Meet the ambitious CEO building an app to ignite drastic change

19 August 2020 • 7 minutes

Written by Christine Chien

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Johannah Maher is the CoFounder and CEO of IMPACTR, a behaviour-changing application that enlists young experts to move the world to take small actions and ignite drastic change. She is building her app on the Codebots platform with the help of delivery partner, WorkingMouse.

The IMPACTR mission is to inspire millions of people to do small actions that make a big impact.

Codebots has partnered with their ambitious founder Johannah Maher, to build an app that will start the IMPACTR revolution. Here is an interview we did with Johannah if you’d like to learn more about the project.

Can you please introduce yourself.

Hi! I’m Johannah and I am the CEO and CoFounder of Impactr.

If you had 1 billion dollars, what would you do with it?

Of all the ways there could be to drive serious change in this world, we believe, and my mathematical engineering brain can see the path, that Impactr is the breakthrough formula we need to solve the equation and unlock the drastic change we are all looking for.

Tell us your vision - what are you hoping to do with this app?

Impactr’s vision is to shift the entire world’s spending to trusted sustainable impact, by inspiring millions of small actions that spark joy and collectively add up to make a big impact. People’s money is powerful and we all need to spend it in places and with brands that first do no harm, that make the world a better place and that help create a fair, equal and thriving future for us all.

To be future focused is to be youth-led. Therefore Impactr must be youth-led. Our youth experts are leading us into the future. We have more young people on the planet than ever before with the potential to drive drastic change.

Peak Youth = Peak Experts.

Yep, we believe youth know what’s up better than most. They’ll show you the way, because you know better too. Together, we can do this. Impactr is where our young science & sustainability experts empower other concerned young global citizens who want to make drastic change an easy part of their everyday lives, and help others to take essential first steps.

Small Stuff

You might think a lot of small actions don’t matter, but some do a whole lot. We focus on the small stuff we can all do, that can create drastic change fast.

Simple & Easy

In a world where sustainability is inherently complex, we keep it simple. We show you easy stuff that you can switch up to live more sustainably.

Quantify It

Don’t believe this small stuff matters? Trust in the science and math. We’ll prove the impact, no problem, with the help of our youth experts.

Feel Good

Climate crisis. Extinction. Only 10 years left to bend the curve. The current narrative is in need of a mood-booster to get more people into action.

Run us through the app - what will it look like, what can you do on it etc…

So we’re introducing the Impactr App, which gives concerned and motivated young citizens a new digital home, where we can act together to ignite drastic change. Because we want to take control of our future fate.

One key problem we are solving is helping concerned global citizens buy responsibly on small stuff that can make a drastic difference when we all do it together.

But thats the heavy side, the fun side is that Impactr is also a competition. Let’s call it the ultimate competition to save the world. We need to feel-good, we need the mood-booster to get more people into action. So the Impactr App aims to spark joy with a bit of game design where you can compete with your friends, your schoolmates, family, influencers, or hey why not race Greta Thunberg to become the Top Impactr.

Our App has been designed with youthful spirit so the actions on there are created in an entertaining way by the community and are fun, bite-sized and make those tiny essential steps easy for everyone to do and then they can nudge their friends to do as well.

How did you come up with the idea behind IMPACTR?

We came up with the idea behind Impactr as we noticed more and more that the majority of young people, Gen Z & Millennials are highly motivated to drive a bigger impact in this world.

We have noticed that through massive shifts in our consumer and brand activism, and we are really embedding social & environmental values in youth culture which is propagating through the digital space, we are we are signalling our virtues and righteousness and desire for justice, sharing like mad and we are trying to motivate others to act with us.

At the same time we’ve noticed that there’s obviously been the huge growth in new social channels that are carving out a space on their platforms for this youth-driven social-impact mega-trend.

What we see is although there’s this huge Groundswell of people like us with the desire to have an impact and take action, but the problem is that the friction between when they want to take the action, and then what they have to actually do to do it, is too great.

People want to live more sustainable lifestyles. But they don’t know how. According to Google Trends, in the 90 days leading up to Earth Day this year, search interest in ‘How to live a sustainable lifestyle’ increased by more than 4,550%.

Gen Z & Millennials have been stuck in this situation for quite a few years it seems. According to the Global Shapers Survey in 2017 (WEF), 78% of those aged 18-35 would be willing to change their lifestyle to protect nature and the environment, yet only 12% are taking a highly active role to improve the sustainability and state of the world. This is a gap where support is needed. And this is where Impactr comes in.

Can you give us a brief summary of your background leading up to IMPACTR?

When I was a Gen Z I became obsessed with making wind energy beat Oil & Gas, so we could fight climate change with real green power. I worked on making wind turbines competitive with fossil fuels for 10 years and in that time they got 100m bigger and 100m wider - thats about the length of a soccer pitch or the height of Londons Big Ben!

I became an executive in a huge corporation that was doing renewable energy, but it wasn’t doing as much as it could for the climate and sustainability agenda. The world needs more from those in a position to really do something about our situation.

I had 2 very transformative experiences which woke me up from the corporate bubble and made me realise that we were totally missing the key to change - and its simple, its in representation of other people like me, people like you, women, young people, underrepresented groups - no where to be seen. So I went out to chase it!

In my youth and as a woman, my ideas, my creativity even in my early 20s brought about radical changes and advancements to an entire industry. I was pushing the envelope. The host of the One Young World summit last year in London said, with the power of the youth in this room, we could be carbon neutral by next Wednesday! And I actually believe that that is the most truth I’ve heard in a long time.

Tell us why it is important to empower today’s youth to lead.

Our youth are calling out for experts to help. Where are the experts they can connect with? The acceleration of change has widened the generational gap perhaps more so than ever before. Go figure, 70% of Gen Zs in the US say their parents have a hard time giving them advice about the future because traditional systems have been so significantly disrupted (Culture Co-op).

Yet, many are experts in their own right. In the words of Naomi Wadler: ‘As Gen Z rises, soon the world will know, how we can see and do what adults cannot’ (Teen Vogue Summit). This tension is where Impactr can thrive.

What if we flip the hierarchy on its head-or rather get rid of it all together-and let youth experts help lead us into the future?

So we need to hero our experts, right? What if we flip things? What if everything starts with the experts? What if all those experts were young people? What if those experts trained other young people to be experts too? What if all those young experts could move the world to take small actions and ignite drastic change?

The beta version of the Impactr app is due for release in October and you can sign up here for early access.

Christine Chien

Written by Christine Chien

Marketing Operations and Partnerships

Our very own Christine is a marketer by day, nerd by night. If she isn’t developing our marketing strategy, she is usually found by her 3D printer or at a local plant shop.