This book is for activists who want to change the world.
With stories spanning the globe, minimal buzzwords and a personal narrative, Green’s book How Change Happens is a wake up call to activists hoping to make a difference.
The core of the book is that we must understand how power operates in any system we are trying to change. Whether your focus is a local neighbourhood or the World Bank, you need to get into the guts of the place and make a map of how power flows in and around it.
Every systems is full of people interacting with each other over power. These interactions are not predictable, because people are the opposite of that, and so it makes the whole process a lot more complex than we would like it to be. Our role as activists is to understand how power moves and get our dancing shoes on.
There is no one way to make a difference, in fact this thinking is often holding us back. Green argues, it will take heat from the top and bottom to make change happen, and a more playful, critical eye to influence these spaces for the greater good. When we do this we find unexpected allies in often ignored places. Endorsing skepticism on the other hand will only cost us.
It takes time to understand how power works and even longer to make change. What does that mean for activists who are impatient with the slow pace of justice? Well Green wants you to slow the fudge down,
take a deep breath, put your sense of urgency to one side for a moment, and become a ‘reflective’
We are also going to make a lot of mistakes,
You and your colleagues have to be ready to discuss and learn from failure
In the end it is not necessarily the committed and proud activists Green is encouraging, but the thoughtful and flexible ones that make change happen.