WHERE SHOULD WE GO?
We humans have been asking this question of ourselves and our communities for millennia; however, for most of us, throughout most of history, acting upon our answers was too costly. That’s putting it too mildly. How about culturally prohibited, criminalized or violently quashed? Indeed, manifesting social change was reserved for the wealthy and powerful few. Their stories were the stories that shaped the arc of social change. That’s no longer true. Well, it’s still sorta true. However, advances in technology are dismantling significant barriers to our entry into the storytelling space. In turn, increasing numbers of us have the historic opportunity to offer up our own answers, connect, collaborate, and collectively participate in the process of local and systemic change.
After thousands of years of living in hierarchically organized human civilizations, we – the masses – have the opportunity to share our stories. For social innovators everywhere, it’s a great time to be alive!
However, many of us may not know where to begin. That’s perfectly understandable. Seriously, it’s only been a couple of decades since we’ve gotten this opportunity. But, imagine how the arc of social change would bend if we knew where and how to begin.
THE HTCTW CHECKLIST
The HTCTW Checklist is a freely available, do-it-yourself, social-good-project-building-blueprint that gets you and your idea for changing the world started in a self-funding manner. It’s a comprehensive step-by-step guide that is chronologically ordered and accompanied by free tools, resources, and how-to-guides.
And, since it’s the start that stops most of us, I also offer a free online HTCTW Course for those looking for more guidance with the checklist and a bit of help with dissipating the paralyzing fear that attends the beginning of any new project.
WHO’S THE HTCTW CHECKLIST AND COURSE FOR?
Anyone who imagines the world differently, imagines it better, more just and livable, more democratic, humane, and beautiful.
WHO’S BEHIND THE HTCTW CHECKLIST AND COURSE?
My name is Shawn Humphrey and I’m a serial social innovator with a knack for mobilizing globally recognized organizations and movements on a meager budget. And, just to get this out of way at the onset, I am also a white, heterosexual, cis-gender man. Looking at me from afar you could say “He won the privilege lottery!” It’s true. I did. Yet, life is complex. Because, I’m also part of the Appalachian diaspora. My people ventured out of Hazard County Kentucky in the early decades of the 20th century. We ended up scattered along the edges of Cincinnati. I grew up near-poor, poor and then near-poor again along the Ohio River. At one time or another, my people and I have been called white trash, hillbillies and river rats. My step-father went to jail when I was 15. Government issued peanut-butter and asking for food we could not afford from the up-the-street grocery store are part of my heritage. I was small-town fortunate though. I had an abundance of good people around me (neighbors, teachers and coaches). Indeed, my high school football coach secured scholarship money for me to play at his alma mater. As a first-generation college student, I struggled; but, ended up finding my way.
If I had not won the privilege-lottery it’s less likely that I would be in a position to share these words with you in this manner. Not impossible. Less likely. But I did. So, here I am. Sharing this with you was not easy. But, as you’ll learn, doing this and other things like it are part of the work. The necessary work of earning one’s self-possession – a prerequisite to changing the world. And, I would like to earn the honor of walking alongside you as you pursue your work.
ISN’T HTCTW A GRANDIOSE NAME FOR A CHECKLIST?
It is. But, consider this causal chain of reasoning. One way that we can change the world is by changing public policy. And, who changes public policy? Politicians. Now, let’s be honest. Politicians are politicians. With enough of a nudge, their public policy positions will shift with public sentiment. Public sentiment changes with changes in our culture. And, how do we alter our culture? Storytelling. Storytelling is just us. You and me showing up and sharing our lived experiences with others. It is also you and me sparking conversations, launching campaigns and mobilizing movements. Now, this causal chain of reasoning makes changing the world sound quick and easy. It is not. Far from it. Sustainable social change is a long and arduous process. But, the HTCTW Checklist is a place to begin.