Influence for Good

How Highly Resourced Individuals can Support Systems Change

This report is for every Highly Resourced Individual (HRI)* who wants to help build a better future. We need powerful forces of change to address the compounding crises that strain our societies today. In this publication, carried out in collaboration with Ashoka, Generation Pledge, Echoing Green, Catalyst 2030 and McKinsey & Company, we look at how to strengthen personal capabilities for systemic change – the latest in our series aiming to equip stakeholders with tailored guidance.  

*Highly Resourced Individuals are those with considerable wealth and a general ability to influence social, business, and political circles, typically entrepreneurs, founders or CEO’s of companies.

Influence for Good Report

How Highly Resourced Individuals Can Work Towards Systemic Change

Looking with courage requires an honest appraisal of the status quo. Recognizing that the world isn’t perfect is a key step in systemic change as it allows you to appreciate where there could be less suffering, more flourishing, and less existential, environmental, and social risk. 

After you have looked out, you also need to look in: understanding your values and why you are motivated to pursue systemic change. Once you have a clear view of both the world and yourself, it’s possible to consider the broader question: how do you relate and contribute to this world? This step encourages you to review the impact of your assets, investments, and conduct. 

Once you understand the status quo, you can turn your attention to imagining a better future. Accepting the key role of evidence that is provided by proximate and subject-matter leaders is crucial for success at this stage – they will have a vision for how systems would need to change, and you can start by seeking to understand what that looks like. 

After working to understand the shared vision of your impact, it is time to act. Aim to orient your contributions along the most impact you can have, as advised by proximate and subject-matter leaders. It’s important that this work produces real change that fundamentally moves towards solutions to challenges and opportunities being addressed.

For problems that can be solved within a lifetime, this means aiming to ultimately remove the reason for your involvement (although not all systemic problems can be addressed in this timeline). In service of this, consider how you will track your progress and adjust your approach based on evaluations and honest feedback. 

What Questions Highly Resourced Individuals Should Ask Themselves

All those who decide to invest time and significant resources to address a social challenge want to make sure that their impact is maximized.

Highly resourced individuals who are engaging systemically for social change are on a learning journey. For this, they should iterate on the questions showed in the image, endorsed by practitioners and leading, interdisciplinary scholars in the field. 



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