Telum Talks To... Wiki Impact

Telum Talks To... Wiki Impact

Can you tell us more about Wiki Impact and how it came to be?
Wiki Impact is a digital platform dedicated to the impact industry in Malaysia. It allows changemakers and contributors to connect and collaborate more efficiently, with the aim of building a modern digital infrastructure for Malaysia’s growing impact efforts.

The idea of Wiki Impact stemmed experience and observations in the world of social work. All three co-founders have years of experience in philanthropic work and community development - and they noted some gaps and opportunities to galvanise and strengthen the impact industry.

Wiki Impact seeks to provide changemakers (NGOs, government bodies, associations, social enterprises and impact-driven organisations) with valuable data in an easily digestible way to help them make strategic decisions. This can be in the form of interactive maps, bite-sized stories, infographics, videos and Instagram posts.

Beyond making impact data and stories accessible, the platform also serves two audiences in specific ways - changemakers and contributors. Changemakers can list jobs or volunteer opportunities, share latest news about their events, initiatives or experiences on the site. This in turn allows contributors (volunteers, impact-job seekers, individual and corporate funders and impact-investors) to easily find these changemakers and engage directly with them.

Who should be aware of Wiki Impact and how they can engage or be part of Wiki Impact?
There are two distinct groups of people:
#1: Changemakers who are making a positive impact in the nation are welcomed to set up an account on Wiki Impact and use the platform to share impact job / volunteer / internship opportunities, events and news related to their organisation and initiatives. Who are changemakers?

Nonprofits: NGOs and NPOs that are set up for the social or environmental good and not for profit-making. This includes charitable organisations, foundations, societies and associations.

Impact-driven organisations: These businesses have impact as one of their core bottom-lines - apart from profits. Impact-driven organisations have clear social or environmental missions and the business exists to solve specific societal or environmental issues. These include social enterprises or businesses and impact investment organisations that invest in impact-driven businesses.

Organisations with credible and evident Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. For this category, eligibility is based on CSR or annual reports or public documentation that clearly define and demonstrate commitment and credibility to social and/or environmental impact.

#2: Contributors (volunteers, impact-job seekers, individual and corporate funders and impact-investors) are encouraged to use the site to learn more about the impact industry, read articles on issues that matter, find suitable impact jobs and network with changemakers in Malaysia.

Why do we need to have Wiki Impact?
The world is becoming increasingly data-driven. Across all industries, data is reshaping how problems are defined and what solutions are developed. While data is most commonly thought of as numbers, graphs and endless spreadsheets, what it also includes are real, unbiased stories and qualitative data that help unveil the nuances that may be missed in the graphs and numbers. Together, qualitative and qualitative data empowers changemakers to see a more complete picture.

Creating impact is no longer a passion project or a niche interest. The nation’s future workforce is at a tipping point where they want to see positive social change and greater good through the careers they choose. According to Deloitte’s 2021 Global Millennial and Gen Z Survey, the said demographic is leaning on their values in making career choices. This generation believes that their individual power can drive change and they are actionizing it through their actions. We are looking at a wave of a future workforce that is purpose-driven and not just profit-driven. Wiki Impact is riding on this wave of impact making.

What type of editorial content does Wiki Impact carry?
The site features articles and whitepapers on social issues in Malaysia with an intentional focus on poverty. Our team spent a year mapping out the complex issue of poverty and story-telling it in a way where it is easily digestible, humanised and evidence-based.

Today, Wiki Impact has amassed over 350 facts-based or true stories as told by changemakers and affected communities in English and in Bahasa Malaysia and published 10 poverty-related white-papers. It has also developed several interactive maps including ones on ‘Where Are the Poor In Malaysia?’ and ‘How Much Do Malaysians Earn?’. These identify varying levels of household income across the nation while the ‘Changemakers Map’ geographically pins impact-driven initiatives for easy reference.

What sort of pitches would catch your eye?
Stories on social issues in Malaysia that have a strong connection with B40, marginalised and vulnerable communities, inspiring stories of changemakers and their efforts in nation building, and data or research findings on social issues in Malaysia.

What issues do you think deserve more coverage or often overlooked in Malaysia?
The B40 demographic in Malaysia have been badly hit by the pandemic and while donations or temporary food aid is given to them - there is a need for long-term solutions to lift this group up and out of poverty. There are also groups in society that fall through the cracks in the social protection or aid system in Malaysia - such as stateless, undocumented, migrant and refugee groups.

The general sentiment towards the said groups can sometimes be skewed and misjudged. In order for Malaysia to grow and rise as a strong and developed nation, we need to pay attention to the cries that are muffled and sometimes silenced.

What are your thoughts on Wiki Impact’s role in impact communications?
We believe in humanising complex, heavy social issues because behind every problem is a person. People need to be extended the dignity, value and respect they deserve and one of the ways is to tell their stories with consent and tact.
We believe in the power of story-telling coupled with strong data to raise awareness, inspire change and support informed decision-making.

Any exciting plans in the pipeline?
We are encouraged and excited at the changemakers that have come on board and are utilising the site to reach more audiences. In the coming months we hope to include more ‘Impact Experiences’ on the site as Malaysia is exiting the pandemic and people are eager to go out. Why not consider an ‘Impact Experience’ on your next outing, staycation or weekend because impact experiences give back to the community.

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