Barriers to Change

October 19, 2008 | 1 Comment

Category: Activism, Auto-Biography, Web

Earlier this year at the Green Convention where I was tabling/exhibiting, I made a pitch of our networking web application to Cynthia McKinney’s campaign manager.  She seemed to understand a little about what we had to offer and said I would have to talk to her web person.

Basically, I was telling a story, an abbreviated version.  The story focused on winning elections by empowering people, doing what Obama has learned to do.

McKinney’s web person was her web designer.  They had no one making web policy decisions other than the person actually designing her website/online communications system.  Not a good thing.

I talked to the web person.  Though seemingly impressed by what he described as our web 2.0, social networking political action integration, he said that personally he had been unable to convince Cynthia and her staff to move in that direction.  It seemed to me that a subtext of the conversation was that if he recommended to McKinney our application, he’d be recommending himself out of this area of his responsibilities.

This two-conversation communication is a microcosm of a difficulty of social change on a larger scale.  Good-intentioned people make decisions in their best interest, the kind of decisions you can expect them to make, and the net result is their honoring a barrier to change.  How does change get made when even those striving for change feel so constrained?

When I explained to McKinney’s web person that Obama’s campaign was inspired by such a set of tools, he understood.  He expressed dismay that he was unable to make McKinney understand.  Slowly the power of this alternative paradigm will become self evident.  How exactly it will become clear to agents of change like Cynthia McKinney will be interesting.  Examples of this paradigm continue to manifest in the news.  Will there be a single event that makes the direction we are going too obvious to ignore?


This entry was posted on Sunday, October 19th, 2008 at 8:07 am and is filed under Activism, Auto-Biography, Web. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
1 Comment so far

  1. GreenGenes on October 19, 2008 11:15 am

    I’ve been trying to persuade the Green Party to use live webcasting, ultimately to create their own channel. It’s tough to get people to appreciate it.

    Even viral distribution seems like an alien thing to the Greens.

    You should include a link to your web development firm with this blog post.

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