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Change agent archetypes

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I’ve noticed lately that I feel some guilt about not being “activist-y” enough. I like to think I drive change in my own way, but you won’t usually find me at a protest or knocking on doors. Part of me judges that I’m not a “real” change agent or doing the “real” work.

But another part of me realizes that we all drive change in different ways, some more vocal, some more subtle, some more immediate, some more long-term. What if we put a name to all these various change agents roles and archetypes?

Here’s what I came up with:

  • Activist – Speaking truth on the front lines
  • Researcher – Understanding problems and solutions
  • Communicator – Raising awareness of problems and solutions
  • Healer – Supporting the well-being of change agents
  • Intrapreneur – Changing organizations from within
  • Entrepreneur – Creating new organizations for the new paradigm
  • Artist – Expressing the pain of the current system and the yearning for the next
  • Preservationist – Protecting that which we don’t want to change
  • Satirist – Deconstructing our current systems
  • Dreamer – Envisioning our next systems

What’d I miss? Are you represented?


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Peter Schulte

Peter Schulte is the founder and editor of Kindling. Peter is also Senior Digital Engagement Associate for the Pacific Institute and the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate, connecting businesses to sustainable water practices. Peter holds a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A. in Sustainable Systems from Pinchot University. He lives in Bellingham, WA, USA with his wife, son, and cat.

1 comment

  1. Anya

    Translator– one who perceives commonalities that have been expressed using different “languages”, and find means of common expression that allow
    people to bridge their chasms

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