What is Social Change? [7/24 1pET]

Posted on July 20, 2013 by


Social Change (c) 2008 Chris Jones. Exploring the forces and factors that can help us make the world a better place.

Social Change (c) 2008 C.Jones. How people are helping people make the world a better place.

We’re 6 months into our new Social Change series, and so far, we’ve touched on:

We’ve had some truly great conversations. But it seems we’ve broken our own cardinal rule on semantics – letting the conversation rage on without so much as a definition.  What would Wittgenstein say?  An Austrian philosopher and teacher, he was famous for demanding that we define our terms.

At this point, he’d probably assign us homework.

So what is Social Change?  That’s our challenge for 7/24. Let me throw out 4 definitions, and we’ll see which ones resonate the most, and why.  Don’t take them at face value.  Challenge me ..

  • Q1. Is social change: People helping people make a better world. Perhaps too vague? #sustainability
  • Q2. Is social change: Helping non-profits leverage social media for greater stakeholder engagement? #nfp #nonprofit This is a common usage, but is it too narrowly defined?
  • Q3. Is  social change: Connecting people with people who can make a difference? #connect #engage Ok, maybe we’re onto something.
  • Q4. Is social change: A fundamental shift in values and/or culture from focus on self to focus on others? #values Difficult, to be sure, but perhaps it’s where the greatest (and only sustainable) payoff lies?

This should be a great conversation. Let us know your thoughts here, and of course, in our online chats. We’ll try to build a consensus definition, as a key input to our expanding agenda.

Interested in this topic? Use #socialchange with #smchat and add to the conversation.

We’re working on a special Social Change guest moderator for next month (August) so stay tuned.  Thanks as always for making the #SMCHAT community that it is.

Chris aka @sourcepov

Posted in: Social Change