Inspiring Agents of Change

Listening to the dialogue at Monday’s Where Does Change Happen event was inspiring. All four speakers are amazing examples of agents of change. Their stories spanned a spectrum from civil disobedience (change from outside) to institutional entrepreneurs (change from inside). And while their perspectives on where and how change occurs may have been different, they were uniform in their passion for action. At the reception following the event there was lively chatter between the speakers and the attendees, with everyone excited about the many ways and wheres of change.

When you spend much of your time in like-minded company the people outside your sphere can be easy to forget. But last night I began to wonder about everyone else, the people not at this event or the many events like it. How many Canadians out there truly care about all the critical issues facing the country but perceive too many barriers that stop them from acting? Particularly following Brigette’s eloquent speech on how she felt a responsibility to stand up (literally) and act (holding up a Stop Harper sign during the throne speech in 2011) I kept thinking that are all the reasons we give for not acting the very reasons that we should be acting? Are your kids not the best reason to want to fight for a better future? Isn’t the idea that you could lose your job for speaking out against injustice or corruption the best reason to do it? Is the very idea that you feel insignificant and incapable of affecting change not the perfect reason to try?

It’s a big world and there is no shortage of issues that need attention. However there is also no shortage of passion. We need to remember that however inconsequential we may feel the reality could not be further from the truth. As Drew Dudley pointed out during his TED Talk on Leadership everyday leadership—“lollipop moments” truly matter and provide opportunities that allow us all to be agents of change.

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