Activity 13 – 30 days of starting a movement

The talks

Activity 13 is the culmination of a few of the activities so far, but it has been mainly inspired by Activity 11.
There are two talks that have influenced the development of this activity: Derek Sivers: How to start a movement; and Seth Godin on the tribes we lead.

Derek’s talk is about the importance of the first follower, and how they can be more important than the ‘lone nut’ who starts the movement, since they transform the lone nut into a leader. Seth talks about the fact that leaders need to find something worth changing and assemble tribes to spread the idea, as the means of creating a movement.

There have been two more recent talks that have provided me with inspiration to really pursue the I am not just a… blog as my movement. The first is Frank Warren: Half a million secrets which is about the creation of one of my favourite websites, PostSecret. The second was a recent talk from Tavi Gevinson: A teen just trying to figure it out about her Rookie website, which I’ve only recently discovered but love the concept of.

The challenge

This one should be pretty clear, my challenge is to start a movement. If you’ve been reading the blog it should be fairly obvious why this is a pretty extreme challenge for me. For those of you new to this, I am an introvert so I am really not comfortable putting myself out there, and less comfortable with causing controversy.

With that in mind, I’m hoping that as the ‘lone nut’ I find some a couple of first followers (probably extroverts) who see the value in this activity. These people will then hopefully pass it onto their tribes, growing the movement.

According to Seth, in order to be the leader of the movement I need to: challenge the status quo; build a culture; develop curiosity; connect people to each other; have charisma (which apparently the movement will give me); and show commitment to the task. I’m not entirely sure how I can/will do all of this, but I’m up for the challenge.

And if it fails, since I am likely to be asked this by some people in my life? Well the process of starting something is part of the TED challenge, a successful movement would just be a bonus as far as I’m concerned.

The activity

My something, or my movement if you like, is called “Challenge you preconceptions”. It’s not just about the I am not just a… blog. It is about getting people to focus on at least one of their stereotypes; to acknowledge that stereotype; learn more about the actual condition of people in that group; and be aware of just how their judgement of this impacts the way they deal with people they believe fit into that stereotype.

In 30 days of preconceptions I learned a lot about just how quickly and often I judge people in my daily life. I’ve commented that the majority of this wasn’t necessarily negative, but there were times that I felt myself start to act differently with people because of my preconceptions about them. The thing is that although I identified many of these preconceptions, I didn’t really challenge them that much.

So this activity is to try to start a movement around the concept of “Challenge your preconceptions” and give people a chance to engage with each other around it.

This activity will commence on 15 May – I hope that I can inspire you to be a part of the movement.

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