SoChain. Map of changemakers in Russia


Social changemakers mapping is a project aimed to collect, process and present information about social change leaders. The survey was conducted by “snowball” method: at the beginning 79 people, recommended by the partnership team, were interviewed. All of them, for their part, recommended other leaders of social changes in depth interviews. Many of named leaders also had been questioned and suggested other estimable candidates.

SoChain. Map of changemakers in Russia

The project addresses the problem of low representation of social changemakers and connections between them, which lie at the core of the community and are the necessary element in the formation of social innovations.

SoChain. Map of changemakers in Russia
1,489 socially-oriented projects and organizations
socially-oriented projects and organizations


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SoChain in Blagosfera Space: Photo

SoChain in Blagosfera Space: Photo

December 13, 2018

On December 11, 2018, in Blagosfera Space in Moscow a presentation of Map of Changemakers in Russia was held.

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Photo gallery of the event you can find by the link.

SoChain in Blagosfera Space

SoChain in Blagosfera Space

November 26, 2018

On December 11, 2018, in Blagosfera Space in Moscow a presentation of Map of Changemakers in Russia will be held.

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SoChain research had been prepared in the partnership by Social Innovation Support Center SOL’, “Friends” Charitable Foundation and Moscow Skolkovo School of Management. On December 11 participants of the event can learn more about the study; ask questions to those, who conducted the study, as well as to map participants. And communicate in an informal environment with people who are not indifferent to changes in the social sphere.

Those who are interested, please, register by the link

Sochain map of leaders

Sochain map of leaders

November 13, 2018

Who are social change leaders and what is SoChain? An answer to this question was provided on November 12, 2018 by Gor Nakhapetyan, Jioulnar Asfari, and Ruben Vardanyan, well-known and experienced social entrepreneurs and philanthropists.


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Social entrepreneurs have a special mindset — they see opportunities where others see problems. Social change leaders are those who care and go ahead changing the social environment in a professional manner and carving out niches for the institutions that are yet to appear. But who they are and what are the deliverables of their activities is not universally known here in Russia.

To understand the pragmatic importance of these activities and to make it public, a lot of work was done, and the study rests upon these results.

The map is built on the interviews with 333 leaders solving social issues in Russia. Among them were the participants in the press conference, and the people Russia knows well (Nyuta Federmesser, Chulpan Khamatova, Mitya Aleshkovsky, Natalia Sindeeva, etc.), along with not so well-known, yet no less respected citizens. The above work has resulted in shaping the Map of Social Change Leaders of the Russian Federation (the SoChain Project), a large-scale study conducted in cooperation with the Social Innovation Support Centre SOL’, Friends Foundation, and the SKOLKOVO Moscow School of Management.

The study was conducted using the snowball method and is based on 79 recommendations from the partner team. In turn, these 79 people, in their in-depth interviews, recommended new social change leaders, many of whom were later interviewed and helped to involve other strong candidates.

The Map of Social Change Leaders covers:

* 333 interviews with leaders from 31 regions

* visiting 20 Russian cities

* 45 Skype conferences

* 2,924 recommendations with 1,486 unique leaders representing 118 communities (65 regions)

* 1,459 socially-oriented projects and organizations

* over 3,000 hours of data analytics.


Video of the press conference is available  here


The maps formed by SOL’

Map of Education Change Leaders

Map of Russia-Based Educational Projects



«Mapping can be a good joint infrastructural step that would be of use not only to the leaders’ community, since it mirrors the current state of the community, but also to ourselves — for more effective work, and to all those who consciously embark on the Path of Charity.».

Jioulnar Asfari

«When we tried to understand what was happening with the charity industry in our country, we found there were lots of different figures and data and a clear lack of extensive in-depth research that would allow us to build our own strategy, as well as to efficiently and effectively transform the space we work in. Studying charity sector leaders will help us to understand who these people are, who is changing and promoting the sector today, and who we can rely upon to establish strong partnerships. ».

