On December 10, 2013 B-Change embarked on a five-year mission to discover how technology can help young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) in Asia find safe and friendly places. Now in 2018 our mission ends as we move into the next phase of our journey.
I count the following as B-Change’s top three achievements over the last five years:
We gained subject matter expertise on the recurrent patterns of discrimination in Asia across diverse races, ages, genders, abilities, sexual orientations and gender identities and cultures by forming partnerships and coalitions with community organisations across diverse sectors.
We identified a viable technological solution that helps LGBT, people with disabilities, minority women and other marginalised groups find providers of inclusive services after completing a systematic and exhaustive series of community-based experiments that ended with a pilot in early 2018.
We identified a viable business model for building and operating the solution commercially by testing various social enterprise approaches in the global market thanks to support from the Singtel Future Makers Program 2018.
You may be wondering: what is our solution? Through partnerships with existing digital platforms, and the deployment of a proprietary smartphone app, we help diverse individuals find accessible and welcoming places more easily by increasing the supply of data on inclusive places, businesses and services.
Our solution involves the creation of a business ecosystem that encourages more talent to be attracted to inclusive employers; and, more money to be spent at inclusive businesses. Early traction from companies and community partners in Asia tells us we’re on the right track.
Moving forward we will now focus 100 percent of our efforts in the Greater Asia region through our new entity - Be Inclusive. Find out more at www.be-inclusive.com. Having conceptualised, prototyped and tested the solution and its business model, B-Change Group will close operations in Manila, New York and Singapore at the end of 2018 paving the way for our next chapter.
In closing I wish to acknowledge and thank our trustees, directors and advisors for their unwavering trust and good counsel since we began. I am also grateful to Levi Strauss Foundation, the United Nations Development Program, Ashoka and the many other international development partners who supported us as we persevered towards our goal. A special shout out to our crowdfunders, and companies such as Facebook and Singtel, who believed in our mission. And finally I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the dozens of talented and diverse individuals whose contributions as B-Change team members helped us deliver extraordinary and innovative results.
At B-Change the quote: “be the change you want to see in the world” has been an enduring inspiration since our founding in 2011. As I look at the long road ahead, I continue to draw inspiration from this quote as we start anew, making the world a more inclusive place for all.
December 10, 2018