Changemaker Towns Network: The May Gathering

Author: Simon Sizwe Mayson


The Changemaker Towns Network will hold its second meeting ‘The May Gathering’, on 19 May for people and organisations wanting to catalyse change in their towns and regions.

Individuals and organisations wanting to create local change in their towns are invited to join the Changemaker Towns Network’s second meeting ‘The May Gathering’ on 19 May.  Residents, municipal officials, applied researchers, policymakers and enabling organisations, creatives and storytellers and media with an interest in small town regeneration are welcome.

The Changemaker Towns Network, which launched in March this year continues to grow, with over 90 participating organisations who are passionate about creating change in towns. We now have six Support Partners who are invested in catalysing change in small towns and regions: In Transformation Initiative, Ranyaka, Kagiso Trust, Restaurare/ Citeplan and Democracy Works Foundation, and the EDP. The Department of Cooperative Governance has expressed its support of the Changemaker Towns Network, and we are aligning Network processes with the Department’s Small Towns Regeneration Strategy (STR).

When: 19 May 2022, 14:00-16:00

How: Via Zoom Link (registration is essential)

The May Gathering will include:

  • An introduction to three new tools available to Network members, including an interactive map of changemaker initiatives, an ‘offers and needs’ catalogue, people database and research repository.
  • More on the upcoming Connections Carnival, which will support groups of changemakers in towns across South Africa (see below for more information).
  • Presentations on the most up-to-date research on small towns, in a bite-sized easy-to-understand format.
  • Interactive ‘Fireside storytelling’ by other changemakers, and spaces for sharing your own events and experiences and connecting for support in the form of knowledge, funding and more.

We are excited to be sharing more about the new Connections Carnival, which will support groups of changemakers in towns across South Africa with micro-grants to host activations that will enhance partnering within and between towns and catalyse action. A small town Changemaker festival is being planned by active citizens in Greyton and Genadendal in the Western Cape to round off this carnival. 

What is the Changemaker Towns Network?

The Changemaker Towns Network is an action-inspired learning and support network connecting changemakers across South Africa, whether they are residents, municipal officials, applied researchers, policymakers and enabling organisations along with creatives and storytellers to amplify inspiring stories of success.

The network aims to support changemaking partnerships towards good governance, by growing connections within and between towns. Network members will be enabled through greater access to knowledge and resources and stronger social relations to share resources.

Curated gatherings are held online every second month, and include innovative elements that build meaningful relationships and inspire collaborative creativity to address challenges. Over the year in-person gatherings will be added, as momentum builds.

For further enquiries on the Changemakers Towns Network, or to add any projects to the interactive map listed above, please contact:

Simon Sizwe Mayson
EDP Programme Lead

Phefumlela Bam
EDP Project Support