Movement Building

How change happens – building a movement

Looking back at key moments in history, it’s clear that the tides often turn because of the emergence of a movement for change. Each of these historical movements centred on a higher set of values. These values were grounded in both personal action and concrete demands for government policy – often taking advantage of the opportunities that come after economic, social or environmental shocks.

No matter where you find yourself in Africa, you are likely to be amongst a people whose core values espouse co-operation, inter-dependency and relationship. These are values which can be found in scripture, alongside principles that promote relationship amongst people; between people and the earth; and between people and God, as a way of life.

Abundant Africa seeks to unite and inspire a movement that applies African values and biblical principles to develop a narrative for Africa’s economy that could see the continent creating new opportunities for work and becoming the first region that builds an environmentally sustainable economy whilst pulling its citizens out of poverty.

We need stories that help Africans and our societies to make sense of where they are, how they got there, where they are trying to get to and how to achieve change. Stories that define our worldview and have the potential to create our reality as much as they describe it. Stories that marry unflinching realism, a profoundly hopeful vision of the future and, above all, a deeply energising view of what people are capable of.

Today, we need stories that help us to think in terms of a larger us – one that moves from ‘people like us’ to simply ‘people – like us’. A longer future – beyond the next news cycle, the next financial quarter, the next election – looking out instead for generations to come. And a better ‘good life’ – an understanding that security, consumption and well-being are not three words that all mean the same thing.

As we journey towards building movement there are a number of questions which we need help in answering:

  • What stories can we tell of dreams for our future as we imagine abundant life for Africa?
  • What African and Biblical stories or imagery can we use to explain restorative economic concepts?
  • What is required to empower African citizens to expand their agency to organise and mobilise a movement for change?
  • What structures or activities could help sustain this movement work at a community, national and continental level?