Creating Change: Lessons, and Advice



  • Go as high as you can in the food chain, for example to a deputy minister if possible.
  • Get citizens to speak up and tell it from their point of view.
  • Take advantage of being an employee of an institution to open doors.
  • Give the government its due when appropriate at public events.
  • Build relationships.
  • Don't be afraid to initiate things.
  • Don't be shy.
  • Practice teamwork by building relationships and trust.
  • Keep your word; never let people down.
  • It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission.


  • The voices in a planning meeting must come from those who are personally affected by a problem; we cannot speak for others.
  • If you feel there is some issue to be addressed, then be a catalyst by engaging those with direct experience of the issues in a planned event. Don't assume or presume that you can speak for them because you can only speak for yourself, from whatever experience you've had.
  • When planning speakers on any issue, be sure to engage those who are the most knowledgeable.
  • It's the outcome that matters, so if you work the planning right, the people who need to be there will be there. Then you have to trust in the judgment of those that get involved.
  • Do what you like: like what you do.
  • Use informal settings as much as possible.

Last words

I don't think most of us plan on becoming social activists. I think we get involved because something moves us to act. I am energized by ideas, by discussion, by doing.