Ali’s Changemaking Model

Ali Raza Khan, the Founder & CEO of YES Network Pakistan, has revolutionized the field of youth development through his groundbreaking trust-based model. Rooted in the profound belief that every young person is born with incredible changemaking power, this model shatters the constraints of circumstance, gender, and educational background. It ignites a spark of possibility that resides within each individual, a divine gift waiting to be harnessed. With over 25 years of experience working with youth, Ali has developed a simple, practical, and scalable method that effectively turns young people into changemakers. Ali’s changemaking model has been tested with thousands of young people, yielding amazing results, with 92 percent of them being able to create significant social and economic impact. It has garnered global recognition for its transformative impact on young people.

Now, let’s explore the core features of Ali’s Changemaking Model that distinguish it from conventional paradigms:

  1. Inclusiveness and Accessibility

At the heart of Ali’s model is an unwavering belief that every young person possesses innate changemaking power, irrespective of their background or circumstances. This inclusive philosophy recognizes that this power is a God-given gift that resides within their DNA, ready to be harnessed for personal and societal progress. Respect for everyone is the core philosophy of Ali’s changemaking model. It extends trust to all young people without preconditions. Unlike conventional programs that evaluate young people before trusting them, Ali’s model adopts a “trust first, evaluate later” approach. It embraces an “open for everyone” mentality, sending a powerful message that every young person is born with the inherent power to create positive change and that a trust-based environment is all they need to unlock their potential. Ali’s model is based on the belief that changemaking is not limited to those young people who aspire to become entrepreneurs or social entrepreneurs. It is a necessary journey for everyone to discover the purpose of their life and unlock their changemaking power. Ali’s model removes all conditions to participate in the changemaking program. There is no requirement for presentations, idea sharing, or references. The sole requirement to participate in the program is the desire to be a part of it. All young people need to do is form a team of 3 to 5 members to take part in the program.

  1. Trust-Based Investment

Trust-Based Investment is a striking feature of Ali’s changemaking model. Unlike conventional approaches that often require strict conditions and expect repayment in case of loss, Ali’s program provides young people with small investments based on trust. By removing the pressure to repay the investment in case of loss, Ali’s model creates a unique environment where young people can freely explore their ideas, take risks, and embark on their changemaking journey with confidence. This trust-based approach encourages participants to overcome their fear of failure, knowing that they have the freedom to make mistakes with pleasure and learn from them without adverse consequences. This aspect of the model is instrumental in fostering innovation and creativity. When young people are not constrained by the fear of financial loss, they can channel their energy into developing innovative solutions and pushing the boundaries of their ideas. By embracing a trust-based investment model, Ali’s program recognizes that failure is an inherent part of the learning process. Participants are encouraged to view their mistakes as valuable opportunities for growth and improvement. This mindset shift enables them to develop resilience, problem-solving skills, and a willingness to adapt their strategies based on lessons learned.

  1. Trust-based Environment

Ali recognizes that the problem does not lie with the young people, but rather with the societal paradigm in which they are growing up. When we change the paradigm, we change the results. Ali believes that most of the time, we seek compliance and obedience from young people, and as a result, we get compliance. However, when we instead seek creativity and innovation from young people, we witness their incredible capacity for innovation. Ali’s model acknowledges that true changemaking is not limited to the individual alone but requires the engagement and alignment of the entire environment. By developing a trust-based environment, young people are given the support and space to discover and embrace their changemaking power. This inclusive approach recognizes that empowering young people goes beyond inspiring trust in them; it involves creating an environment where their ideas are nurtured, risks are encouraged, and their changemaking journey is fully supported. In this trust-based environment, young people can thrive, explore innovative solutions, and make a meaningful impact on society.