Gor Nakhapetyan

«It is no secret that the quality of human capital and the quality of institutions are the main drivers of development. Any truly sustainable change is created by talented professionals who have the skills and competencies of the 21st century. And these are not only and not so much hard skills as soft skills. Therefore, it was important for us to support this study to understand the key characteristics of such change leaders in Russia.

Charity is not just about emotions. Charity is about stable professional, systematic, results-driven tools and facilities.

The global demand for social entrepreneurship is growing at a tremendous pace now. We all need projects blazing a trail for long-term development, shaping the environment, and involving public at large. This is the only way to really change the world. ».

Ruben Vardanyan


Participants in the press conference::

Gor Nakhapetyan, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Honorary Professor of Business Practice and Honorary Member of the Association for the Promotion of Development, SKOLKOVO Moscow School of Management, co-founder and board member of the Friends Foundation.

Jioulnar Asfari, methodologist for assessing social effects in business, popularizer of social entrepreneurship in Russia, venture philanthropy evangelist. Executive Director of the Social Innovation Support Centre SOL’.

Ruben Vardanyan, social entrepreneur and philanthropist, founder of the Wealth Transformation Centre, SKOLKOVO Moscow School of Management, founder of the projects PHILIN (Charity Infrastructure) and Phoenix Advisors.




For social change leaders and their projects

  • Getting aware of the best practices in the field of their expertise and related fields through the shaping of an active community.
  • Opportunity to tell public at large about their own project(-s).
  • Getting aware of the most pressing social challenges and the people tackling them.
  • Getting aware of the setbacks and needs social change leaders face when systematically developing social services.

For society as a whole

  • Expanding the audience aware of the projects changing life for the better.
  • Increasing trust in social change leaders.
  • Establishing new patterns of human behavior.
  • Better understanding that personal participation in social changes is necessary and possible.
  • Participating in social projects is becoming a social norm.
  • Opportunity to introduce Russian social change leaders to the global community.


Mapping and shaping a community is the starting point of cooperation on an equal basis with the Map’s participants.
This is the formation of a kind of broad expert community united by common values.
This is the starting point for moving on.

Gor Nakhapetyan

Gor Nakhapetyan

Honorary Member of the Association for the Promotion of Development, SKOLKOVO Moscow School of Management, co-founder and board member of the  Friends Foundation

The Friends Foundation was established in 2016 to help the charity industry become more professional.

Supporting for many years multiple non-profit organizations and individuals, the Friends came to the conclusion that the industry needed systemic changes.

Expert Review — we help projects become sustainable and self-dependent.

Jioulnar Asfari

Jioulnar Asfari

Executive Director of the Social Innovation Support Centre SOL’

Autonomous Non-Profit Organization Social Innovation Support Centre SOL’ was founded in 2014. The organization was established to identify and support tools and projects aimed at developing social innovations.

We make every effort to let everyone know they are able to change the reality to improve the quality of life, and we make people act accordingly. This is our mission.

Ruben Vardanyan

Ruben Vardanyan

founder of the Wealth Transformation Centre, SKOLKOVO Moscow School of Management,social entrepreneur and philanthropist

The Wealth Transformation Centre of the SKOLKOVO Moscow School of Management is a Russia- and CIS-based educational and research platform for business families, their family offices, service providers, philanthropic organizations, regulators, and scientists.

The center was established under the SKOLKOVO Business School in 2013 on the initiative and with the active participation of Ruben Vardanyan, entrepreneur and philanthropist, a founder of the SKOLKOVO Moscow School of Management and its first President.


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In 2016, SOL’ conducted a similar study  in the field of education

In 2016, SOL’ conducted a similar study
in the field of education


304 interviews were held, with over 1,800 recommendations received, 963 leaders identified. The fact that there are so many outstanding projects was a revelation even for the community (source: numerous reviews).

As many as 150 leaders took part in the presentation of the study deliverables, held in the Moscow Planetarium in April 2017. The absolutely positive feedback has confirmed the value of such meetings for the community. In 2018, the study of innovation leaders in education was continued with shaping the Map of Russian Educational Projects.