A Model for Mapping Meaningful Social Change: The Kade Method

Submitted by Sudhir Kade on Tue, 09/22/2009 - 13:11.

I've spent several years now developing theoretical pieces toward a sustainable future and now seek to apply the theory to effect pragmatic positive change for our region.

Today I'll detail the approach for mapping and laying the foundation for social change, just one part of my current consulting methodology.  This approach is grounded in concepts key to asset based community development (McKnight, Northwestern)  and simple but smart network mapping.  Here we assume a design team or action team (like ours from the Sustainability 2019 Summit) is tackling this work.


Maximizing Sustainable Synergy and Value for All System Stakeholders

Core Premise: Community Development and Economic Development are equated and advanced by framing a goal of quality of life and place enhancement (Sustainability)

1.  Identify the sphere of influence you want to effect positive change with (ie. develop community and build synergies)

2. Define the PHYSICAL Civic Space as :  For-Profit (FPO), Non-Profit (NPO), Government (GOV) and Education (EDU).  This refers to the spaces in which we engage and relate to one another in person.  Picture these four domains at the ends of a cross, and connect the cross ends (tips) to form a diamond.  This was the cross-diamond configuration I first conceived of years ago, representing the tight integration of diverse domains.  The idea is to build strong collaborations that are cross sectional, spanning each of these domains to create richer and more robust wholes.   The collaboration between Green City Blue Lake Institute, CWRU, Fairmont Minerals, and the City Office of Sustainability is a good local example of this in real life.

3.  Define the parallel VIRTUAL Civic Space as :  For Profit (.COM), Non Profit (.ORG), Government (.GOV), and Education (.EDU).  Note: These domain names are the most popular for each of our four defined domains in terms of civic space, but there are others that fit for each sphere (i.e. .NET, .BIZ) but for simplicity sake, start here.

4. Now identify the major and key players organizationally and individually within each domain.  List these on a spreadsheet, categorized by domain.  Have the entire group contribute collaboratively and co-creatively to grow this map so it is as rich as possible.

Note:  This is made easier via the Virtual Route - simply find websites for each of the organizations listed, if they have them, and note their domain names, allowing you to place them in the correct category domain.  Simply searching online can help you do this - tap aggregated networks like, for example, the  localfoodcleveland.org network for a themed search.

5.  Identify the key competencies, strengths and assets for each of the players listed.  Also identify the core needs of every player listed. Try to capture the essence of the organization's mission and vision in a notes field.

6.  You want to build lasting collaborations that are win-wins (mutually beneficial and lasting for each party involved). This is best done when complementary assets are matched to equitably mitigate risk and cost to both parties of the partnership, or all parties ( a win to the nth power) comprising the collaboration defined.

Now a richer and even more robust layer of progress representing true quality-of life-enhancement holistically - ARTS, EDUCATION, ENVIRONMENT, ECONOMY, HEALTH, TECHNOLOGY.  Note that these very same tags define the top-of-page taxonomy for realneo.us itself, which I developed in order to demonstrate holistic quality of life enhancement via virtual means. 

We want to have a robust representation of organizations advancing these six spheres, and striving to integrate them.  The Ingenuity Festival of Cleveland is a great example of this.  This event started as a nexus of ARTS and TECHNOLOGY but when I worked for 2 years to green the festival (bringing in the ENVIRONMENT piece, a richer whole resulted).  The super-nexus (integration point) of these six spheres represents the greatest intersection of value - and truest sustainability in this framework.

Okay, now for the links that help enrich and explain this.  The logo I use on my business card and which serves as my avatar is a good representation of this six sphere integration. This integration allows collaboratives of six to generate six diverse revenue streams from funders or via six diverse stakeholder supply chains.  Six great advisors of global expertise, at least one for each of the six domains, would make the 'dream' advisory council to help drive outcomes for the cause or collaborative spanning the six domains.

So this is the essence of the technique.  The spreadsheet should have fields for all of the major ones I mentioned above, and then this can be translated to a database if one wishes.

The map I detail here needs to be robust and representative of all stakeholders of the community - it also needs to universally accessible and  transparent to all stakeholders so everyone has an equitable opportunity to derive value and optimally serve and support the stakeholders of the system.

On a big picture level, if we drive both physical and virtual wheels of social change, we can picture these rotating like the two  spools of a cassette tape, running in parallel, to lift up the whole system where change is being made.  The entire system lifts up like a helicopter with two propellors, moving up an upward spiral of positive change (see OD theory: Spiral Dynamics).

To put this model in action, we need to employ it meaningfully.  This is just beginning to happen with the Local Food Group from the Sustainability 2019 Summit, who will use this method to frame and launch its efforts, thanks to my new friend Diane Morgan.  Kudos for her appreciation of this method and allowing me to present it in greater detail to her team next meeting.  This allows direct application of theory to better drive a full-circle, local foods supply chain here in Cleveland.

Theory in Action = Positive Change making.  I am so glad to be part of it, and all of REALNEO are welcome to join in.   Peace.

Making Sense of Good Ideas

Hi Sudhir,

Interesting theory; tying into something(s) I've been contemplating as well.

It is my assessed belief that Cleveland (NEO) would benefit from having a grassroot infastructure for economic growth and sustainable empowerment via some sort of "development authority" much like the one we have here in Atlanta...The Atlanta Development Authority (ADA).

For many months now I have asked (to the RealNeo audience) the question of: what is being done, beyond blogging, to make positive--lasting change in NEO

Feedback has been limited, but encouraging nonetheless.

Now in reading your "hypothesis" it would seem that you are thinking along the lines of what might have been traditionally thought of as urban planning; except you are going beyond the bounds of physical space and architectual domain, to include the meta-physical, virtual and the economic modalities.

I have viewed the diagram(s) found at the links you provide; also having briefly scanned over your "Corporate Citizenship" paper.

You have done much research and it appears to be a great set of ideas; even if it's quite a lot to absorb at one time with no tangible CAD model, PowerPoint presentation or non-fiction book on the subject, to hold and examine in my hand--with my eyes--from various viewpoints of scrutiny.

Hence if you have not already created one or more said educational mediums for your broad theory, I would encourage you to consider doing so; parsing each component down within a more digestable, laymans framework.

Brilliant ideas, however thoughtful, are of little avail if they cannot be readily understood by a 10 year old.  As a published writer, magazine editor, artist, theorist, inventor, architectural designer and preservationist, I say this not to discourage you; only to inform you of the challenges I have had to face in transforming huge ideas into tight, easily conceivable concepts that can be described in less than 2 minutes.

Just a thought...for whatever it's worth.


Eternal wisdom

Your feedback is valued and appreciated.  I am inspired by the time and effort you've taken to assess this social change and positive change framework, Eternity.  I certainly shall develop educational and experiential channels to better broadcast and raise awareness to the approach.  I plan to pursue a PHD over time, and teach these methods once they can be proven through real-world applications -that should be one good channel to address our future leaders.  However,as you've recommended, I will also strive simply communicate this to the masses and our youth to engage and include and involve them.   Please feel free to assist me in doing so, if you should wish - I extend that invitation to anyone who wishes in the greater community as well.  Co-creation creates richer outcomes for us all.   Many thanks.  Someday we might find just the inspirational cause to use this method in global fashion, to help effect global good.  For now I'll focus locally in my immediate environs - with local foods, local economy, local community.