  1. Enterprise Orientation

The enterprise orientation of the Changemaking Program distinguishes it from traditional community service programs by challenging young people to produce and sell something. This aspect introduces a unique set of challenges that go beyond simply offering volunteer services. While community service programs may focus on providing assistance without the need for commercialization, the Changemaking Program pushes participants to develop a commercial mindset and acquire business-related skills. This unique aspect of the program enhances their business acumen, fosters innovation, and cultivates a sense of responsibility and accountability for their changemaking endeavors. They are motivated to create high-quality offerings that meet customer expectations and generate positive feedback. Young people are encouraged to scan the environment and develop superior and affordable products and services. Young people are encouraged to be fast, first and unique in meeting the needs of society. Through the program, young people embark on a transformative journey from conceptualization to commercialization of their ideas.

  1. Transforming Youth into Donors

The Changemaking Program introduces a distinct feature that empowers young people to evolve into donors and philanthropists. Participants receive a trust-based investment, without any obligation to repay in the event of loss. However, in case of profit, they have the choice to retain 45 percent for themselves and allocate another 45 percent for donation to the implementing organization. The remaining 10 percent is designated for the teachers or individuals engaged in executing the model. Remarkably, outcomes reveal that even individuals previously residing in extreme poverty, who were once recipients of scholarships or aid, can transcend their circumstances and transition into not only solution providers but also contributors and philanthropists. By granting them the opportunity to receive trust-based investment and create valuable contributions for society, the program enables these individuals to effect transformative change within a relatively short timeframe. Moreover, the profit-sharing element of the program secures its perpetuity. A portion of the profits generated from successful ventures is reinvested into the program, ensuring its continuity in supporting forthcoming changemakers. This approach not only nurtures a philanthropic mindset among young individuals but also establishes a self-perpetuating cycle of support, enabling accomplished participants to contribute to financing the endeavors of future generations of changemakers.

  1. Addressing Bottom-of-the-Pyramid Challenges

Another striking feature of the Changemaking Program is that it encourages young people to create products and services specifically designed for individuals living at the base of the pyramid. Every youth team is required to produce a product or service and sell it to people living at the bottom of the economic pyramid. This model recognizes the need to address this huge untapped market segment. According to the World Bank, approximately half of the global population, around 3.8 billion people, lives on less than $5.50 per day. This population segment represents a significant portion of society that needs access to useful products and services. By providing young people with small trust-based investments, the Changemaking Program empowers them to design and deliver low-cost, high-quality offerings tailored to the needs of individuals in this underserved market. By serving this segment of the population, the program not only addresses social and economic inequality but also creates opportunities for young people to make a meaningful impact on the lives of millions while developing essential practical skills.

  1. Scalability and Simplicity

Ali’s model relies heavily on existing human and physical infrastructure, as well as fee structures, to implement its approach in a simple and scalable manner. By utilizing the resources already available within educational and technical institutions, the model minimizes the need for additional infrastructure and overhead costs. A small allocation from students’ fees can contribute to the trust-based investment, further fueling the model’s scalability. Remarkably, young people have demonstrated the ability to double their investments within a short period, making this model highly lucrative and efficient, even surpassing the speed of traditional microfinance models. The simplicity of the model lies in its straightforward framework, making it easy to understand and implement. This simplicity enables it to be replicated and scaled across different regions and educational settings. By leveraging the existing infrastructure and fee structures, the model can be easily adopted by institutions worldwide, reaching a wide audience of young people. The combination of simplicity and scalability positions Ali’s model as a practical and accessible solution for empowering young changemakers. It demonstrates that activating young people doesn’t have to be complex or resource-intensive.

  1. Personal and Societal Transformation

Ali’s model firmly believes that changing society starts with changing oneself. Unlike other programs that ask young people to create societal change without working on themselves, Ali’s model says we must first change how we think and act before trying to change society. Ali’s approach gives young people a small amount of trust-based investment to start with. This makes them rely more on their own abilities and less on outside help. It encourages them to focus on breaking the old paradigm and personal status quo before they try to produce something valuable for society. The main idea is that if young people change themselves first, they can then have a bigger impact on society. Ali believes societal transformation is not possible without personal transformation. The model emphasizes the importance of personal transformation as a catalyst for societal change. By nurturing and developing the changemaking power within each individual, Ali aims to create a ripple effect that leads to broader societal transformation.

