I participated in a Change Camp (vcc2010) on Saturday.
The energy was infectious. Participants were from a broad range of careers and pathways. Drawn to be there, from a collective sense of passion and commitment to causing a difference.
Topics ranged from creating meaningful online public engagement to generating crowdfunding for social change projects to the culture of permission within large organizations. If you are interested, you can find notes from the sessions here.
I will share three things I left with. That I didn't have - or at least, wasn't present to - when the day began.
One: it doesn't have to be a lot of work to bring people together to share ideas. The thought of organizing people seems daunting. However, it's mostly the thinking about it that is daunting. As Elijah, one of the organizers of this event, stated if you create the space and let people know, they will come.
Two: forums for gathering collective intelligence are powerful and regenerating. The energy generated can carry any idea far. Being able to harness that kind of energy is gold.
Three: groups is the way to get things done. I know this, yet I forget. One of my favourite quotes, from Margaret Mead, reads "never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.'' Her quote isn't about one person. It's about group.
Any time I am trying hard by myself to make something happen, and feeling powerless and isolated, then it is good for me to remember these things. Find others to help. Bring them together. Make change happen.