ChangeMaker's Institute heading

ChangeMaker's Institute

Designed to Inspire Empower Challenge Girls to Be Catalysts for Global Change

What is ChangeMaker's Institute?

Are you interested in learning how to make social change?

Do you want to better understand who you are and how your identity informs your perspective and the role you play in your communities? 

Are you looking for a place where you can build the skills to work in teams and build consensus among different groups of people?

Do you want to improve your ability to turn thoughts into action?

This virtual program provides opportunities for high-school girls to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to be effective catalysts for change in their communities and beyond. If you strive to create a more just and equitable future, then let us help you transform this passion into action.

In this program you will:
build relationships with mentors and peers  •  work directly with experts in the social impact space  •  learn how to use frameworks to launch change-making efforts  •  develop an understanding of your identity and how it plays a role in your community  •  think deeply and critically about the problems our world faces

Students who participate walk away with a new found confidence in themselves and in their ability to spark positive change in their communities. You will become part of and continue to have access to an incredible network of peers, mentors, and expert change-makers from around the world.

This course is a wonderful introduction to the actual process of creating policy/framework for change. I know a lot of girls my age who know they want to change the world, they just don't know how to go about it, and I think this course would be really inspiring to them.

Enrollment Opens in Early 2023

ChangeMaker's Certificate

While all of our courses are designed to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to create effective change, students who enroll in the ChangeMaker’s Certificate program will have the opportunity to participate in an exclusive change-making fellowship. After successfully completing all four courses, they will take all of the knowledge and skills they’ve acquired and create blueprints to implement real social change.  This certificate provides young women, aged 14-19 years old, with the opportunity to stay engaged with the ChangeMaker’s Institute for up to two years as they gain deeper insight into the realities of change-making and gain first hand experience enacting these changes.

Students who successfully complete all four courses will earn a PCGL ChangeMaker’s Institute Certificate and a transcript from Miss Porter’s School that exemplifies their passion and dedication to becoming an effective, driven change-maker.

101 – The Basics of Change-Making

You will learn the foundation of the social change sector and begin to understand systems of oppression and the power of consensus-building and collective impact. This knowledge and the accompanying skills will provide you with a base to effectively approach change moving forward in any one of our future offerings and in your own life.  

Over the course of seven weeks, you will work in small groups with peers  from around the world. Led by expert facilitators, you will be guided through a process of reflecting on the systems of oppression that surround us and the ways that people attempt to create change, eventually determining what you think is the most effective approach to change-making  and how it can be applied to your community. 

Young women (age 14-18)  who are passionate about building a more just and equitable future, should  join us!

Skills Building:

Core Concepts:

Defining and Redesigning for a Just and Fair Society

In order to think about how to define and redesign a more just and fair society, we will learn about the concept of a social contract including understanding the history of change-making and the concepts of freedom, agency and liberation. We will explore what a just and fair social contract would look like for us today as a framework for a society that we would want to live in.


Mapping Systems of Oppression

We will explore our understanding of three core concepts in change-making: truth, liberation and oppression. We will consider what these concepts mean, what they look like, and how they become pervasive forces in our lives. We will look closely at the mechanics of oppression, and how it threads through our systems of education, housing, healthcare and government. We will map how these systems impact communities, and the roles we all play in these outcomes.


The History of Change-making:  A Case For Collective Impact

We will explore key historical moments of revolutionary change in human societies.  We will explore the critical questions of:  What is social change?  And, what causes it? We will look at some examples of the most powerful ways to make change  as well as their shortcomings. We will look at the mechanics of how change agents today operate in communities through government, philanthropy, non profit or grassroots leadership – making the case for a shift in how we operate as change-makers.


Changemaker Bootcamp: Skill Building in Consensus and Blueprint Building

We will explore the “how to” and “why” of Consensus Building and Blueprint building, which are foundational skills that enable change in the modern world. By learning what it takes to build and grow a movement, you will learn how to interview members of your community, how to identify all of the people who can influence your movement and how to facilitate group discussions with people to invite them to join your movement. We will explore the meaning of and need for diversity, equity, reflection, collaboration, and mindfulness on the front lines of our change movements. This will provide an introduction to the skills that you will need to be a leader on the frontier of meaningful movements for social change. 

Meet the Team

Gizelle Clemens '04

Olivia Coléon '06

Krissy Guest '04

Cristina Trullols '95

Christina Alexander '97

McKenzie Roller '20

Cat Lindroth '04

The ChangeMaker’s Institute was co-designed in partnership with Porter’s Center for Global Leadership and Miss Porter’s School graduates McKenzie Roller ‘20 and Catherine Lindroth ‘04. We are excited that Krissy Guest ’04 and Catherine Lindroth ’04 bring their diverse experiences in the social impact space as leaders and facilitators in the ChangeMaker’s Institute.

