From Janwaar Castle to The Rural Changemakers

Ulrike Reinhard is a German publisher, author and futurist who has travelled more than 100 countries where she has spoken to Nobel Laureates, nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize, high ranking politicians, internationally acknowledged visionary thinkers, successful entrepreneurs, outstanding critics, activists and down-to-earth field practitioners.

All her work is related to network theory with the Internet at its core. It’s the interactions and co-creation processes within her network she cherishes most. She loves to see things emerging and falling into place. She is convinced that transformational change on a huge scale in rural areas can only be achieved when you start working with the children.

On these grounds she started Janwaar Castle in 2014 as a private initiative. One and a half years later, in January 2016, she founded together with Mrutyunjay Mishra and Shyamendra Singh the Janwaarcastle Community Organisation (JCCO), a not-for-profit company, which was and still is registered in Delhi. The reason for this move was the simple fact that her project “Janwaar Castle” needed a legal entity in order to receive donations. Ulrike’s role was so to speak a “voluntary CEO” who was running the show. And she did it quite successfully. Maybe it was exactly this success which caused irreconcilable differences between the JCCO board and Ulrike which led at the end to Ulrike’s exit in early January 2017. She wasn’t willing to accept business over social and so she quit. Since then Ulrike and her team have continued to work in the village of Janwaar.

To make it very clear, Ulrike is NO LONGER with the organisation JCCO. Whatever she does in Janwaar is completely detached from JCCO – even though JCCO is still using her name on their website. Same holds true for many others on this list, Vicky Roy, Bea Gschwend, Mannan Gupta, Avinash Kothuri, Antonella Zurini, Sanjoy Roy – just to name a few. Many people on this list have never ever met anyone of JCCO in person. All the project and blog posts from January up to July 20, 2017 they’ce copied and pasted from our website. This is why we’ve shut down janwaar-castle.org and janwaar-castle.com. You can easily “feel” the cut when you read the latest blogposts on the JCCO website – this is written by people who have no relationship to the place and its people.

Ulrike’s idea of Janwaar Castle was that of an social experiment – a skatepark in a rural village in the heart of India, in the Bundelkhand area of Madhya Pradesh. A rather surreal stage for change. But it worked well. The skatepark opened in April 2015. What unfolded since then is an incredible story of change. Social, cultural and economic change.


The children in this village became true changemakers. They took the lead and became role models for many others. Skateboarding has changed their lives. The skatepark has disturbed this village like nothing else before. Skateboarding has given the kids self-confidence and self-esteem. Now they are on their way to take their future in their own hands. They’ve an identity they earlier couldn’t even think of.

Ulrike calls them the rural changemakers.

Here on this website we will continue to tell their stories of change.
And we will develop a handbook “How to drive change in a remote area!”
And – last but not least – we are happy to help you to drive change in your area!