This week Michael Sandel at Harvard talked about Aristotle's Politics. Sandel compares the art of politics to playing an instrument, telling a joke, and cooking. Theses disciplines cannot be learned just from a book or by watching others. Great political orators like great musicians, comics, and cooks must be actively engaged in their craft, practicing consistently, to become masters of it.
Social change is the same way. We can read and write about social change. We can study it. We can be inspired by others who are actively generating social change though only by rolling up our sleeves and participating can we understand the particulars, the details, needed to create change. Change requires trial and error, a variety of approaches, and practice.
In the coming weeks I'll be attending the final projects, called Wow!s, for this semester's Citizen Schools afterschool programs. Attending these sessions will give me an idea of what I need to put together for Innovation Station, the afterschool program for 6th graders in East Harlem that I am building around the concepts of innovation and entrepreneurship. I will learn so much by attending these Wow!s, though I know that this Spring I need to get in there and test the methods myself. I'm looking forward to the practice.