Mapping our roles in social change ecosystems – bring your joy

Are you a healer, a builder, a disruptor, an emergency responder?

You’re needed.

A storyteller? An experimenter?

Yeah, we need you too.

We all have a role to play.

Or, as Pat McCabe phrases it, we all have a place on the sacred hoop of life.

It can feel overwhelming when you first encounter the thought that you’d like to make a difference, and the system is so massive, to work out: where do you start?

Most important thing: don’t get trapped thinking you have to do everything, alone.

Think like a forest.

An ecosystem.

Work out what gift you have to bring to the collective.

This Social Change Ecosystem map is a cool way of approaching it. It was first developed in 2018 and then renewed in 2020 by Building Movement Project’s Director of Movement Building, Deepa Iyer. She offers a reflection guide, and 3 step framework, that you can use personally, or with a group… explaining that

“Social change cannot happen at an individual level when we work in silos. It happens when we are connected to others. Our bodies, nature, and organizations all comprise of ecosystems. As Grace Lee Boggs reminds us: ‘We never know how our small activities will affect others through the invisible fabric of our connectedness. In this exquisitely connected world, it’s never a question of ‘critical mass.’ It’s always about critical connections.'”

Deepa Iyer, Building Movement Project

Which roles do you find yourself playing most often? prompts Iyer. Which roles deplete you energetically and which inspire you?

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