From Chapter 21 — Culture: Content Creation (Two Five Zero 013)
(From the Our Better Future book: “Here’s What We’ll Do …”)
I’ve been working on this chapter longer than any other. I started working out my personal paradigm of influence when I was in high school — I could influence a lot of people a little, like writing for Bewitched; influence a medium number of people at a deeper level, say by writing a really good play; or a small number of people more deeply still, like by having personal relationships.
These considerations followed earlier perceptions that things would somehow have to change a lot if humans and the planet were going to be okay — that lots and lots of people would have to think and feel differently. How could I use my life to influence all those thinkings and feelings …
Influence a medium number a medium amount route, I thought. But even then I had doubts. I’d recently fallen in love with the theatre and the theatre saved my life. But the deepest and most moving experience in the theater wouldn’t result in too many people making really dramatic changes in behavior, except in rare, perfect-storm kind of circumstances.
It took me a surprisingly long time to consider the idea of leverage. Rather than the indirect route of the theater, design explicit ways to evoke specific behavioral changes. Develop educational programs, recruit people to run small groups in what to do and why to do it, train the trainers, and send coördinated message out into the culture to invite people to join in. And that brings us to today.