October 30, 2020

Creativity in social transformation

The world is in crisis, but it could be a good thing. For actress America Ferrera and social transformation architect John Paul Lederach, this could spell the birth of a new society.

In this interview for The On Being Project activist/actor America Ferrera and social transformation architect John Paul Lederach talk about how crisis points are milestones to birthing new societies. Lederach introduces us to the concept of the 200-year present to help us understand that transformation is not a one-time change, but rather a long-drawn out process affected by older generations and will impact younger generations. Meanwhile, Ferrera believes that it is in the grappling for truths that real change begins to happen. 

For both Lederach and Ferrera, creativity is key to social transformation. Lederach says that social activists create a new reality out of that which doesn’t yet exist. To bring about this reality, one must learn to balance and respect both the anger and the love, of knowing when to complement, and when to condemn. Meanwhile, Ferrera says that in pushing for something new to come out to the world, we must live at the edge of our imagination and utilize forms of organization never before thought possible. 

While this article centers on social transformation in the US, it brings us several lessons about our own transformative work in the Philippines. How do we bring love back in this society of so much hatred? How do we create meaningful relationships towards a common goal for the future?