January 2, 2014
For those who read this blog on a somewhat regular basis, you know that we at IISC find and experience great promise in embracing network approaches to (and as) social change. So what happens when we truly see ourselves as and in networks; that is, appreciating how we are inextricably embodied through and embedded in interconnected flows of energy, material goods, ideas, intentions, etc.?
Ten thoughts, in no particular order, nor meant to be exhaustive: Read More
July 21, 2011
|Photo by http2007|http://www.flickr.com/photos/http2007/2204187170|
In this week’s public Pathway to Change workshop in San Francisco, participants engaged in a practice meeting facilitated by some of their colleagues that focused on effective means of building power in collaborative change efforts to enhance their overall effectiveness to realize more just ends. The assumptions going into the conversation were that power is defined as the capacity to influence people and one’s environment, create change, address needs, pursue desires, and/or protect interests. Furthermore we suggested that power is not a fixed asset that people possess. Rather, it is socially constructed, understood, and legitimized through social relationships among individuals and groups of people. Given that it is not fixed, it can also grow or be grown.
So here is the list of ideas that surfaced for ways to build power and we certainly invite your reactions and additions (items in bold ended up being given higher priority by the group): Read More
February 17, 2010
I’ve been reading, with great fascination, the book Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives by Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler — and I read a fascinating article in the New York Times yesterday morning about the rise of the Teaparty Movement across the US. And I’m fascinated by the intersections.
I’d heard about Christakis and Fowler’s research a while ago – when they announced that things like obesity and love move through networks. Upon closer reading, I’m fascinated that there are, generally, three degrees of influence. That we are affected by our friends (one degree), by the friends of our friends (two degrees) and by the friends of their friends (three degrees). Beyond that, there’s not much that’s measurable. But at three degrees of influence, we are deeply influenced by a large number of people! And it’s who are in many ways local to us (though certainly that is changing). Read More