St. Thomas-ChangeX Challenge

St. Thomas-ChangeX Summer Challenge

The University of St. Thomas is excited to announce the first St. Thomas-ChangeX Challenge.  The St. Thomas-ChangeX Challenge is a collaboration with ChangeX, an online platform of proven social innovations from across the globe. The goal of the challenge is to make it easier for our St. Thomas community to make a lasting change in local neighborhoods.


The idea for this challenge came from a program in Wicklow County, Ireland, where the local government provided a small amount of seed funding to inspire local changemakers to launch social innovations across the county.
Here, we will provide funding and other support to help St. Thomas students, faculty, and staff launch select social innovations promoted by ChangeX North America, which is headquartered right here in the Twin Cities:

  • Generation Citizen: An Action Civics Program that matches College teams with a local high school to work on a local issue and improve democratic engagement.
  • CodorDojo: Free, volunteer-led coding clubs for kids.
  • Kaboom!: A program that creates and catalyzes great places to play for all kids.
  • Poetry in the Park: A free community gathering to listen to poetry recitals or share a poem or story and celebrate a love of the written or spoken word.
  • Peace First: A global network of young people addressing problems and injustices in their communities with courage, compassion and collaboration.
  • GIY (Grow It Yourself): Helping groups of people who come together to grow some of their own food, cultivating ‘food empathy’ and an appreciation of where food comes from.
  • Welcoming America: A national network that connects community, government, and nonprofit leaders to help them make their communities more inclusive places.

For more information about these ideas, view this quick getting started guide.

Who Can Apply

Any team you put together, but at least one team member must be a student or faculty or staff member at the University of St. Thomas (please use your St. Thomas e-mail address so that you can be identified). We especially encourage collaborations among students, faculty, and staff.

How To Apply

  1. Join ChangeX.
  2. Select the ChangeX idea that you would like to implement locally (see our list of recommendations above).
  3. Download and review the “5 Step Guide” to getting started.
  4. Once you have committed to starting the initiative (click on the orange button in the upper-right hand corner of the project’s page) and used your St. Thomas e-mail to sign up (important!), you will be emailed a link to supplemental application to complete. Both application forms are short. It should not take much time to apply.


How Applications Will Be Judged

We have a few main criteria:

  • Feasibility: Have you clearly thought through the logistics? Do you have the time and energy to make this work?
  • Your Project’s Potential Impact: Have you thought about your stakeholders and how your project will work in your chosen community?
  • Your Team’s Abilities: Do your team members have a history of accomplishment? Having an inclusive, diverse group might help.

We will also be looking to helping launch a variety of ChangeX projects through our community of changemakers at St. Thomas and to helping you make your community a better place to live. If you have any questions, please write to Cynthia Sarver or Adam Kay in the Social Innovation Collaboratory.