Agents of Change

AgentOfChange_JeffersonMemorial

Thomas Jefferson an Agent of Change

Agents of change, social entrepreneurs, and there are other names that express a mindset that is open to large scale improvements within our social and financial structures. Dennis Stevenson does an excellent job of characterizing the concept in What is a “Change Agent?”.

How do we create a social framework for anyone interested in becoming an agent of change? It’s self energizing to make a positive impact. To know that time and effort expended improves the quality of peoples lives, even just a little bit, is immensely satisfying.

It takes time to pursue a selfish (or unselfish) interest. How do people with many responsibilities manage to free up that time? Making breathing room for creative energies to discover the right challenge is the only way to make progress on developing a passion.

Agents of change will be implementing grand strategies and small scale “smarter” methods by utilizing the monumental information flowing into and through the internet. They’ll leverage social interest, and crowd source solutions that will emerge from simple observations and choices. Imagine what is next in line for external applications using Internet system strategies:

  • open
  • crowdsourced
  • innovative
  • realtime

Tim O’Reilly and John Battelle expertly cover these topics in a recent article Web Squared: Web 2.0 Five Years On.

Imagine yourself as an agent of change, what would you do?

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  • http://www.socialearth.org/ Erik

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the insightful post! I think crowd-sourcing social enterprises will help everyone become a 'change-agent' and bring social entrepreneurship into the mainstream. A lot of people might not be able to commit to a FT career in social entrepreneurship; however, the crowd-sourced model will allow many people to contribute a little bit of their resources to the greater good.

    Cheers,
    Erik

  • http://www.victusspiritus.com/ Mark Essel

    You're very welcome Erik. Enabling interested parties to contribute on their own terms is what will drive it change forward. Many projects that were impossible for an individual are immenently doable by thousands of enthusiastic volunteers. The more diverse their other skills/professions the better!

  • DennisStevenson

    Mark,
    You ask “how do busy people have time to create meaningful change?” This is a great question.

    In my book people who are committed to change and leading change find a way. Otherwise they are not change agents. I don't know any way to say it more simply.

    Ultimately it comes down to priorities. What's important? We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Social media gives us tools to incite and lead change… but they must be used. Or change won't happen.

    My advice: start small. Just like compounding interest, change agents begin with one thing they can accomplish and build on it from there. That's a strategy I find most useful.

    I've been amazed how in my career all the great things I've done (my judgment) started with small steps that really didn't look much like the final outcome. I just started where I could, and let my intentions start to gather momentum from there.

    I look back at the “what is a change agent” post I wrote, and I'm amazed. It was a little thing I did one day, picking up from a conversation with a friend. But it's been read many times… the change continues to pile on from there.

    Start changing…

  • http://www.victusspiritus.com/ Mark Essel

    Hey thanks for stopping by the blog Dennis!
    I came across your post as the #1 google match while doing some reading on the concept of Agents of Change.
    Your definition was spot on with the thoughts that were clunking around in my head while out for a walk last week. You sacrifice the time because you can't help but push to make a difference. There's some threshold I hit last year while going about my normal activities, and things just clicked.
    This is it.
    This is my time to make the world a better place (balanced by views external to my own). I find great satisfaction in writing/sharing my thoughts and interacting and engaging like minded folks.
    My first blog post captures my long term plan, to ignite a spark of inspiration in a single reader is well worth all the hours of thinking/writing (and much more editing to clear up my mangled ideas).

  • DennisStevenson

    Mark,
    You ask “how do busy people have time to create meaningful change?” This is a great question.

    In my book people who are committed to change and leading change find a way. Otherwise they are not change agents. I don't know any way to say it more simply.

    Ultimately it comes down to priorities. What's important? We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Social media gives us tools to incite and lead change… but they must be used. Or change won't happen.

    My advice: start small. Just like compounding interest, change agents begin with one thing they can accomplish and build on it from there. That's a strategy I find most useful.

    I've been amazed how in my career all the great things I've done (my judgment) started with small steps that really didn't look much like the final outcome. I just started where I could, and let my intentions start to gather momentum from there.

    I look back at the “what is a change agent” post I wrote, and I'm amazed. It was a little thing I did one day, picking up from a conversation with a friend. But it's been read many times… the change continues to pile on from there.

    Start changing…

  • http://www.victusspiritus.com/ Mark Essel

    Hey thanks for stopping by the blog Dennis!
    I came across your post as the #1 google match while doing some reading on the concept of Agents of Change.
    Your definition was spot on with the thoughts that were clunking around in my head while out for a walk last week. You sacrifice the time because you can't help but push to make a difference. There's some threshold I hit last year while going about my normal activities, and things just clicked.
    This is it.
    This is my time to make the world a better place (balanced by views external to my own). I find great satisfaction in writing/sharing my thoughts and interacting and engaging like minded folks.
    My first blog post captures my long term plan, to ignite a spark of inspiration in a single reader is well worth all the hours of thinking/writing (and much more editing to clear up my mangled ideas).

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