Those working in social change are tackling the world’s most urgent issues like climate change and inequality. But increasingly, these changemakers are facing chronic stress, depression and burnout.

Studies have shown that burnout and depression in the social sector is on the rise. In our work, we found that while 75% of respondents felt that looking after their wellbeing was ‘very important,’ merely 25% reported that they looked after their wellbeing ‘to a great extent’.

To learn more about the challenges surrounding contemporary changemakers including activists, teachers, non-profit leaders, social workers, social entrepreneurs and health care providers, the Project interviewed 50 social change leaders from around the world.

Next, the Project conducted a comprehensive multi-round, sector-level Delphi study over six months. The study was conducted with an international group of 300+ changemakers from 55 countries.

Finally, to understand the shifts that emerge as changemakers are supported with their inner wellbeing, the Project undertook a model 18-month Inner Development Program (IDP) for three cohorts of 20 changemakers from 45 different countries. A seven person research team followed this group over several years documenting their inner wellbeing journey and how that shifted the work of social change.

The result? After focusing on wellbeing, changes happened within individuals, their organizations and even across the sector. We found that wellbeing inspires welldoing.