May 20, 2015
The power to change
We use the term power a great deal in our work. Whether the context is around the empowerment of communities or the winning and losing of political power, when we refer to power there is often a lack of precision about what we mean by it. In part that’s because power is by its very nature complex and dynamic. Some time ago Carnegie published a short guide aimed at grassroots communities to help them analyse power from the perspective of achieving change.
A lot of people talk about power. But very few really try to understand it. Yet, power affects everything we do – the decisions that control our lives; what emerges in the public agenda and what does not; even what information we have, what we know, and how we see ourselves as agents and actors. Making change happen means both understanding the power that prevents change from happening – that protects an unjust status quo – as well as understanding the power we have within ourselves and with others to create change, hopefully towards a more just, sustainable and positive future. The guide has emerged out of years of experience of its authors, Raji Hunjan and Jethro Pettit, in helping grassroots communities analyse power for change. Their practical approach to facilitation builds on a growing body of useful concepts and methods being used for power analysis by grassroots organisations in the UK and around the world.
To see a copy of the guide click here