Here at Positive Spin, it is our belief that every social issue is an early childhood issue. We are also very well aware that we alone cannot create the kind of paradigm shift it is going to take for us to actualize our vision for the future of children and families in our communities and across our nation. With our efforts deeply rooted in movements that are already generating the kind of energy it is going to take for us create change: the women’s movement, the labor movement, the ACES movement, the civil rights movement, the environmental movement, the positive education movement, and the movement to end gun violence for example, it makes sense for us to understand how we are all connected so that we can maximize the potential of the energy that we are creating.
Complex change happens only after we successfully engage in systems thinking. Simply stated, systems thinking is the understanding that any change within a system, big or small, impacts all other parts of the system. Adopting systems thinking offers us hope as it assures us that whether our plan is to have a courageous conversation that might generate change in our home or school, or if we are motivated to march to the state house to knock on some doors, it is within our power to influence the system. Along with this understanding comes responsibility. If we are indeed going to participate in the creation of the future, we must be intentional and mindful of the impact our actions have on the system. By engaging all stakeholders in the process, we are taking an important step toward generating what Positive Spin calls Ultimate Momentum.
Engaging stakeholders begins with revealing the key players and allies that influence and support our work. Ultimate momentum is a project underway to capture and connect all of us crazies who believe that we can change the world - because together, we can! What started off as a tool that Positive Spin used to help guide the energy and passion of our community members, Ultimate Momentum is now becoming a visual representation of the change-makers, the joy seekers, and the individuals and organizations refusing to give up hope and instead are remaining committed to doing the demanding work of positively shaping the human experience. These are the people we are connected to. The people who are on our team. The people we can, and must, call to the table for diverse perspectives, challenging dialogue, new ideas, and possible solutions. The people that we may not necessarily agree with, who will support our development of self-awareness and of empathy. The people who will inspire us to find common ground so that we might come together and move this mountain. It is time for us, individually and collectively, to recognize that we are no longer against the system. Instead, we are the system.