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The Catalyst: Triggering and amplifying transformative reactions

In this blog series, we’ll dive into the 22 changemaker roles. Each of these roles plays a part in driving transformation and working towards a just world in their unique way. We share them to help you discover your own role as a changemaker because supporting changemakers around the globe means creating a more whole, beautiful, and just world.


When working toward social change, it’s common to feel stuck in the status quo. Resistance to change can really slow down progress and make it hard to initiate a path forward.

It’s in times like these that we must challenge complacency, push for improvement, and encourage others to think outside the box.

Luckily, this is where catalysts come in—the changemakers who speed up change by inspiring others into action.

About the Catalyst

When it comes to driving rapid change, catalysts are the game changers. They have a talent for getting things moving by bringing together the right resources when they’re needed most. Sometimes, just their genuine belief in someone or their idea can be the most powerful resource, giving the encouragement needed to push an initiative forward.

They keep the momentum of change going by keeping everyone inspired. Even when there are obstacles, they stay adaptable and resilient, adjusting their approach as necessary.

Catalysts focus on empowering others instead of holding onto power themselves. They aim to build the skills and abilities in communities so they can continue and improve upon the changes started. Unlike typical change agents, they feel satisfied when initiatives succeed without needing their constant involvement. They take the lead at the start and then gracefully step back, understanding their temporary role in the process of change. Their main goal is to nurture systems or movements that can sustain themselves, knowing that real success comes from others continuing the work.

Effective catalysts regularly reflect on their actions, analyzing what works and what doesn't. They ensure they're moving in line with the bigger picture of changing society. Essentially, their role is crucial in guiding communities and societies toward a more just, equitable, and sustainable future.

Inner Work for the Catalyst

Like all changemakers, catalysts must practice their inner work over time in order to create the change they wish to see.

Often at the forefront of transformation, catalysts can struggle with managing expectations around the speed and efficacy of change. It's natural for them to occasionally grapple with self-doubt or question their ideas, especially when progress seems slow. That's why it's essential for catalysts to practice patience.

Patience is the ability to remain calm and composed in situations that are challenging, difficult, or require waiting. It involves exercising self-control and tolerance, even when faced with obstacles, delays, or frustrations. Patience allows us to endure hardships, maintain a positive attitude, and persevere toward our goals without becoming easily discouraged or agitated. It's like having a steady hand guiding you through life's twists and turns, helping you navigate with resilience and tranquility.

Embracing patience helps catalysts recognize that impactful change is often a marathon, not a sprint. The time it takes isn't a reflection of inadequacy but rather the depth and breadth of the transformation.


Let’s recognize, celebrate, and support the catalysts among us because they are the changemakers who inspire others into action and amplify the magnitude of change.


Want to learn more about the catalyst? Read their full profile here!

Want to discover what kind of changemaker you are? Head to our website to take the changemaker assessment!

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