New Power “Participation Scale”

What if “the movement” wasn’t the end goal. What if it was only vehicle for something much bigger and more sustainable.

From my piece #NEVERAGAIN:

This is not about guns and school safety. Well it is … but it’s about so much more. #NEVERAGAIN is about empowerment. It’s about young people realizing they can create change directly – not just rely on their parents and other adults. #NEVERAGAIN has created a platform that highlights a new sense of adolescent civic self-efficacy.

Our young people are beginning to think they can change the world. They have the tools in social media, unbridled optimism and the energy they never thought could be used in the adult world. They are now finding out the adult world is theirs too. They’re finding out that their parent’s institutions and processes that are bedded in years and years of youth repression are not the only game in town, and their game may very well be more powerful … and they are masters at it. They had the key. They just didn’t know what it opened.

The key phrase above is “civic self-efficacy.” And the kids of #NEVERAGAIN are perfect examples of this line of reasoning because their job is learning. But this concept can apply to activists of all ages and all causes, especially those who are new to activism. The act of activism is preparation for more activism. So in essence, a movement is not just cause or content based, but rather a platform to individually build civic muscles; and collectively build an organization (and database) that can be mobilized for additional movements. And with each movement and each participation the New Power strengthens and proliferates.

So the next step (or last step) on the Participation Scale could be anything as long as it perpetuated the act of activism – and the responsibility of the organizer is not only to that of the movement itself … but also to contribute to the network and evolution to a truly networked, participative and responsive society, featuring the New Power.