Strategies and Pathways to Change. Regenerative Activism 2022.
Listening to what people across our social movements say, we’ll often hear them lament a lack of coherent strategy for change. Too often short-term urgent responses crowd out any hope of developing longer term strategic approaches. At the same time, if we pay attention to the complex nature of social change, it’ll be obvious to us that no single strategy can provide the pathway to deeper systemic transformation. This brings us to ask, how can we develop strategic approaches to radical transformation that are capable of meeting the challenges of socio-political complexity and volatility?
In part, facing this challenge involves finding ways to acknowledge the value of a multiplicity of strategic approaches within our movements. We need numerous strategic experiments happening simultaneously, shaped by diverse contexts, addressing diverse issues, and providing diverse experiential learning to enrich our movements. But within our movements, diverse strategic approaches are often felt as contradictory and antagonistic. Factionalism can drain energy and compound internal conflicts and fragmentation. Instead of this, can we harness complementarities between diverse approaches? Can we find opportunities to find synergy among them? Could a multiplicity of approaches bring greater adaptivity and responsiveness to our movements, rather than incoherence and polarisation? We’ll explore these questions in relation to some of the tensions that arise between people pursuing strategic approaches that seek to make changes within the existing system, those that build alternatives outside it, and those that aim to break with the old structures.
We will explore:
* Can we harness complementarities between diverse approaches? Can we find opportunities to find synergy among them?
* Could a multiplicity of approaches bring greater adaptivity and responsiveness to our movements, rather than incoherence and polarisation?
* What are the tensions? What integrative approaches exist that can help to make the tensions between these different strategic approaches more creative and generative?
Ayisha Siddiqa #
Ayisha Siddiqa is a Pakistani Climate justice advocate. She is a co-founder of Polluters Out and the Executive Director of Student Affairs at Fossil Free University. On Sept 20th, 2019 she helped mobilize and lead over 300,000 students onto the streets of Manhattan demanding their governments take climate action. Her advocacy focuses on climate justice and racial justice for BIPOC.