Cultivating Change Amidst Collapse

“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.”—Grace Lee Boggs


To meet the magnitude of this moment we must work collaboratively in ways that promote decentralization over top-down hierarchies, relationships over transactions, and emergence over control.

In this May 2020 Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) article, authors Lindley Mease & David Ehrlichman, explore the importance of these principles as a way to meet and respond to the challenges we face.

Key Ideas

  1. The critical importance of decentralizing leadership in order to increase our capacity to respond in global and local ways.
  2. The web of relationships that bridges communities, organizations, and clusters of activity is the underlying structure that makes networks and movements work.
  3. An emergent approach to strategy means connecting first with actors from across the system and sensing our way into the future, together.

Citation / Source:

  1. Mease, Lindley & David Ehrlichman. Cultivating Change Amidst Collapse. Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR). May 19, 2020.