Discovering better ways to solve social problems

Getting to Maybe: How the World Is Changed by Frances Westley, Brenda Zimmerman and Michael Quinn Patton

We tend to think that great social change is the province of heroes an intimidating view of reality that keeps ordinary people on the couch. But extraordinary leaders such as Gandhi and even unlikely social activists such as Bob Geldof most often see themselves as harnessing the forces around them, rather than singlehandedly setting those forces in motion. The trick in any great social project from the global fight against AIDS to working to eradicate poverty in a single Canadian city is to stop looking at the discrete elements and start trying to understand the complex relationships between them. By studying fascinating real-life examples of social change through this systems-and-relationships lens, the authors of Getting to Maybe tease out the rules of engagement between volunteers, leaders, organizations and circumstance between individuals and what Shakespeare called the tide in the affairs of men.

Getting to Maybe applies the insights of complexity theory and harvests the experiences of a wide range of people and organizations… to lay out a brand new way of thinking about making change in communities, in business, and in the world.

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