Celebrating 100 changemakers creating a real impact in M’sia

AS American professional boxer-activist Muhammad Ali once said, “Service to others is the rent you pay to your room here on earth.” 

In an effort to recognise Good Samaritans, some 100 Malaysian changemakers making great changes through meaningful and impactful work in the respective communities they represent were recently celebrated through research and communications hub Wiki Impact 100.

Among the 100 changemakers include social activist Kuan Chee Hong @ Uncle Kentang, Yayasan Chow Kit co-founder Dr Hartini Zainudin, Masala Wheels co-founder Kuhan Pathy and Rohingya Women Development Network founder Sharifah Shakirah Husain.

Also on the list are Teach For Malaysia CEO Chan Soon Seng, Befrienders Kuala Lumpur executive director Kenny Lim, Kebun-Kebun Bangsar chairwoman Joanne Mun, ASTRO Awani senior editor Melisa Melina Idris and Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) deputy executive director Yu Ren Chung.

In a world that idolises celebrities and capitalists, Wiki Impact 100, which is the first local online platform for the impact industry, offers a fresh take on an exciting generation of changemakers transforming society and our environment for the better. 

“It is hoped that these changemakers will inspire many more to rise up and make a difference,” Wiki Impact said in a statement announcing the campaign.

“How many can you name?”

In a recent study and report by the British Council on the state of social enterprises in Malaysia, it was revealed that there are over 20,000 social enterprises and 82,675 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) filling the gap in serving different layers of society and solving some of the most pressing issues in the nation. 

But how many can we name? This is why Wiki Impact’s first list of 100 changemakers casts light on the impact industry as they represent various social enterprises, non-profits, foundations and associations doing solid impact work at the ground level. 

The 100 changemakers who made the final cut on the inaugural list underwent a well-researched selection process. 

The evaluation criteria necessitated each changemaker to demonstrate a credible presence in the impact space, exhibit commitment to their work through years and depth of service, showcase collaboration with others and communicate their work and the communities they serve in an effort to raise awareness. 

A panel of three judges – namely, Yayasan Hasanah managing director Datuk Shahira Ahmed Bazari, Khazanah National head of research Nicholas Khaw and YTL Foundation group legal counsel Datuk Kathleen Chew – provided insights and feedback prior to the finalisation of the list. 

In a bid to be holistic and inclusive in the selection, 10 categories were created, with a minimum of five changemakers in each category. 

The categories are animal welfare, environment, education for all, healthcare for all, gender equality, poverty alleviation (job creation and social services), social justice, youth empowerment and impact influencers. 

The inaugural celebration sets itself apart from other coveted lists as it covers a wide spectrum of categories and galvanises the impact industry as a community of people who are problem-solvers and a testament of hope for Malaysia. 

“As we celebrate these 100 changemakers in 2022, Wiki Impact is already gearing up for the year ahead where we hope to uncover many more changemakers who are doing amazing and solid impactful work,” the group added.

The 2023 campaign is open for nominations and the public can recommend as many changemakers who deserve the spotlight. – Sept 17, 2022

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