Laurindo Garcia

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2015


This profile was prepared when Laurindo Garcia was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2015.
The New Idea
Laurindo Garcia’s B-Change Group is improving the health and wellness of Southeast Asian LGBT and HIV-positive youth through mass deployment of web communities that guide users through the milestones of a life transition. For a population that’s highly mobile but severely underrepresented, B-Change’s platforms are a source of information and morale in a space with few relevant stories to turn to. By designing these platforms for instant access, maximum scale, and easy replication, Laurindo ensures that every person is able to learn from narratives similar to theirs – and these connections translate to both personal and institutional change.
B-Change’s peer support communities start with stories, knowledge, and discussion, but are built intentionally to drive action and leadership at increasing scales. Through peer Q&A forums, users turn stigmatized experiences into an opportunity for mentorship. Through directories, service providers are able to reach their customers more effectively. Through ratings and incentives, both sides of the equation are rewarded and supported in their efforts. From this collection of touchpoints emerge new leaders and new collaborations driven by the unique voice and perspective of LGBT communities in the developing world.
B-Change’s platforms and its unique organizational structure also pave the way for new alliances to form globally and across communities. B-Change Foundation, based in Manila, works with public, private, and citizen sector organizations to connect youth to the right resources for health and action. B-Change Technology, based in Singapore, is distributing online tools to community organizations across the world looking to strengthen their work. B-Change Insights, based in New York, is synthesizing user data into knowledge products that inform the work of larger institutions looking to better reach the LGBT and HIV+ population.
In sum, Laurindo is creating long-term platforms, technologies, and insights that enable everyone, from a young person to a community leader to a multinational corporation, to play a stronger role in improving health outcomes of LGBT youth and young people living with HIV. All of this is driven by the voices, consumer power, and data from these young people themselves – and a series of platforms that turn a moment of crisis and transition into a pathway toward large-scale change.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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