For a long time Changefactory has been working as a social entrepreneur. Knowledge from children has already created a big impact on improving current systems in the country of Norway. The methodology we use ensures that the voice of many children can be heard by the system implementers. It also opens up for the dialogues between implementers and the children and youth the systems are for. Changefactory wants to share this methodology with other organizations and important actors around the world and create synergy with others.
We know that many organizations and foundations are working for a similar goal as Changefactory. We want to build a strong network together with them. Scientists, politicians and national authorities also are important. Coming together to create a network of similar organizations will enhance our strengths, exchange of learning and best practices as well as create unique opportunities for productive collaborations.
CHANGEFACTORY KNOWLEDGE CENTER
Since 2004 Changefactory has systematically collected and mapped children’s experiences from and advice for the systems. In 2017, the ForandringsFabrikken officially opened a knowledge centre. As far as we know, it is Europe’s first knowledge centre that collects and maps knowledge from children. The main aim of the Knowledge Center is to systematise, publish and disseminate the answers from children to create systemic change.
In the Change Factory, Knowledge Center has summarised knowledge from children on these topics: School, child welfare, mental health, violence and abuse, criminal justice, Norwegian Welfare and Labour Administration (NAV) and hospitals as well as several other reports, and recommendations from the children. The summarised knowledge is published as research reports and books with powerful photographs, and videos. All the gathered knowledge is an asset for practitioners, professionals, students and policymakers for ensuring the wellbeing and welfare of children and youth.
To gather knowledge, Changefactory uses a methodology called ForandringsMetodikk (Change Methodology), which is based on Participatory Learning and Action (PLA). It is further developed together with youth to make a safe enough space for children and youth to share their advice with Changefactory’s workers. For more about the methodology:
PRONOUNCED AS ONE OF THE FOREMOST SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS
21st of November 2017: The international organization Accelerating Change for Social Inclusion (ACSI) pronounced Changefactory as one of Europe’s best social entrepreneurs for children. The same week, Changefactory meets the authorities in Barcelona to talk about how we give young voices power.
About the ACSI-competition:
- Arranged by the organisation Accelerating Change for Social Inclusion (ACSI), in collaboration with local authorities in many European cities.
- Authorities in Athens, Barcelona, Lisbon, Rotterdam and Stockholm have evaluated social entrepreneurs and chosen the projects they mean are best. Barcelona and Rotterdam has chosen Changefactory among the best.
- The goal is to spread, and share, the best ideas within social entrepreneurship.
The goal is to spread great social ideas, so that authorities and social entrepreneurs in other countries can learn from the model. Changefactory is one of the foremost social entrepreneurs in the category “best social solutions for vulnerable children.”
An idea worth spreading
– This means that the little Norwegian Changefactory becomes a product of export! It is great that all the hard work over several years is being noticed in Europe, says Fredrik, one of the child welfare pros in Changefactory.
– However, for us, spreading the idea is most important: That all adults working in welfare services for children have the child as their closest collaborating partner, and not just other adults, says Fredrik Pro
In 2010 Changefactory was awarded as the social entrepreneurs of the year by Ferd Social Entrepreneurs.
One year later, the founder of the Changefactory Marit Sanner was selected as an Ashoka fellow for 2011. Ashoka fellows are among the leading social entrepreneurs in the world. Since then, Changefactory continues working closely with Ashoka national office and internationally by participating and providing ideas and expertise in different programs.
Changefactory was awarded Karl Evang’s award in 2011 by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in Norway for working in information work and participation in the social debate on important health and social policy issues.
The ForandringsFabrikken actively participates in international forums and gatherings around the world and conferences to convey our methodology and learn from one another. We ensure the participation of children and youth in such platforms that will enable us to share a common idea and wonderful work to change the system.
In Portugal, an organization named Comparte is applying a change methodology developed by Changefactory in its activities and projects. Comparte mainly works in the area of education with young people, listening to their knowledge and advice to change and improve the system they are in. Changefactory and Comparte are closely working together to learn and exchange the best learning from each other and further develop methodology used for mapping projects.
The Dutch Youth Institute in The Netherlands is working with our Change methodology. They are going to publish and translate our knowledge from children and youth into their language. Changefactory has supported the Accelerating Change for Social Inclusion (ACSI) in Spain, project implementation at the municipality level by providing technical support in order to integrate children’s activities at the municipality level in Barcelona.
THE IDEA OF CHANGEFACTORY
Changefactory was established in 2004 with the simple idea that children have important knowledge and advice that the systems for children and the country need.
Changefactory wants to make the systems for children, better for them, by having them directly contribute. Through research, the Changefactory gathers knowledge from many children and youth, from the age of 2 to 22. The children com from all over the country, and are currently in or have recently been in systems that meet children. Like kindergarten, school, mental health services, child welfare services, the judicial systems and others. Through research Changefactory systematically collects children’s experience from the systems, and their advice for improving them. The experiences and advice that come from many children, many places in the country, are presented as the main findings.
The goal of Changefactory is that all the systems children meet feels safe and useful for them. The system should also meet all children in a way that ensures children’s rights to information, privacy, and their right to express their views freely, and thereafter uses the children’s views as fundamental elements when assessing what is in the best interest of the child, after the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
CHANGEFACTORY'S PROFESSIONALS (PROS)
The pros in Changefactory are children with experience from systems and help services in Norway. These are systems like school, mental health services, child welfare services, the judicial systems, and other support systems. We call them pros because they are pro at the systems they are in, or have currently been in. Anybody who wants to, can become a pro, and it is completely voluntary.
Children have important knowledge the country must listen to when developing systems and making laws affecting children. This is knowledge that the implementers of the systems themselves do not have.
As a pro, children change the systems and laws by presenting and explaining the main findings from Changefactory’s research. They participate in presentations and dialogues with students from universities, field professionals from the system they are in and the authorities. Sometimes findings are illustrated through examples from the pros’ life.
The pros also explain how field professionals can use children’s four fundamental rights by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the overlap between knowledge from children and the convention.
Changefactory is a non-profit social entrepreneur. We receive our main funding from the government of Norway through the government annual fund and through applications to foundations and other private organisations that hand out grants and donations to projects. A small fraction of our funding comes from lecture presentations by the pros, book sales, and donations from other foundations and non-profit organizations.