Rethinking scale – a response

Shilpa Jain

For most, the concept of going to scale invokes a sense of the large, the systemic, the external. It brings to mind replication, expansion and spread − like tentacles, ever-reaching, ever-growing. But taking a single project, or a concept, and trying to make it ‘work’ for everyone leads to forced, false constructs and a single vision of ‘success’ or ‘the good life’. It negates the beauty of the diversity of human existence.

Instead, we at the Global Youth Leadership Collaborative (GC) invite a different perspective on scale − inviting a billion flowers to bloom into many possibilities of human life. As the Zapatistas say, ‘we want a world that embraces many worlds’. Going to scale for us means linking the personal, the interpersonal and the systemic levels of change. We have to look at who we are as people today, what is happening in our relationships, and what is happening in the communities and world we live in, then try to bring each level into alignment with our deepest values.

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