Alexa is a leading expert on subculture and innovation from unlikely places and is the co-author of The Misfit Economy which explores underground and informal innovation and its role within the formal economy. She is the Founder of Wisdom Hackers, an incubator for philosophical inquiry and US Director of the RSA.
Time9pm CET/5am AEST/3pm EDT
Art of Change
You may have heard sentiments like ‘pandemic as portal’ or calls for a ’new normal,’ spelling out an optimism for turning the Covid-19 crisis into a revolutionary act of systemic re-alignment. Sometimes change feels like a euphoric tide, a sweeping in of the new, a coup of creative destruction. Or as historian Christopher Hill wrote of the English radicals of the 1640s, like “a door that opens widely… and then suddenly closes.” In other moments, social change feels like a hard-won and gradual chipping away of the status quo. An act of pragmatic and hard-nosed dedication and craftsmanship.
For 250-years, the RSA has cultivated an identity for stewarding progressive change. Today with over 29,000 Fellows around the world and with countless more allies working to drive transformation in society, we want to pause and put a lens on the art of change-making itself and interrogate our assumptions and common myths around how we make change in society. In this interactive session we will share our meditations around the art and science of social change and invite group discussion around some driving questions:
- What do we collectively know about making social change in the world?
- What theories of change do we hold? How does social change happen?
- How do we know if a system is ripe for change?
- Why does change so often fail?
- What are the obstacles to change we have faced?
- What strategies and tactics for social change are we optimistic about?
- Is social change an art or are there patterns and mechanics we can learn from?
- How is this current crisis transforming our identities as change-makers?