Catherine Lindroth ‘04, lead program designer and facilitator of ChangeMaker’s Institute, was most recently the Founder and Managing Partner at Social Contract. Social Contract specializes in collective impact, works with government and philanthropy to help identify the highest value levers for social change, and offers technical assistance to execute high-impact initiatives. Before Social Contract, Catherine Founded SummerCollab and DualSchool, two education-based, non-profit organizations (born from collective impact movements she mobilized) focused on student creativity, agency, and critical thinking. She was a 2018 “Everyday Hero” awarded by the Jaffe Foundation.

Throughout her career, Catherine has helped foundation, non-profit, and government leaders strategically foster innovation, collaboration, and collective impact. Combining her expertise in entrepreneurship, education, youth development, organizational management, facilitation, design thinking, systems thinking, and program design, Catherine deploys a unique set of skills in allyship with daring, visionary minds looking to make an inspiring impact in the world. 

Kristen “Krissy” Guest ’04 is a licensed social worker and psychotherapist who believes in the impact of “answering the call”. For Kristen, the biggest call is healing with joy. Change starts within and Kristen is joining Changemakers to guide and learn from a group of change agents with the power to develop the inner man as much as the world. Following Miss Porter’s School, Kristen earned her bachelor’s from Mount Holyoke College, a Masters of Divinity and Masters of Science in Social Work from Columbia University. During this time, she received training in best clinical practices, as well as looking at ways to encourage clients from a strengths-based and social justice lens, among others.

Kristen’s experience includes mentoring and serving clients in some dark times and positions, such as shelter and psychiatric hospitals and homes. Never, though, has she wavered from the idea that pain – physical, emotional, mental, spiritual – can overpower our minds first and that is an important part of healing. Understanding, loving, and appreciating self; all worth it.

Beyond current career-work, Kristen thrives on joy work and belief-shifting. As a person who also has a chronic illness, she seeks experiences and people to invest joy into at all times. From a young age, having an autoimmune illness meant going many days without the ability – or will – to get out of bed. With faith and a deep propensity to get to a place where she could support others in their journeys, she has made it her mission to come out the other side; as always, a work in progress. Not only this; her ultimate goal in life is to serve in a way that empowers others to activate joy for themselves. Kristen takes her mission seriously and looks forward to supporting other changemakers in their work.

Our Curriculum

The Basics of Change-Making
The Basics of Change-Making
Course Focus: Foundation of the social change sector, understanding systems of oppression, and the power of consensus building and collective impact. ---------- Key Outcomes: New and enhanced perspective on change-making • Understand how to approach change-making • Necessary skills to deeply understand complex social issues
Apply
On Purpose
On Purpose
Course Focus: Framework and support given to meaningfully reflect on who participants are and who they want to be, finding and understanding the meaning of purpose and how to apply purpose to change-making ------ Key Outcomes: Improved understanding of self • How to speak from the “I” perspective • A deeper understanding of purpose
Apply
Consensus Building in a Global Community
Consensus Building in a Global Community
Course Focus: How to build consensus around an issue locally and globally, how to communicate across differences, interviewing stakeholders and experts, how to draft a blueprint for actionable change ------ Key Outcomes: Learn to implement plans • Understand complex social issues • Understand of consensus building and why it matters • Effectively and respectfully communicate across differences
Apply
ChangeMaker's Fellowship
ChangeMaker'sFellowship
Course Focus: Moving from planning to action and implementation, collaborative team building skills, leadership development, group and one on one coaching to learn how to implement meaningful change ------ Key Outcomes: Learn to move from planning to implementation • Understand complex social issues •Deep understanding of consensus building and why it matters
Apply

The Basics of Change-Making

Course Focus: Foundation of the social change sector, understanding systems of oppression, and the power of consensus building and collective impact.

On Purpose

Course Focus: Framework and support given to meaningfully reflect on who participants are and who they want to be, finding and understanding the meaning of purpose and how to apply purpose to change-making.

Consensus Building in a Global Community

Course Focus: How to build consensus around an issue locally and globally, how to communicate across differences, interviewing stakeholders and experts, how to draft a blueprint for actionable change.

ChangeMaker's Fellowship

Course Focus: Moving from planning to action and implementation, collaborative team building skills, leadership development, group and one on one coaching to learn how to implement meaningful change.