This Boot Camp, from the Story of Stuff Project, offers "an exercise plan to make the world a better place."
One of the huge challenges in the environmental movement is learning how to help more people see themselves as activists, and to help them build the skills needed to be changemakers in their communities.
In a culture of one-click petitions and instant online activism, it's pretty easy to feel like we're making a difference with our virtual actions, even if we don't actually have to do anything different in our daily lives, and we can't see any 'real-world' effects. And while this form of environmental and social activism may have its place as a method of raising awareness about the issues, and of educating others and amplifying our own voices, it's only part of the solution.The other part of the solution, and the one which promises to much more powerful, is to learn how to be changemakers in our offline communities, and to do so in a way that fits naturally with our own personality. We don't all need to go door-to-door canvasing for issues, and we don't all need to occupy a tree or a city park, because there are a number of different roles that changemakers can play.
According to the Story of Stuff Project, there are six major types of personalities for making change, each with their own unique abilities, and are defined as Resister, Networker, Nurturer, Investigator, Communicator, and Builder. Each of these types are needed, and even if you've never considered yourself an activist, you might find that your strengths can be an integral part of how change is made. If you're curious where you are on this spectrum, take the Changemaker Personality Quiz.
"No matter who you are, you have a particular role to play. Not just people with the signs who are angry. We need people to design strategies, write checks, develop new materials, etc. People weren’t seeing themselves as activists and with potential to make change. The quiz seeks to change that mindset." – Allison Cook, Story of Stuff Project
Now that you're of a mind that you can effectively help make change happen in your community, it's time to learn how to flex your muscles - your Citizen Muscles, that is. If you don't remember this concept from The Story of Change, founder Annie Leonard (who is now the Executive Director of Greenpeace USA) explains the concept in this quick clip:
The Story of Stuff offers an exercise plan for your Citizen Muscle, in the form of an online boot camp that features videos, hands-on activities, interactive online practices, and tips for bringing the practice of flexing those muscles in our daily lives. It's a four-week program that takes 1-2 hours per week, and promises to provide its participants with the skills they need to make change on the issues they care about, both in their local community and in the world at-large.
Here's a quick video intro to the Citizen Muscle Boot Camp:
Sign up for this Boot Camp at the Story of Stuff Project, and learn how to get your citizen muscle into shape.