This summary is based on a power point presentation that included the Conceptual Model of Communication for Social Change from November 2001.


Desirables for Communication and Social Change
  • Democracy and Civil Society Initiatives will become more prevalent
  • Human rights, women's rights and pro-democracy movements will continue to grow
  • New institutions - small, community based, self-sufficient, accountable - and new ways of operating
  • Institutions will emerge around the globe
  • Organisations will become more accountable, transparent and efficient
  • Cheaper, easier technology will become accessible, more widespread.

Probables for Communication and Social Change
  • Use of communications technology will continue to expand exponentially
  • Traditional institutions/frameworks will continue to be questioned - small, responsive, local initiatives in response
  • Ethnic issues will override national boundaries
  • Globalisation will increase - either concentrating power or leading to greater freedom of expression

Trends in Communication

  • Now possible to work in real time with instant feedback
  • Increasingly possible to communicate world-wide without filters of censorship, advertising or institutional control
  • Shift from sending messages to accessing information from the ground-up [from one-to-many to many-to-many]
  • Move to horizontal communication, away from top down hierarchic approach
  • Evolving from delivering a message to 'pushing' or 'pulling' from the bottom up
  • Successful movements have visual elements - flags, symbols, fads, gestures
  • Speed of change is accelerating


  • Use new technology to shift the balance of power - away from governments and corporations - by providing individuals with the ability to communicate directly across boundaries
  • Information processes and messages need a 'target' audience
  • Use 'proactive communications' - support individuals and communities to use information technologies to engage in improving their own circumstances
  • Lobby the traditional institutions that control the media
  • Use vivid, personal images
  • Support people using their own 'voices'
  • The more personal the communications, and the less institutional, the more effective
  • Enable communities by providing them with access to communications technologies to help express their aspirations
  • Promote horizontal communications and dialogues in communities
  • Connect [free] local libraries, schools, village halls, community centers, universities
  • Support a corps of reporters who act as independent eyes, ears and pens of the international community
  • Advocate for the concept and viability of public service broadcasting

'Communications and Social Change: Forging Strategies for the 21st Century' The Rockefeller Foundation, April 1997.