Are you fired up and ready to take action? The name of the game is empowered interactivity and the wisdom resides in the crowd, so we’re going to need a way to work together. And we need to come up with projects that have a strategic impact. In the words of George Lakoff:
“The most powerful form of thinking is strategic. It is not just a matter of thinking ahead. It is a matter of changing the landscape of thought and action. It is a matter of setting many things in motion by setting one thing in motion. It is a matter of reconfiguring the future by doing one thing in the present.”
This is how he introduced the concept of strategic initiatives in the book Thinking Points. We need to create strategic initiatives that leverage impacts in two ways:
- Multifaceted initiatives where a targeted policy change has far-reaching effects across many areas, advancing a range of goals through one change; and
- Domino initiatives where a first step is taken toward a broader goal that makes the next steps easier or inevitable.
He then went on to suggest four initiatives that could be game changers: clean elections, healthy food, ethical business, and transit-for-all.
- Clean elections would change the fundamentals of power in our politics.
- Healthy food would drive a cascade of economic and social changes through our communities.
- Ethical business would would create new incentive structures that change social behavior at all levels of society.
- And reliable transit-for-all would give the majority of Americans a daily reminder of the shared benefits that an effective government can provide, while also breaking of us of our insular car culture.
With each example it is clear that a targeted agenda can lead to sweeping changes if its objectives are achieved. It is through this kind of high-level thinking that we can coordinate our efforts across issue silos, focus on the kind of world we want to create, and advocate for a progressive vision of America.
We can create and carry out strategic initiatives together through the discussion forums for this handbook (see link below). Pooling our collective knowledge will allow us to harvest the best of our ideas and mobilize our resources for driving targeted efforts that advance the movement toward its larger goals. This is something our institutions have lost sight of too frequently in recent years. And it is something that self-organizing crowds are particularly well suited to accomplish.31
Because this document began with crowdsourcing, we think that the first strategic initiatives that come out of it should further leverage the power of this idea. Let’s harness the power of mobile phones and the internet to organize powerless people into a collective force capable of overwhelming existing power structures. This is starting to happen all over the world, and it can happen in the U.S. as well.
A critical starting place is to rethink the financial structure of the progressive movement. The limits of elite funding are clear: begging for money from wealthy individuals or institutions is not a sustainable strategy for any change movement. While we appreciate the generosity of the movement’s donors, we’ve been badly hurt by their blind spot where the issue of progressive branding, framing, and narrative are concerned.
We have learned that we cannot count on donors to make long-range strategic investments in the movement’s future. And fortunately, we have also learned that we may not have to. So we begin with a call for the micro-financing of the progressive movement. Let’s use the same crowdfunding power that brought this handbook to life to channel our diffuse resources into the pressure points that leverage systemic change.
Let’s Get to Work!
Join us for a discussion of this initiative at the link below and help hone and clarify the other strategic initiatives that will become the backbone of the emerging Progressive Majority. Collaborate with us as we envision the future of politics in the United States and around the world.
We need everyone to be part of the solution and there is a lot of work to do. The first step toward bold and transformational change is to join the conversation. The second step follows from what we say to one another when we start talking. And then all of the subsequent steps become possible when we launch strategic initiatives.
Help us make America a beacon of progress in the world once again.
Join us now.
(Oh, and help us spread the word. Pass this handbook along to your friends)