Priti and I were talking to someone earlier this week about building a youth movement for sexual and reproductive health. This person questioned how lots of investments in individual youth projects could eventually scale up to become a movement. This person doubted that line was so clear.

Indeed, this is an enduring question for all of us seeking positive change in our world. How do individual actions translate into bigger change?

I don’t think that for a second we can discount the huge importance of small, individual acts. It’s only through individuals feeling a connection to an issue, talking to their friends, shouting into the wind for things to be better, that real change can happen.

I’m particularly struck by the dominance of corporate and consumer culture in our efforts to achieve change today. It seems that so many folks – not all, of course, but many – are as interested in the t-shirt or the wristband or the cool photo on Facebook as actually changing things. Add the fact that most “youth organizations” seem to be dominated by bigger parent NGOs run by, well, not youth.

Where does this leave those of us who are trying to build a youth movement? Thoughts?