The 2020 Skoll World Forum for 2020 went virtual due to health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s theme is Collective Strength.
We Love Reading along with Catalyst2030 hosted an event “Changing mindsets to Create Changemakers” on April 1, 2020 as part of the 2020 Skoll World Forum. 197 people attended and 232 registered. The talk discussed the challenges that social entrepreneurs face in creating system change. In order to create sustainable change we need to start from the grassroots. The people themselves have to change their mindsets to be the changemakers themselves. This is the biggest challenge for system change. How to get people at the grassroots not adopt the change but actually create it in order to carry it forward into the future. The session highlighted scientific research and practical experience from programs on the ground and from the field on how to answer this question such as We Love Reading and Poverty Stoplight.
The conclusion was the fundamental human criterion to change mindsets to create changemakers is Agency, ownership and responsibility.
These recommendations can be shared with the world through this platform to be used across the board in all sectors to achieve the SDGs in time and to carry us beyond into the future. We dont know what the future looks like but at least we can help equip future generations with the necessary tools needed to create a better life.
The talk gave evidence from Professor Kelly Lambert research with rats at the University of Richmond on how to answer the two questions that social entrepreneurs need to answer to change mindsets to create changemakers:
- How to make people you work with comfortable with change?
Having a enrich environment and social interaction at the level of the family are key to less stress and anxiety, more comfortable with uncertainty and ultimately better learners
- How to help people make better decisions and be more responsible?
Designing Programm with agency, ownership and responsibility are the core. Effort based (contingency) programming that focus on the people themselves deciding what they want to do and how. This makes them better on making decisions and more responsible and therefore happier people.
Examples of Agency programs
- We Love Reading: A Programm that uses reading as a way to change mindsets in children and adults to become changemakers. The volunteers own the Programm and their sense of agency and ownership makes them changemakers.
- Poverty stoplight: A Programm were people in poverty decide what is poverty, how poor they are and which parts they want to improve and they create their own action plan and their own iniatiatives and resources to remove the poverty. The people own their poverty.
- Agency, ownership and responsibility
- Doing something because you want to not because you have to
- Don’t save people, believe in people you are trying to help. They can do it themselves.
- People are a mirror of how you think of them. Give them a chance to be active and own their plight just give them tools to help such as We Love Reading and the Poverty stoplight
- Now is the time to introduce system change and paradigm shifts because the whole world is changing because of corona virus
The Right Approach: agency
The Right Tools: We Love Reading and Poverty stoplight
The Right Time: NOW
There is an open-source public calendar of virtual events, facilitating digital networking, and streaming the 2020 Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship that anyone can join.
Link to the talk
Link to skoll forum