Connection. Resilience. Are We Learning the Language of Social Change?

Posted on September 23, 2014 by


What might be possible if we think about a social change framework as a set of common threads? Can we weave more resilient solutions?

What might be possible if we think about a social change framework as a set of common threads? Can we weave more resilient solutions?

In our last 3 #smchat #socialchange chats, we brainstormed what might become common components of a social change framework. Our goal has been to find ways to foster stronger, more resilient social change initiatives without starting over every single time, a pattern that consumes precious and limited resources in the process.

Sure the context is different case be case. We’ve agreed that specific objectives and stakeholders and value streams will vary.

But I argue that there’s a common set of raw materials. There are always (or need to be) well-defined objectives. We need clearly defined stakeholders. There must be a well understood value stream. Our ability to envision and communicate these critical elements of our change plan separates successful change innovators from the hopefuls.  We might even imagine social change components such as these like overlapping threads, strands that can be woven together to form a durable solution. It’s like a reinforced fabric that can adapt to the often daunting demands of the work before us. A sturdy fabric can respond to shifting pressures and destructive forces; a careful cross-weave is strong enough to survive challenges like the loss of a leader, or a cyclical drought of resources (money, water, stakeholder support).

In short, a carefully-woven solution can adapt, and it is designed to last over the long term. And that’s important. As I’ve posted on timeframes for social change .. meaningful change can take decades.

As I read over our last few chat transcripts, I sense some momentum, even progress. Can it be? For all the positive energy of the twitter chat phenomenon (even for deep-thinking communities like our own #smchat !!), a common shortfall is that those fascinating emergent insights routlinely slip away from us. They’re often lost in the moment, or stranded on some hard to find transcript.

But what if we built our subsequent chat frames on the prior ones? What if we set out to accomplish something of lasting value? That is, after all, what social change leaders must seek to do. Perhaps it’s time we eat our own dogfood, and set out to do the same.

For our WEDS 9/24 #smchat #socialchange at 1pET, let’s tackle the following:

  • Q1. As #socialchange work unfolds, does common ground require a common language?
  • Q2. Do ALL #socialchange initiatives share the need for defined objectives, stakeholders, and value streams?
  • Q3. Does mutuality of interests imply/require full alignment? Or are some differences okay?
  • Q4. What other threads might we weave into our #socialchange initiatives?

We’ll be back every 4th WEDS at 1pm ET to discuss the nuances of #socialmedia and #socialchange .. weaving a network of ideas and thought leaders who just might be onto something. Please join our conversation. Our solution fabric is beginning to take shape, and the possibilities are endless.

You can easily join us at .. simply bring your Twitter ID, and authorize the app. We’ll see you online!

Chris (aka @sourcepov)

Posted in: Social Change