The foundations of the green movement – Part 4: Empowerment



In order to navigate the paradigm change, the green movement emphasizes the need for active citizenship. Empowerment (both on political and business level) are essential concepts for this.

The official definition of empowerment can be found here, what it comes down to in the end is that people become aware of the possibilities around them, their strengths and the strengths of others in order to translate these possibilities in feasible projects. On a societal level, this can lead towards what is referred to as ‘the Big Society’, a society where social transformation as a result of active citizenship is standard. In terms of paradigms, you can say it’s the shift from ‘Power over’ to ‘Power with’.

The learning process of empowerment is characterized by three bigger concepts: Linking, bridging and bonding:

  • Linking: influencing each other, combining different views on the same topic (interconnectedness)
  • Bridging: Shaping learning and continuously growing networks with free information sharing
  • Bonding: Joining forces in order to attain the shared goal more easily and more efficient.

In the end, empowerment should lead to a resilient society that is capable of coping with crises and is able to reorganize effectively when necessary.

When we’re talking about an entrepreneurial environment, empowerment is a very effective tool to stay focused on long-term goals while still getting the short term rewards that are essential to stay profitable.

Next week:

    Part 5a: Sustainable economics

Part 5b: Sustainable economics – Green growth, steady state or degrowth?


About leyssensjan

Jan Leyssens is a designer and entrepreneur who strongly believes you can’t turn sustainability into a positive story if your main focus is on negative impact. When designing, he is always looking for the overlap between activism and entrepreneurship, technology and community. His main expertise lies in strategic business model development, Circular Economy, the makermovement, and social innovation. With a background in Industrial Design, Jan quickly shifted his focus towards business design and using the design process in strategic management. Jan is the father of two kids and founder & CEO of Regenerative Design, co-founder of Full Circle, ImpactBoost, and the Circular Design map, podcaster, storyteller, and changemaker.

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