Let's change the system,
not the symptoms.


The world needs more people creating change at scale.

The world’s most pressing challenges – quality education at scale, climate change, embedded poverty, inequality – cannot be solved by individual programmes or organisations. Addressing them requires change at the system level, in the way people and organisations work and interact in an ecosystem. It demands a leadership approach that harnesses the strength of collective buy-in, rather than authority.

Changmakers U is an Asia-based learning institute on systems change. Join a community of leaders transforming the way the world tackle social challenges, and learn new approaches to changing social and environmental systems around us.


Changemakers U 2019

Changemakers U 2019 is a 1-week residential programme, providing an immersive learning experience on social systems change with a carefully selected community of changemakers, followed by monthly coaching.

Changemakers U goes beyond the traditional approaches such as systems mapping and identifying intervention points, to building continuous strengthening ability of communities and social systems within themselves.


Discover the system

Start with field research to understand a real-world systemic challenge in a local community.

Design the change

Co-design systems change with local champions, align stakeholders and empower local leadership capacity.

Test the change

Collect feedback to evaluate the designs and potential for impact at scale.


Discover the system

Start with field research to understand a real-world systemic challenge in a local community.

Go beyond systems thinking to systems changing

Practical systems change

Rather than focusing on one-time snapshots of systems overview, our approach emphasises creating collective impact with a variety of stakeholders.

Equip yourself

Learn tools and approaches to work with local systems, design change at scale, and apply them to a real social challenge to understand how they work.

Grass-root perspectives

A unique community immersion that allows you to work on real and complex social challenges, engage local changemakers throughout the process, and see all the complexities that come from implementing systems change.

Upgrade yourself

Develop a deeper understanding of yourself and what might be blocking you from creating greater impact.

Unique global community

Develop meaningful and authentic connection with a dedicated community of people who share a strong sense of purpose, and can accelerate your learning after the programme.

Learn from practitioners

Learn from the practitioners who can tell the real stories behind creating systems change.

View our full agenda for information on individual sessions and activities


Kal Joffres
CEO of Tandemic

Kal is the CEO and co-founder of Tandemic, focuses on applying new approaches to addressing business and social challenges ranging from preventing diabetes to improving the quality of education.

Through his work, Kal has served clients and partners such as UNICEF, UNDP, Standard Chartered, Microsoft, Novo Nordisk, and Sime Darby. He also teaches Design Across Borders at Stanford University’s d.school.

He is the author of the Design Thinking Toolkit, the Social Business Model Canvas, a tool used in 80 countries and taught at universities including Oxford and UC San Diego, and the Policy Canvas (forthcoming), a tool and an approach for “reverse engineering” government policies in government-to-government knowledge exchanges.

For his social impact work, he has been recognised as part of the Purpose Economy Asia 100, 100’s Asia leading social innovators. Kal formerly worked in management consulting, investment, and guiding clients in innovation and business strategy. He has experience working across Asia, North America, and the Middle East.

Pla Siriviriyakul
Design Thinking Practitioner & Trainer

As a business designer specialising in management, entrepreneurship, and innovation, Pla was responsible for leading the restructuring of Kaset Thai International Sugar Corporation, a global top 20 sugar producer, which was in a situation of having a debt of USD500 million, a result of the Asian financial crisis, to launching the company on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, with the market capitalization of USD1.2 billion, the largest listed sugar company in Thailand.

Pla holds a Masters Degree from Stanford Graduate School of Business and was a design leader student at Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (the Stanford d.school) where she led and facilitated the design thinking workshops for students and public.

Today, Pla focuses on working with nonprofits focused on environmental issues and local communities. She is passionate about blending her business acumen with creative thinking to create innovation. She believes and acts on the Stanford Graduate School of Business statement, “Change Lives, Change Organizations, Change the world”.


The ultimate call for change

Surround yourself with a diverse group of exceptional individuals, who relate to where you are and where you want to go. Form authentic and lasting relationships with a group that will support you in your next quest.

Social sector leaders

You are in a leadership position in a social or environmental organisation, and you are looking to rethink how to create impactful change at a greater scale.

Impact entrepreneurs

You are running a business or starting one, and you want to learn how to make meaningful impact on society.


You are a working professional of a larger entity, an you are looking to champion positive change in your own industry and organisation.

