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Scale, power, and shifting the status quo: Understanding how social movements are different from other social change efforts [AEA 2019 Session Materials]

Scale, power, and shifting the status quo: Understanding how social movements are different from other social change efforts

This session will share ideas from two complementary projects from Innovation Network and ORS Impact that aim to help funders and other social change strategists distinguish strategies and theories of change by the power structures they target and the scale they reach. Activists, funders, and other change-makers deploy a vast array of social change approaches in their efforts to improve people’s lives, communities, systems, and society. While this rich ecosystem of strategies lends strength through diversity and complementarity of approach, it also creates a lack of clarity or even confusion about tactics, objectives, outcomes, and other key details. This session will compare and contrast the theories of change of different strategies and provide framing and examples of the different intended outcomes of these approaches to strengthen our ability to evaluate and learn.

What’s innovative? We’re improving understanding about what social movements are, the types of power they seek to build, and how to assess power building.

Session Resources

Session resources will be available on November 14, 2019