  1. Changemaker Campus

Another striking feature of Ali’s changemaking model is its ability to transform educational institutions into changemaker campuses. This unique approach encourages educational institutions to pursue two important goals simultaneously: offering quality education and creating societal impact. Traditionally, educational institutions have not fully utilized the changemaking power of their faculty members and students to address the pressing challenges faced by society. Ali’s model aims to push for three interconnected goals: the advancement of society, the advancement of subject matter, and the advancement of students. By integrating changemaking principles into the educational process, the model makes educational institutions more relevant and responsive to the needs of their surrounding communities. It encourages educational institutions to embrace their social context and actively engage in addressing critical challenges as an integral part of the education process. The focus shifts from assessing students’ performance solely within the confines of classrooms to evaluating their impact within communities through real-world changemaking projects. This shift creates a win-win situation for everyone involved. Instead of solely displaying academic achievements, educational institutions begin sharing the changemaking performance of their students in the field. The emphasis is placed on the number of changemakers produced, rather than just the number of graduates. This change in assessment criteria reflects the recognition that the true value of education lies in empowering students to become active agents of change in society. This approach benefits not only the students but also the educational institutions themselves.

  1. Breaking the Chains of Poverty

A key aspect of Ali’s model lies in its remarkable capacity to uplift young people from poverty in record time. By engaging in the production and provision of valuable products and services, young people gain firsthand experience of the transformative power of generating income. Ali’s model serves as a powerful testament to the fact that many young people are burdened with unwanted poverty imposed by society. Through his efforts, thousands of young people who were studying in state-sponsored institutions were able to break free from poverty in a remarkably short period of time simply by being trusted. These young people, who were previously perceived as liabilities by the state and offered scholarships, demonstrated their incredible potential when given the opportunity and trust. Ali recognized that poverty should not be a permanent condition for these individuals and believed in their capacity to rise above their circumstances. By honoring and trusting young people, Ali’s model shattered the conventional notion that poverty is an insurmountable obstacle. Instead, it revealed the inherent resilience and untapped potential within each individual. Through trust-based investments and the opportunity to engage in changemaking activities, young people were empowered to create their own pathways out of poverty. This transformative approach not only lifted young people out of poverty but also fostered a sense of self-worth, dignity, and empowerment. It sent a powerful message that young people are not liabilities to be supported but assets to be trusted and invested in. The success stories of these young people serve as inspiring examples, challenging the prevailing notion that poverty is an inescapable trap. They demonstrate that with trust, support, and opportunities, young people can rise above their circumstances and create a better future for themselves and their communities.

Ali’s Changemaking Model stands as a testament to the potential residing within each young person. With its innovative, trust-driven approach, it redefines the landscape of youth development field and offers a transformative journey towards self-discovery, innovation, and positive societal impact. Ali’s Changemaking Model not only carries the promise of personal and societal transformation but has also demonstrated its impact on a global scale.

With successful implementations at a micro level across diverse countries like Zimbabwe, Kenya, Germany, and Mexico, this model’s adaptability shines brightly, transcending socio-cultural boundaries and proving its potential for positive change worldwide. A significant testament to its effectiveness is the adoption of a similar framework by India at the state level. This recognition by a government underscores the model’s credibility, scalability, and potential for widespread application. This official endorsement reflects the model’s ability to empower young people and foster social innovation at a broader level.

The ripple effect of Ali’s model is undeniable. Its impact extends beyond young people, resonating within communities and societies. By nurturing the innate potential of young people, the model cultivates a fresh generation of changemakers who are not only equipped with skills but also driven by purpose, empathy, and a profound sense of social responsibility.

In our world, hungry for positive change, Ali’s changemaking model emerges as a guiding light. Its simplicity, practicality, and scalability have the power to unlock the potential of millions of young minds worldwide, allowing them to carve out their roles in society, contribute meaningfully, and collaboratively create a brighter, more promising future for all.


Uniqueness of YES Network Pakistan


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