Finding the fulcrum

Civic Action12 Sep 2009Patchanee Malikhao

The opening ceremony of the SBS Center Communication for Sustainable Social Change was a great success. Scholars, students and senior administrators crowded the room. The highlight of the event was, of course, food for thought from Prof. Robert Cox about environmental communication. He pointed out that strategic communication is needed to mobilize both the grassroots and the elites to the realization that global warming is an emergency issue. Without structural change, such as legislations and controls for pollutants, people won’t be able to transform their awareness and attitudes into actions. We don’t need those old-schooled social marketing and PR tactics to just disseminate messages or let people march on the street for one day. We really need collaboration and co-ordination among organizations, lawyers, activists, congressmen, scholars and the people at large to plan so that the next generations could contribute to “lasting change”.

I listened to Michael Jackson’s song, “Man in the Mirror”, while writing this blog. The song is about looking at yourself and change yourself first before you want to change the world. I think that changing yourself is good but not enough. (Sorry, MJ). That is what Professor Cox reminded us of. That tactics won’t lead to actions, but strategies will. It is a matter of time, not space. That’s right, Prof. We need to join forces to find the invisible fulcrum to move the world (aka: remove the structural obstacles)! No matter how long it will take.