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Power and social change
The exercises and hand-outs in this section aim to help us understand how change comes about and develop well-crafted plans to agitate for change. Most of us tend to think of change as linear/rational, but more often than not it is unpredictable and chaotic, and comes about when the conditions are right. We can cultivate 'openings' and 'favourable conditions' but we cannot control how or when they will bear fruit. Working (and then often waiting) for those changes can be frightening, frustrating as well as exhilharating. The resources offered here will help us understand change and work with it to the best of our ability.
Exercises and hand-outs are listed and briefly described below. Documents containing the full description appear at the bottom of the list. Click here for taster sheets on Power, 'Becoming Active' (self empowerment) and 'How Change Happens'.
Power is not only what you have but what your opponent thinks you have.
-- Saul Alinsky
Exercises and Hand-outs
Why Turning the Tide does Power
An overview on why TTT thinks that explorations of power are essential to effective nonviolence work. It's core to our work and this handout gives a brief overview why. More.
Stages and Processes in Conflict Transformation
This is a useful flowchart of the different stages in conflict and the nonviolent interventions that can be made. It's one of a few that shows the pre-conflict phase that Turning the Tide operates in, which here is called unequal power and shifting power relations. More.
The 100th Monkey: a story about social change.
This handout tells the story of scientific observations of radical change adopted by wild monkeys in Japan. Good for reflecting on how social change can happen. More .
Moyer's Four Roles of Activists
What kind of activist are you? A reformer? Rebel? Change agent? What sort does the campaign you work on need right now? Activist and journalist Bill Moyer outlines four activist archetypes and sheds light on the stages of a campaign when everyone's efforts can be most effective. More .
Moyer's Eight Stages of Successful Social Movements
This handout outlines in four pages activist and journalist Bill Moyer's eight stages of successful social movments which he covers more in-depth in his article the Movement Action Plan. We recommend using this hand-out in conjunction with his Four Roles of Activists (see above). More.
Moyer's 8-stages and 4-roles handout
A quick reference handout to illustrate in one graphic image Bill Moyer's four roles of activism and eight stages of successful social change movements. More .
The Change Game
A light and simple game to get participants thinking about how change happens. Quite simply you first have to decide what change needs to happen. After that, the rest is easy! More.
Ladder of Citizenship Participation
This handout shows different levels of citizen participation in an organisation. Can be used to analyse power relationships in any organisation, or in particular social change issues. More.
My Own Role in a Social Change Situation
An active listening exercise to analyse and affirm our existing contribution to social change. Good to use alongside sessions that explore theories of change. More.
I Could DoThat If ...
This is one of our favourite tools and it works on different levels to encourage folk to reflect on their own blocks to action, to help groups identify the types of actions that can play to their strengths and weaknesses, and generally to start the process of pushing the boundaries and becoming more empowered. More.
I Could Do That If ... handout
A worksheet for individual use. Has a range of suggested actions. More.
I Could Do That If ... handout
A worksheet for individual use. Blank for filling in own suggestions. More.
Simon says and group clap
A fun way of introducing types of group organising and questions of empowerment. More .
An exercise that explores some of the behaviours in unequal power relationships and personal experiences of different behaviours within roles. It requires careful setting up and a practice run, but we've found it to be a valuable tool. More.
Power Game handouts
This goes with the Power Game (above) as part of the setting up. There are two handouts. You'll need to photocopy or print more copies so there's one for each participant. More.
Power Hassle Line
A simple hassle line exercise to explore experiences of power and powerlessness. More.
Who Has Power in a School?
We devised this exercise in our earliest days, and it's still a favourite. It's an exercise which reveals that virtually everyone has some power. It's good also for revealing a basic nonviolent understanding of power - that it's a relationship, that it comes from consent and obedience, and that there are different sources of power. More.
Why Do What Teacher Says?
Goes well with the Who Has Power in a School exercise (above) but can just as easily be used as a standalone to convey a basic understanding of power, that it comes from the consent and obedience of others and that there are various sources of power. More.
This hand-out explains TTT's understanding of power and rank and relative privilege in society. Rank is conscious or unconscious. It is social or personal ability or power arising from culture, community support, personal psychology and/or spiritual power. Whether you earn or inherit your rank, it organizes much of your communication behaviour, especially in moments of positive/negative tension. More.
Social change paper game
To explore what happens in a group when resources become scarce and to understand the different options available. More
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