Creating Change: Lessons, Skills and Advice



  • Be prepared to stand up for something and have the courage to speak up, because if you don't, you are lost.
  • Reach out and find a group to work with. I've learned by being involved in various activities that the number one point is you have to be a part of a group.
  • Present solidarity to the media, to the bureaucracy, and to the political decision-makers.
  • Be prepared to invest more energy than you expected, especially emotional energy.
  • Be persistent.
  • Continue actions by re-grouping, re-strategizing, and going at the issue again.
  • Never get angry, but be forceful with bureaucrats and politicians. Never be intimidated.
  • Go to the top!
  • Let bureaucrats and elected officials know that important issues will become public if they do nothing after meeting with you. Make sure, then, that your message both corrects any government 'spin' and says exactly what you want the public to hear. The media will get it out to the public.
  • Make sure the media are expressing what you want them to express. Be prepared to take issue with those who put their own spin on what you're doing and saying. Confront reporters or editors about their biases and lack of professionalism so that in the future they will show greater respect.
  • Be confident. Know you're doing the right thing. My mother taught me to "stick up for the people who are being done wrong by, through no fault of their own".
  • Pick your battles!
  • It won't change unless you get involved, and it won't change unless you join those others who are trying to make the change.
  • Making change is not about personal heroics.

Skills needed

  • Working in a team.
  • Speaking up and speaking out.
  • Drawing on your inner courage.
  • Developing your personal sense of worth.


  • Don't give up.
  • Life is constant learning.
  • Boats have to be 'rocked' sometimes.
  • Hold the courage of your convictions.
  • None of us have sure answers.
  • Don't do it alone; combine skills.
  • There are times when you need to take a break.
  • Refuse to accept patronizing attitudes.
I think one of the big problems is that many of us just say, "Why bother, it's not worth it", and drop it. But if you're persistent… just when they think you've folded your tents and all gone away, it's "Oops, there they are again!" So persistence certainly is important!