So you want to change the world. Awesome! How do you get started?

Do you start with your (hopefully) revolutionary ‘big idea’? Do you first launch a website, file nonprofit papers, reserve a Twitter handle, or rally your friends?


You start at the very end. It’s a very good place to start.

Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” He may have been aiming for “generally inspirational” with that notion, but let’s use his widely known quote as a jumping-off point.

Literally – what is the change you wish to see in the world? Close your eyes. The year is [YearInYourFuture]. You’ve done it. You’ve changed the world.

What does the world look like now?

Is homelessness no more? Has cancer been eradicated? Do all the puppies have homes?

Many organizations or social change efforts employ what’s known as a logic model to explore this question. Logic models map out how one employs resources and takes certain actions to create changes (outcomes) that affect a particular problem.

For example, if you want to end homelessness in your city (ultimate outcome), what actions and resources will you need to pull it off (inputs) and what milestones will you need to hit along the way to make sure you’re on the right track (outputs)? 

Sometimes logic models can feel kind of sterile, though. So I made this road map, instead. I like to think of it as a sort of Candy Land for people contemplating how to make a difference (best viewed full-screen):

So, how do you change the world?

You start at the very end – with your ‘changed world’. This means you can step back and look at the obstacles that will be in your way, the actions you can take to overcome those obstacles, and the resources you will need to take those actions.


2 thoughts on “How to change the world

  1. Thanks for posting this, I need a kick in the pants sometimes to get going. I got started but stalled. Starting with the end in mind (Covey) is a good way to get going (again).

  2. Hi Stephen! Thanks for the comment. I’d love to hear more about what Covey has had to say about this, actually. Is that in his book?

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