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News — Motivation

Good vibrations and elegant paths

Motivation Strategy

Been dipping into fundamental physics lately, which, I know, probably has little to do with social change. But I did discover an interesting insight or two. First, everything in the universe is vibrations. Even the stuff (particles) of the universe is vibrations. And particles excite each other and change directions by bumping together and passing on their vibrations. Yes, I can dig that. It’s exactly the same for human beings composed of kazillions of particles. We excite other human beings and change their directions by bumping into them and sharing our excitements. In fact, isn’t that what social change IS?...

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Dear parents, are Class Dojos in your school? Ask questions; avoid them if possible.

Children Motivation

Our bright, spirited, 6 year old son started kindergarten last year, finally grown up and ready to leap into a bigger world. But something happened we didn't expect: he became obsessed with ‘Dojos’. I’d say ”How was reading and maths today?” but instead we heard “l love Dojos, I’m going to get a special medal when I get a lot of dojos”. A few months into the school year, he was daily referring to how many Dojos he and the other kids had. It was the first thing he talked about when he woke up in the morning. It was...

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In the tunnel! How scarcity changes minds

Innovation Motivation Strategy

When I’m running close to a bunch of deadlines I trip over chair legs and run into cupboards. I miss appointments and credit card payments. I don’t hear people. It’s like I’ve suddenly become stupid. I’ve been mentally captured by the condition of scarcity. In my case, it’s scarcity of time. The same principle applies to other kinds of scarcity: scarcity of money, scarcity of food, scarcity of health, scarcity of safety. In their book Scarcity, The True Cost of Not Having Enough, Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir, eloquently set out a psychology of scarcity. It’s got a host of...

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Shut up and listen

Community building Facilitation Motivation Strategy

Anyone who wants to change anything or improve anyone else’s life has to see this arresting TED talk by Ernesto Sirolli. An anguished observer of the comprehensive failure of western aid in Africa, Sirolli innovated a seemingly radical approach to community change: “You never initiate anything, you never motivate anybody. Instead you become a servant of local people’s passion. People who have a dream of how to be a better person. So you shut up. You never arrive in a community with any ideas …we sit with local people in a café, or at the pub and we become friends and we...

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To the bullies of this world - some rules about resistance

Denial/resistance Motivation

The world is presently witnessing two awful spectacles of bullying on a global scale: the terrible tragedy in Gaza and Russia’s proxy war against the Ukraine. Closer to home, we’re witnessing the Australian government’s bullying of asylum seekers, the unemployed, the disabled, single mothers, and indigenous people in communities subject to the Intervention. Bullying is an assertion of power designed to cower, belittle and control its victims. It hurts because it says to them “Your hard-earned human dignity amounts to little to us. You are a reduced form of humanity whose only function is to comply.” These comments from BasicsCard recipients capture...

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