“David Gershon, a daring social architect, is what an engineer is to a bridge builder. In Social Change 2.0, David puts forth with clarity, brilliance, innovation, and passion a blueprint for sustainable societal transformation. It is a practical, inspirational, and ethical guide to initiate, maintain, and/or reignite the soul of any social movement. This book is an outstanding addition to the world.”
– Brian K. Gibbs, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Diversity and Cultural Competence, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
If “change” is the mantra of our moment in history, Social Change 2.0 may be poised to become its bible. Drawing on his three decades in the trenches of personal and societal transformation, author David Gershon, described by the United Nations as a “graceful revolutionary,” offers an original and comprehensive roadmap for building a better world.
So many of the assumptions we have been operating with as a human community have proven faulty that we must now literally re-envision them. And with the accelerating unraveling of our planet’s life support system and the deterioration of so many of our social systems, we are being called upon to create rapid transformative change. But the current social change tools at our disposal of governmental command and control, financial incentives, and citizen protest—Social Change 1.0—were designed for slow-moving, incremental change.
Not only must we reinvent our world, but also the process by which we achieve this reinvention. If the current social change tools are not sufficient, what else do we have? According to systems theory, when the current solutions prove inadequate for the magnitude of change required, a system goes into stress and begins to break down. What is required to help the system evolve is a second order change solutionÑor a solution capable of transforming and reorganizing it to a higher level of performance. Social Change 2.0 represents such a solution for our social systems.
It has a simple and some might say radical premise: that the natural starting point for changing our world for the better is us. That taking personal responsibility to make the needed changes within ourselves and our communities is the foundation for changing our institutions, not the other way around. That people are willing to make these changes if empowered by a personal vision and the means to bring it to fruition. That these changes can be accelerated and reinforced with the right laws and financial incentives, but the process begins with us.
To bring about this type of change we need leadership schooled in the competencies of transformative social change. With our planet on the line and with such a propitious opening available for transformation available as the world strives to reinvent itself, change leaders need to playing at their best. Social Change 2.0 provides a blueprint to help them do just that.
What people are saying:
“Social Change 2.0 exhilarates. David Gershon has not just laid out a compelling and coherent blueprint for social change, but the vividly written stories he shares make us realize that what we thought was impossible can actually be achieved. Having been a political leader in Portland for twenty years, where I worked closely with David, I saw firsthand the power of his work to change the lives of thousands of people. He may well be the number one expert on social change in our country.”
– Mike Lindberg, former Commissioner of Public Utilities and city council member, City of Portland, Oregon
“As humanity faces one of the greatest transitions on which it has ever embarked, David’s book brings the wisdom, inspiration and tools to enable every one of us to become effective agents of change. Social Change 2.0 is a great book!”
– Sarah Severn, Director of Horizons and Mobilization, Nike, Inc.
“If the word ‘hope’ has become the zeitgeist, then David GershonÕs latest book is one of our bright, shining lights. It gives people a clear bridge between a positive, just, and sustainable vision for our world and the tools by which we may bring it about.”
– Julian Agyeman Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, Tufts University
“Take a deep dive into the future with David Gershon – but, public health warning, youÕre likely to emerge transformed. Social Change 2.0 is for those (including the worldÕs growing number of social and environmental entrepreneurs) intent on rewriting the current rules on our planet in favor of win-win-win outcomes for all.”
– John Elkington, co-author of The Power of Unreasonable People: How Social Entrepreneurs Create Markets That Change the World, and co-founder, SustainAbility
“This book is a practical and inspiring roadmap to the future we all know is possible. I know of no one more experienced to create such a roadmap than David Gershon, who has spent the past three decades empowering individuals and communities, as well as business and government leaders. I have looked forward to this book for some time to gain a deeper understanding of how David has initiated so much positive change and created so many innovative strategies to help people achieve their visions for a better world.”
– Hazel Henderson, author of Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy and Building a Win-Win World