Change is the only constant
Change is an abstract thing, it is not tangible, yet it is everywhere and perceptible by everyone.
People tend to try to oppose change and prefer to remain in their comfort zone, perhaps because they are scared or think that where they are is better than what they could encounter, but the truth is,if we are not able to embrace change, we will be left behind.
Our first Gamechangers session was all about change and the characteristics and importance of it.
The session began with a video called “Who Moved my Cheese.”At first it seemed quite bizarre, but as we kept on watching and took notes on the characters, we understood; it was introducing the theme of our first session: changemaking. The video was about different characters that metaphorically represented different parts of everybody’s lives there were aspects of intuition, motivation, anticipation and risk-taking, but the core of the video was to show us that change is inevitable and how important it is to get out of our safety blankets and adapt to different situations, embracing change and at times even anticipating it.
We were then divided into groups to write a proposal on how we would implement a change effort. The case study that my group picked was to introduce iPads in Italian public schools. We were given a framework, which we would apply to many changes we make in life: Why change? What are we changing? How are we changing it?
The first question referred to the reason for which we thought the change we were proposing should happen. We had to think about the reasons why giving iPads to students would help them in their academic life, so we brainstormed the benefits of using technology. Who could know better than our generation of teenagers? The first thing we thought about was to improve the tech skills of all students and the practical advantage of only having to use one iPad compared to many textbooks which are also very expensive. We then had to think about the roots of the problem, what was it that could have obstructed our plan or that could have previously prevented the introduction of technology in Italian schools. Of course parents, students and teachers were the ones who would be majorly affected so we thought about possible reasons why they might not appreciate this change; for example, their possible anti-technology mindset, a lack of knowledge about the usage of technology itself, or maybe a general laziness towards change.
Here was where the most important question came in, and this was how to carry out our plan. We had to truly understand all the stakeholders and what their issues against our proposal could be in order to create a strategy. Step 1 was to raise awareness of the benefits of our proposal through advertising, student testimonial talks and social media promotion. Step 2 was to persuade the stakeholders that our proposal could really benefit all of them by explaining the advantages: the practicality of the iPads, the independent research and fast and easy access to resources. During the session, we were taught that a way to do this, would be by appealing to the stakeholders feelings, this means not only convince them logically, but engage them emotionally in the change process. Our last step, supposing that the previous ones would have worked, was to think about the funding. Would parents be prepared to fund the iPads? Or would we need government intervention? And in both cases, how would we convince them?
Finally, we had 1 minute and a half to present our ideas to the other students, persuading them that our plan was well prepared and convincing them that our change was for the best. This was quite a hard aspect as we had such little time to present all of our ideas in an influential way and develop our thoughts in order to appeal to the audience.
In summary, the session’s purpose was to show us all the important aspects of change. The objective was to demonstrate how to confront, evaluate and lead situations of change which we will always have to face throughout our lives. Whenever a new situation approaches us we will know how to tackle it in the best possible way, and be able to adapt and understand its benefits and inconveniences. These aspects, in fact, apply to all changes in life: whether we regard them to be positive or negative. It is important that we learn what to do and how to do it in order to face transformation without being left behind.
By Dalila Battaggia, Gamechangers Program 14′