Sunday, November 21, 2004

Impact!

Thanks for the encouragement, Nicholas!

The next dilemma to tackle: how can one person make the most significant positive impact on society? Should one aim at changing the system or by influencing small groups of specific constituents?

The first option - changing the system - can likely be accomplished either through the mechanisms of media or politics. The impact that an individual can have through either medium is questionable, although we can all recall singularities - Mahatma Ghandi being perhaps the most cited example in this particular category (check out M.K. Ghandi's Insitute for Nonviolence).

On the other hand, initiating change by influencing small groups and then scaling the project can also be quite successful - and perhaps a more feasible, if more lengthy and tedious, path to change. I have always been fascinated by the story of the Grameen Bank, which grew out of a small project created by a professor of Economics in Bangladesh. Professor Muhammad Yunus is an exemplary social innovator and entrepreneur.

Perhaps in the case of beginning with a grass-roots project, the key is to keep in mind scalability?


2 Comments:

Blogger Nicholas said...

The system can never change (or at least not easily) beacause the system's main function is to make money and organize society. The main focus is on making money otherwise the world collapses.

On the other hand, smaller groups are the way for social change to occor but this was the sole idea (in a nutshell) behind religion. So the problem is, people start dividing into their own little religions (or lack of one for that matter)and you're back where you started from! Thus, the impact to society has been greatly reduced because of the rift between peoples.

Is it a dead end? No, but there have to be other ways. Otherwise, society will never change. It will become like "1984" (by George Orwell. Good book! You should read it!). That will be a sad day.

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Holly said...

You have to start small. There are a lot of us trying to 'make the world a better place'. I'm doing my bit by volunteering for the charity Help2Educate who rescue children in Nepal from child labour jobs and offer them an education. Teaching placements are available in Nepal for any English-speakers who want to make a difference.

12:49 PM  

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