The Power of Collective
On a sunny Tuesday afternoon, around 12-15 individuals came together on a little street in Jayanagar, Bangalore. The goal – to clean up a small area of footpath that had been littered with garbage, leaves, branches and debris; and had stayed this way for months.
Within a few minutes, the work silently began; of segregating the garbage, bagging it, sweeping any leftover mud, levelling the land and painting the footpath. The task continued, amid sceptical municipal sweepers, a confused garbage collector, an amused car driver and curious pedestrians. The garbage collector picked up the bags of segregated garbage and left the scene. To our delight, he returned, half an hour later with potted plants to add to the newly cleaned and painted footpath. No one had asked him to.
The site clean-up was just one example where the ‘power of collective’ came alive during the Kids Education Revolution’s Retreat, held earlier this month in collaboration with Reap Benefit. It was a microcosm of the idea of a movement. The shared experience was a reminder of how simple change-making becomes when enough people are inspired by and committed to a common goal.
A collective is a group of people working towards shared goals, bringing in not only physical manpower but also a wealth of experience, resources, ideas and perspectives that drive progress. Members of a collective channelize their skills, efforts and energy in the same direction. It goes without saying that more the people, the greater the impact.
The KER retreat was a space to explore and experience the power of a collective. During the retreat, students, educators, parents, principals, founders alike radically collaborated and brainstormed on ideas to create safe spaces for students and explore the different ways in which students and adults can partner with each other to re-imagine education. What emerged from that discussion was a large pool of ideas, a network of support and significant learning for all the parties involved.
It may take just one Greta Thunberg to spark the need for change, but it is the hundreds and thousands behind such Gretas who echo and amplify her voice and efforts towards faster and deeper change. Want to build a movement? Build your collective!