Want to change the world? Learn about social impact through volunteerism!
What did you do today?  Did you go to school, to work or maybe shopping? Did you meet with friends, played your favourite game, surfed on the Internet, listened to music on your MP3 player? All of these everyday activities are quite nice however there are people and communities that cannot afford them. Have you ever thought of how you can change this? Have you ever wondered how can you help to address social challenges, how can you create real social impact, how can you change the world for the better? This probably sounds like a very ambitious goal, but it’s not – it’s all about creating social impact – for yourself, for your school or youth group, for the local community, for your country, for the world!

In the broad sense, social Impact has been defined as “A significant, positive change that addresses a pressing social challenge.” (Michigan Ross, Center for Social Impact). Changes are driven by people and therefore what you do (every action, every choice, each day) makes a difference!  The secret is to believe in yourself and be willing to invest effort to address social issues, serving the greater good without expecting any financial or material gain. Does this sound like a familiar concept to you? It should, it’s called volunteering! Volunteering activities generate significant social impact for people, communities and the economy; and helps to address social challenges.  Volunteering depends solely on an individual’s will to make positive changes. Want to know how to change the world? Then you can start with this WebQuest!                                                                                 
Be the change you want to see in the world
Mahatma Gandhi
The goal of this WebQuest is to present the connection between volunteering and social impact and to encourage you to reflect on how an individual can address pressing social challenges in today’s rapidly changing world.

Each of the teams will have to develop their own understanding of what social impact and volunteering are and how they’re connected by making use of the links presented in the ‘useful links’ section and other sources, if needed. Afterwards, each of the teams will have to perform a research on pressing social challenges and global issues and design their own voluntary programme. Here comes the hard part! Each of the teams will have to pitch their voluntary programme and convince other teams of its social impact and the difference it will make! The end goal of each team is to get other teams to volunteer for their programme!
This WebQuest is best executed in teams of 2-3 people depending on the overall number of learners in the group. For groups consisting of more than 12 people, better form teams of 3 people, if less than 12 people – better work in pairs. Okay, now it’s time to pay attention and follow these 5 simple steps to execute this WebQuest:

Step 1: Team up!
The teacher needs to count how many people are in the group and write on small piecesof paper numbers corresponding with the number of people in the group. Afterwards, each of the learners needs to take one piece of paper with a number without looking at the number. Upon completion of this operation, the teacher has to form the teams on the following principle – for instance numbers from 1 to 3 work together in a team; numbers 7 and 8 work together in a team and so on. Then each of the learners needs to look up what number they have on the paper and form the respective teams. The point at this stage is that in volunteering or any kind of social work, you cannot choose with whom you will work with based on who you like or know. You need to be adaptive, tolerant and be able to work and communicate with people, regardless of their background, religious beliefs, culture and origins, or whether you know them or like them, etc.  

Step 2: Get to grips with social impact
At this step each of the formed teams will have to make use of the online resources provided in the ‘useful links’ section and additional resources, if needed, in order to build their understanding of the main terminology addressed in the WebQuest, namely social impact, volunteering and the connection between these two. Each team should form a common understanding and write it down.

Step 3: Figure out what the change you want to see in the world is!
Now that each of the teams have now formed their own understanding of social impact, volunteering and how these are connected, it’s time to choose the positive change that you would like to achieve! Each of the teams are instructed to review the ‘useful links’ section and focus on the links addressing global issues and social challenges. Pick up an issue that you would like to address: famine, poverty alleviation, animal welfare or anything else that you consider to be a pressing social challenge (on local, regional, national, global level) and research more about it. After researching the specific issue, teams need to think about how they can address the issue through volunteering. What kind of voluntary programme could be set in place to create the necessary social impact to handle the chosen issue or alleviate it to some extent? 

Step 4: Create the programme.
At this stage you need to prepare for pitching your voluntary programme. The aim is to make other teams want to volunteer for your cause, so be creative! Each of the teams needs to prepare a presentation (by using PowerPoint, Prezzi or other multimedia tools) about their programme containing at least the following:

-  name of the voluntary programme;  
-  aims of the voluntary programme;
-  mission of the voluntary programme;
-  explanation of the social issue which the programme addresses and its relevance;
-  explanation of the social impact from the programme on local, regional, national and global levels, as applicable; 
-  benefits for the volunteers
-  additional information considered relevant. For instance, if the programme is focused on a specific region – you could name the place and say why you chose it; you could list the activities that the volunteers will have in the programme and why; duration of the programme – why?, etc.                                      
It might be a good idea to split the efforts and each of the team members to be responsible for certain parts of the presentation for instance one could draft the overall marketing framework: the name, aims and mission; explanation of the social challenge addressed by the programme and the expected impact. The other member(s) will have to elaborate the specific everyday activities that the voluntary service might include, to point the duration (1 week, 1 month, 6 months, or 1 year) and list the benefits for the volunteer. Remember, you need to form and present the information in an engaging manner so as to make people want to sign up for your voluntary programme right away!

Step 5: Pitch the programme!
At this stage each of the teams needs to present the voluntary programme they have developed to the other teams in the class or group. The objective for each team is to convince other teams of the relevance and importance of the respective voluntary programme, as well as the social impact that it will create, and thus make them want to volunteer for their programme. Each team will have 10 to 15 minutes to make the presentation.

Step 6: Choose where you want to volunteer!
Now it’s time to vote! Each team will have 5 minutes to decide which of the presented voluntary programmes they would like to participate in. There is a small catch though, you are forbidden to vote for your own programme! Upon reaching a common decision on the programme they liked most, each team will have to explain to the others where they would like to volunteer and why they chose this programme over the others. May the most impactful programme win!

Evaluation and Learning Outcomes
On the completion of this webquest, the learner will be able to:

Knowledge Skills Attitudes
· theoretical knowledge of social impact
· basic knowledge of volunteering as a concept
· basic knowledge of global social challenges
· basic knowledge of presentation techniques
· fundamental knowledge of teamwork rules and procedures
· identify useful information in
relation to social impact, volunteering and pressing social challenges
· defining the social impact of volunteering at different levels
· research, gather and systematize information
· make use of multimedia tools to communicate information
· present a volunteering programme in front of audience
· work in a team for a common goal
· show tolerance towards others’ ideas and opinion
· develop an understanding of what social impact is
· promote the social impact of volunteering
· show confidence and belief in one’s self and ideas
I wish to do something Great and Wonderful, but I must start by doing the little things like they were Great and Wonderful”  Albert Einstein

Remember, that impact means change and social impact means positive change addressing social challenge(s). Change starts from within. You don’t have to be a celebrity or a rock star to make a difference and to change someone’s life for the better. Your every action and every choice matters and you can make small, but wonderful changes to society on a daily basis when you volunteer. Your name may not appear in media but this doesn’t mean you won’t make a difference and that you won’t be remembered by the people you’ve helped.

Now stand up and start changing the world little by little!