Be part of a community working on creating a different kind of change


Be open to change

Hear from Elvish, who joined our last Changemakers U 2018 in Malaysia, on her self-development journey. She shares, “It changed me a lot, because I feel I’m not alone here to want to make changes.” Be part of a transformative community, and learn how to take impactful actions at http://staging.thecodist.co/changemakersu.com/ #changemakersU #systemschange #collectiveimpact

Bound by one thing

“This isn’t happening anywhere else. This is unique.” Find out what makes Changemakers U different as Jaymin shares about his experience with the programme. Find out more on how to be part of #changemakersU at http://staging.thecodist.co/changemakersu.com/ #systemschange #collectiveimpact

Direct my next path

Thinking about coming to Changemakers U? Hear from our Alumni their key takeaways from the program, and the environment we created. Find out more about the program and apply at http://staging.thecodist.co/changemakersu.com/ #changemakersU #systemschange #collectiveimpacts

Welcome to Phitsanulok, Thailand

For this immersive experience, we invite you to “Sappraiwan Elephant Sanctuary & Resort”, located in Phitsanulok, northern Thailand — home to fourteen elephants and an abundance of wildlife.

Throughout the programme, you will work closely with local champions to identify their challenges, co-design a solution that combine your unique expertise with community wisdom and resources, and align local government, foundations, and educational institutions.

Our Inspirations

The crisis of leadership – and a new way forward

What should modern leadership look like? Entrepreneur and former Icelandic presidential candidate Halla Tómasdóttir thinks global leaders need to change their ways – or risk becoming irrelevant.

Watch more →

Reclaiming social entrepreneurship

In Daniela Papi-Thornton’s talk, she explains, “we don’t need more social businesses, we need more social change”, and that requires system change leadership. Daniela explores the difference between being a social business founder and a system change leader.

Watch more →

Collective cooperation in the social sector

Wendy Woods reveals the power of collective impact. Using examples of different NGOs, each one working independently to eradicate malaria, she explains how an individualistic approach reduced their efforts and resulted in fatal inefficiencies.

Watch More →

The dawn of system leadership

The deep changes necessary to accelerate progress against society’s most intractable problems require a unique type of leader—the system leader, a person who catalyzes collective leadership.

Read more →

Leading systems

From the specter of climate change to the challenge of deeply rooted poverty, the most pressing global problems today resist interventions that rely on top-down leadership structures. This article illustrates how system leaders work within specific issue domains to drive social change.

Read more →

Collective impact

Large-scale social change requires broad cross-sector coordination. This article explains the five conditions that together produce true alignment and lead to powerful results of a successful collective impact initiative.

Read more →

“Business and human endeavors are systems.

We tend to focus on snapshots of isolated parts of the systems, and wonder why our deepest problems never get solved.”

Peter M. Senge
Co-Founder of the “Academy for systemic change
Author of “The Fifth Discipline

Activate meaningful change today with Changemakers U


Changemakers U is a program by Tandemic, an Asia-based innovation firm. We work closely with organisations ranging from UNICEF to Microsoft to create meaningful social impact.

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We’re happy to accept talented individuals of any age or background if they show determination to make a dent in this world, most of our participants have at least three years of professional experience.

Please view the official Summary of Countries and Territories entitled for Visa Exemption and Visa on Arrival to Thailand. Please contact Thai Embassy in your country for newest and most accurate information.

Simply contact us at [email protected]

Please note that we only issue invitation letters to participants who have been accepted into the programme.

Yes, you will be provided with shared accommodation in the standard package, with a private room package available for an additional fee.

View our application process for details on everything that is included in the programme fee.

You only need to worry about travel to and from Phitsanulok, Thailand, and Thai visa costs, if you need one. We will provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day of the programme.

View our application process for details on everything that is included in the programme fee. Please note that payment processing & currency exchange fees are NOT included.

We strongly encourage you to source your own funding to participate in the programme. Some of our participants have been sponsored by their employers, universities, and various organisations. We can provide you with an invitation letter to support your funding application if requested.

Participants attending Changemakers U will need to reserve their seats by submitting a deposit or full payment within two weeks of being accepted.

Please do NOT process any payments until you are officially accepted, and note that submitting the application does not immediately confirm your participation in the programme.

Yes, you will receive a signed certificate on the last day of the programme.
Changemakers U will be hosted semi-annually. The next program is expected to be January 2020, with application open tentatively in October 2019.