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Mei Cobb

By Mei Cobb

What Kind of Social Change Agent Are You?

05/12/14


What Kind of Social Change Agent Are You? main image

When it comes to advancing the common good, are you a Purposeful Participant, a Social Change Spectator, or something else altogether? And if you work with volunteers, would you like to know more about Ultracommitted Change-Makers and others who are likely to get involved with your cause? 

Walden University’s 2013 Social Change Impact Report was designed to provide a barometer of who is engaged in social change, what is important to them and how they work together to advance social change issues. “Positive social change” refers to involvement in activities that improve the lives of individuals and communities locally and around the world. In other words, a social change agent can include anyone who Gives, Advocates or Volunteers. 

It turns out that there are six distinctive profiles of social change agents: Ultracommitted Change-Makers, Faith-Inspired Givers, Socially Conscious Consumers, Purposeful Participants, Casual Contributors, and Social Change Spectators. You can quiz was developed based on the results of the segmentation analysis.take a quiz to discover what kind of social change agent you are. And, important to those of us who seek to mobilize volunteers, the report describes the key motivations, interests and levels of involvement of such people throughout the world.

Walden University’s research confirmed something we see firsthand at United Way every day: being involved in advancing the common good is still important and widespread around the world. The findings also reveal that if children see and participate in social change engagement at a young age, it may lead to more involvement in adulthood.  Furthermore, nearly all adults surveyed agree that it is important that schools provide opportunities for young people to be involved in positive social change activities.

The Social Change Impact Report includes perspectives of more than 9,000 adults in Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Jordan, Mexico and the United States. This global view of social change agent segments is fascinating. For example, China has the highest percentage of “Purposeful Participants” (43%), whereas Germany has the lowest, at 14%. In Brazil and India, more people fit the Ultracommitted Change-Maker profile than the others while in the U.S., the survey participants are fairly evenly divided among the six categories. The report also compares each category by age, gender and education. For example, in Canada and the U.S., Ultracommitted Change-Makers tend to be younger than other social change agents. Depending on the country, education or social justice is considered to be the most important positive social change topic, and adults engaged in positive social change tend to support more than one issue or cause.

As someone who works every day to tap into what I think is a pretty natural inclination for most people -- to want to help others -- this research is helping me think about current and prospective United WayAccording to Walden University’s 2013 Social Change Impact Report, nearly all adults (93%, on average) agree it is important that schools provide opportunities for young people to be involved in positive social change activities. Findings also reveal that if social change engagement is modeled to and started at a young age, it may lead to more involvement in adulthood as 89% of adults, on average, agree that being involved in positive social change as a child or teenager inspires people to be involved as adults.  volunteers in new ways. Whether you are an Ultracommitted Change-Maker, a Social Change Spectator or fall somewhere in between, United Way offers everyone a way to Give, Advocate and Volunteer. No matter where you are in the world, come be a social change agent with us!

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