More than 700 social entrepreneurs who change Romania for the better have been mapped on Ashoka Changemaker Map of 2022.

Five years after the first Changemaker Map in 2017, Ashoka launched a new research dedicated to local social entrepreneurship. More than 700 people were identified by their peers as key, influential people contributing to a better society. The research also resulted in a list of social innovators and their supporters, which brings together more than 25 of the most well-known names in social entrepreneurship.

We are launching this map as recognition towards all changemakers for the continued effort to achieve social impact and aim for systemic changes for the good of all. We are humbled by the commitment, creativity, and resilience of every person found within this map. 

About the Mapping

The network of social innovators in 2022 is composed of 779 people (nodes) and 1013 connections between them (edges). This translates to an average of 2.6 links per node. On average, each individual was nominated by 1.3 other innovators and made 4.33 nominations in turn.


To carry out the study, it started from an initial number of 52 (46 responding nodes) starting nodes (people recommended by aSHoKa romania), aiming for a balanced distribution by fields of activity, gender and geographical regions. Thus, we started from 52% women, 44% men and 4% agender nodes, distributed on domains as following: 13% in socio-economic development, 29% in education, 19% civic involvement, 15% social inclusion, 4% environment, 4% health and 17% transversal. On regions, 14% were from Banat-Crisana-Maramures, 18% Bucharest-Ilfov, 4% Dobrogea, 16% Moldova, 8% Oltenia, 20% Transilvania and 6% from abroad.

Data collection was carried out in two stages. The first aimed at conducting 305 telephone interviews with the help of 7 operators, between July and September 2022. Following this stage, 299 entries were approved, resulting in a further 474 unique innovators. They were contacted by email to give consent for their name to be published along with a simplified data set regarding gender, field of activity, experience, region and organization. Another 339 confirmations were thus added, finally reaching a total of 638 people confirmed on the map, the rest up to 779 being anonymized.

Unlike the network charted in 2017, the current one is smaller, both in terms of the number of nodes (929) and in terms of the number of total connections (1580) and the average number of connections between them (7.9).

The differences can be explained by the small changes in the methodology, but also by the implementation of the GDPR agreement which involves an extra step to confirm the data registration. This was particularly noticeable in the case of people who were contacted by email, where we obtained a percentage of 75% confirmations. Also, 40

(13%) of those interviewed did not make any nomination.

Top Social Innovators in 2022

55 people received 3 or more nominations. These are mainly women (70%) who work in the Social Inclusion (23%) and Education (23%) sectors in the Bucharest-Ilfov region (50%) and do not represent the public or private sector.

2022 vs 2017 Social Innovators

84% of the 112 people were found in both the 2017 and the current research work in the NGO field. They received on average a higher number of nominations: 1.7. At the same time, they were twice as active in nominating other innovators, more precisely nominating 2.8 people.

Romania Changemaker Map 2022

Explore the full mapping report here!