16 April 2015

How to live well

Some interesting ideas from Alex Evans about the importance of building a movement

"Rich and I set out the need for a different theory of influence. Many of us who work in the fight for development, justice, and sustainability have I think been feeling the limits of theories of change that rely primarily on ‘insider lobbying’. We take that here as our starting point for asking what an alternative approach might look like: one that places much more emphasis on how we build new grassroots coalitions, transform values, and tell each other much deeper stories about where we are, how we got here, where we might choose to go next, and who we really are."

and then what those movements should do

We argue that it starts with the changes that all of us need to make in our own lives. This is partly because of the direct impact that such changes can have, of course, but we think the main issue here is something to do with the quality of intention that movements exemplify. Wherever movements not only demand but live out the change they want to see in the world, there’s a raw power there that can exert the kind of non-linear effect on politics that progressives so urgently want to see.

and from the full report

In practice, we think there are five areas that each of us needs to think about, which we describe in more detail below:

1. Live within our fair share of the world’s resources and environmental limits
2. Respond to poverty and inequality with radical generosity
3. Speak out prophetically
4. Use our power as a voter, a citizen and a consumer
5. Live restoratively and prioritise relationships

All of this is in a report for Christian Aid and supported by references to the bible rather than econ journals. Personally I’ve shifted somewhat from a Dawkins atheist to a de Botton atheist, and think there are important lessons here too for emerging secular congregations.