David Bornstein is an author and journalist. His book, How to Change the World – Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas has become a classic for changemakers and social entrepreneurs. Last year he launched Dowser a solution based on- line journal. Dowser is interested in the practical and human elements of social innovation: Who’s solving what and how. Here is David's response to: What would you like to become more visible in 2011? You can also Download Becoming Visible - the complete collection of 58 essays.
Our Hidden History of Bright Spots and Positive Pathways
I'd like to see the aspects of the world that are healthy, corrective and resilient become more visible. The view of the world that we receive from the media — the news and entertainment — is disheartening and damagingly skewed. There is simply no reason why people should be inundated with stories about problems, scandals, violence, corruption every day — and only hear about potential solutions now and then, almost as an afterthought. It makes no sense.
Journalists don't help society to self correct when they expose its shortcomings every day — no more than parents help their children become better human beings by criticizing them every morning over breakfast. For the world to improve, yes, we certainly need to understand the problems, but equally important, we need to understand what can be done to solve those problems. We need to see the positive pathways that are opening up.
Behaviour change is aspirational. We change most readily when we can move towards a desirable vision, not when we are repelled by an ugly one. So: what are the creative, realistic ideas and models emerging today to reshape the world? What steps are available for each and every person to make a powerful and rewarding contribution to the world?
There are so many opportunities today. We're going through a social innovation renaissance, with the birth of millions of new organizations attacking social problems in new ways. We're witnessing the emergence of a new breed of social-purpose businesses. We're seeing people come together across sectors and fields and national boundaries to construct new systems to attack poverty, deliver energy and health care, protect the environment, make society more inclusive.
These bright spots are not the exceptions. But they are a hidden
history. One that needs to become more visible if its potential is to be fully actualized.
Please share and distribute to your friends and through your various networks, websites etc. I think you will agree – these are too good to keep to ourselves.