29 November 2011

Design Power

Hacking on a workshop plan and thoroughly appreciating Power - A Practical Guide for Facilitating Social Change:

First of Power! “Power can be the ability to act visibly in ways that affect others, but it is also the power to act behind closed doors through more hidden and invisible means. Power can be about what is on the agenda, but also what is kept off; about who speaks, but also who does not; about whose voices count, as well as whose voices go unheard. As such, power is about what we see easily and experience directly, as well as what we do not see. For this reason, we need deliberate and creative ways to understand it and to make how power affects our everyday lives more legible and visible to ourselves and to others.”

And from Making Change Happen: Power (PDF):

“In reality, power is dynamic, relational and multidimensional, changing according to context, circumstance and interest. Its expressions and forms can range from domination and resistance to collaboration and transformation. This is good news for social justice promoters whose strategies depend upon new opportunities and openings in the practice and structures of power.”

Information design can be a useful tool to visualize and understand sources of power — and as a result facilitate the mobilization of power.