What is Transformative Action?
Transformative action is a new model for change that synthesizes the most effective methods for personal and social transformation.
It says that most current models of activism, organizing, and campaigns for social change are no longer effective. They often generate a bitter, fractious “us versus them” atmosphere where tremendous resources and energies are wasted in fighting, while solutions go undiscovered. As a result, many good-hearted citizens who are working for democracy, the environment, health care, and other important causes become burnt out, exhausted, and overwhelmed.
By contrast, transformative action is an entrepreneurial model of social change that focuses on better visions for the future. Rather than treating Fortune 500 corporations and governments as the enemy, it catalyzes the power and money of all stakeholders toward creative “win-win” solutions.
Transformative action is also a powerful method for individuals to change their lives. It provides a process for people to turn negatives into positives, pessimism into optimism, and problems into opportunities for personal growth. As Gandhi once said, “You must be the change you wish to see in world.” But for a long time there was little scientific credible research about this process of personal transformation.
Therefore the model taps into the emerging 21st century science of positive psychology. This burgeoning scientific field investigates what goes right with humans: how people develop their capacities for altruism, courage, empathy, generosity, and other virtues.
In this vein, the most effective activists of today are not protesting with rage in the streets, dividing the world into “us versus them.” Instead they were transforming enemies into allies, hatred into goodwill, and conflict into collaboration.
Furthermore, the people that are winning are those that are creating better alternatives. They are social entrepreneurs and innovators who are inventing a brighter future.
Transformative action combines the best of the discoveries from nonviolent strategy, positive psychology, and social innovation.