Square Ventures; Realex founder Colm Lyon; Brian Caulfield of DFJ Espri; and Bill McKiernan of WMC Capital.

Paul O’Hara, the ChangeX founder and CEO, said the website has set the challenge of inspiring 30 initiatives in the next 60 days.

“No matter what your passion is, education, health- care, jobs, there is an idea there that has been proven to work elsewhere. If the idea isn’t there in your community, the website has the support you need to get it started,” Mr O’Hara said.

“If you got this up and running in every town and village across the country, there is a huge opportunity to get these ideas to spread.”

Mr O’Hara; ChangeX Cork community organiser, David Hardwicke; and special guest KC from RedFM, spoke at last night’s ChangeX launch in Cork City’s Café Velo, after a meeting in the West Cork Arts Centre in Skibbereen on Wednesday night.

Other initiatives promoted by ChangeX include 121digital, which seeks to create a network of young tutors who will share their skills with older people, and KaBOOM!, which hopes to bring companies and communities together to plan, design, and build a playground.


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