The Six Types of Social Change Agents: Which Type Are You?

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Everyone has the power to make a difference, whether big or small, local or global. A new study, ‘Social Change Impact Report,’ just released by Walden University identifies six distinct types of social change agents who are doing critical work around the world. The six are: Ultra-committed Change-Makers; Faith-Inspired Givers; Socially Conscious Consumers; Purposeful Participants; Casual Contributors and Social Change Spectators. Each group is unique in terms of engagement, motivation and causes. The study is a perspective of 9,000 adults in Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Jordan, Mexico and the U.S., discovering more about the people involved in positive social change.

Ultracommitted Change-Makers dedicate their lives to leading positive social change and are interested in different causes, believing strongly in their ability to make a real difference in their communities and feel happy as a result of their involvement. Plugged into technology, they are online initiating conversations about community action and believe social change should be taught at a young age. Growing up, many in this profile probably had parents who were active in social change. As adults, they engage in societal change at least once a month. Religion is a driving force behind Faith-Inspired Givers who cite their faith, not work or school, as a major influence. Many sharing this profile tend to be older than the other agents and less likely to connect online.

Socially Conscious Consumers often seek out products and services from companies they perceive as behaving responsibly toward people and the environment in the communities where they operate. This group tends to be influenced by a sense of social justice and drawn to “green” issues. They are online connecting, educating others about local and global issues. The Purposeful Participant engages in cause primarily to help them succeed at school or work. Pragmatic in nature, they place less importance on being personally involved in social change and less likely to donate money or services. With Casual Contributors, local community issues are their motivators and they see social change as important, yet not likely to make it a lifelong commitment. They are often older adults without children and not influenced by work or religious beliefs.

Finally, Social Change Spectators have engaged in social change at some point, though may not be active. They do not see their actions as impacting positive change in their community and have little experience with participating in social change in their youth. Typically, they do not believe it is important to be personally involved in causes.

In addition to establishing these profiles, the survey found that participation in social change is widespread and a result of people working together to address the issues most important to them. The findings reveal that education plays a vital role in providing opportunities for social change engagement and if modelled to children and started at a young age, could lead to more involvement in adulthood. Keen to discover your social change agent type? You can do so by taking the quiz.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia