Quiet Changemaker Project: update, resources, meetup

Quiet Changemaker Project Logo

Tonight I had the opportunity to meet up with four other quiet changemakers in Vancouver (much discussion over the word “changemaker”). I heard refrains of “it was nice to hang out with people who don’t exhaust me” or “it was nice to not have to struggle to be heard”. We all happened to be people who work independently in builder/helper roles–ones that create, hold things together, and make them better. Not all of us identify as introverts but we definitely identify as quiet. People who make an impact without waves. Nice folks :)

Previous blog posts you may be interested in

You also might be interested in…

a few interesting resources that came up in conversation. I don’t remember them all, but here are a few to get you started. What have you read or listened to lately that has helped you be a better quiet changemaker?

Caring for Your Introvert (article from 2003 in the The Atlantic by Jonathan Rauch)

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (book and TED talk by Susan Cain)
the book is a dense read, but shares interesting research and anecdotes

Introvert Advantage (Dr. Marti Olsen Laney)
this book was recommended to me when I first learned about being an introvert back in 2006, and it really helped me in the ways I think about work, life, and relationships with others

Future meetups

We thought having a meetup without commitment would be great. No pressure. Bring a book or something to listen to. If no one else shows up, it’s OK, you have some time booked off to yourself :) Dates TBA. If you would like to do something similar in another city, let me know.  

Working on chapter 1

The Quiet Changemaker Project was first envisioned as a book, and I’m working on Chapter 1 so that I can shop the idea around. What would you expect to see in the first chapter?


I’ve started a podcast on trends and issues facing nonprofit leaders and social innovators. Search for the Do Good Better Podcast on your favourite podcast app.

What’s another way to introduce the idea of introverted changemakers?

So I’m writing a book. Right now I’m identifying and interviewing introverted changemakers.

But I have a problem.

Whenever I pitch the idea to people in the social change/non-profit/social innovation space who I think might consider themselves to be introverts, I often get this response:

Oh, but I’m both.


I did that test and I was right in the middle.

And then they go on to talk more about how they work — and they describe introverts to a T. Is it about not knowing much about introversion/extroversion? Or is it about a discomfort with coming out as an introvert?

Here’s the complicated background. Because I’m a certified facilitator of the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the main assessment that covers introversion/extroversion) there is some underlying theory to the whole introversion thing I find hard to let go of when I talk about introversion.

  • Introversion and extroversion is not about how outgoing you are or can be, it’s about where you get your energy from (time alone vs. being around people).
  • Introverts can and do enjoy interacting with people. Often however, we prefer interacting with small groups/with one other person, and we especially like interacting about things that we find important/interesting.
  • Everyone is capable of doing both “introverted” and “extroverted” things. It’s what makes us able to function in the world. However, deep down we have a preference. Kind of like left vs. right handed. Even ambidextrous people usually have a go-to hand.
  • Introversion and extroversion is not about what you do for work, or what your family is like, or how you imagine you would like to be. Again, deep down we have a preference.
  • There is no “I’m in the middle”. If your results showed you as being “in the middle” it doesn’t mean that you are equally introverted and extroverted, it means that you aren’t clear on what your preference is deep down (often because of some of the items listed in the previous point).
  • The Jungian theory behind the MBTI suggests we are born with our innate preferences. While we might develop various skills throughout our lives, and enjoy the benefits of using those other skills, our innate preferences don’t change over time.

So, help me. How would you introduce this book idea? How can I connect with people who are introverted but who, for whatever reason, are hesitant to label themselves as one?