The Call of a Global Movement: Laying the Groundwork for the Future of Changemaking Around the World

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The Call of a Global Movement: Laying the Groundwork for the Future of Changemaking Around the World

Network leaders from 30 Points of Light global affiliates, representing 27 countries, convened in Paris in April 2017 for the Global Network Gathering to share innovative strategies and impact stories, and discuss the future of changemaking.

Samen Voor Eindhoven, our Points of Light global affiliate in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

Voluntarios de Panamá, our Points of Light global affiliate in Panama City, Panamá.

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The call of a global movement, and the future of changemaking around the world, by @GaredJones of @PointsofLight:
Friday, June 2, 2017 - 2:20pm


From the time I lived in South Africa in the late 1990s, I’ve had this idea of a “future memory.” It’s an experience you know as clearly as a recollection from your past – say, jumping off a rope swing into a mountain lake as a child – but it hasn’t happened yet. It’s more than a premonition. It’s something you can visit over and over in your mind. You just haven’t lived it.

I stepped into my first future memory as I sat on a park bench in the middle of winter in Johannesburg and watched a black housekeeper walk by. In that moment, I sat in an experience I’d known from five years before. What I have learned since is that they are quite rare. A bit like sightings of the pileated woodpeckers that haunt the woods around my house. I’ve only seen a handful, though I frequently hear their calls.

Two weeks ago I stepped into another. I was standing in the hall of a crowded arts center in Paris with hundreds of stakeholders of Points of Light’s French affiliate, Benenova, listening to stories of everyday heroes being shared by Points of Light Network leaders from El Salvador, Greece, Brazil and India. Through the dim light I watched our Brazilian leader share a story in English to a bunch of French-speakers about a Haitian refugee who was now teaching French in a language program his organization had launched; the refugee would soon be rebuilding a school for her village back in Haiti. In that moment I experienced the arrival of a future that we had seen in only a glimmer – a fleeting sighting of the pileated woodpecker – six years before.

Points of Light is currently witnessing the emergence of a global changemaking movement. In the arts hall that night and during our global network meeting over the following two days, we had more than 50 leaders from 27 countries talking about the future of changemaking – 15 to 20 years out – and how we are innovating engagement strategies, storytelling, and community impact approaches (around refugees, the elderly, disenfranchised youth, environmental stewardship) to both anticipate and build that future.

Read the full story on the Points of Light blog.

Keywords: Social Impact & Volunteering | Changemakers | Community Involvement | Global | HandsOn Network | Points of Light | Positive Change | Social Change | Social Entrepreneurship | Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship | Volunteering