How make change happen.

Duncan Green’s new book How Change Happens

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How can we understand the events, individuals and institutions that change the world? Can we use this to change things for the better? How can we really understand how change happens?

How Change Happens

How Change Happens is a new book from Duncan Green which explores the major themes that make change happen in the world. Whether you are an activist, campaigner, development practitioner, lobbyist, entrepreneur, individual or an organisation, it seeks to understand how power and systems shape change, and how you can influence them.

How Change Happens is available to purchase or free to download as a digital copy.

  • Franics
    An indispensable guide for activists and change-makers everywhere.Francis Fukuyama
  • Amartya
    This is a splendid treatise on how to change the actual world—in reality, not just in our dreams.Amartya Sen
  • Winnie
    A book that made me think differently about something I have been doing for my entire life.Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International
  • Robert
    A wonderful gift to all development professionals and citizens who want to make our world a better place… It is a landmark, a must read book to return to again and again to inform and inspire reflection and action. I know no other book like it.Robert Chambers

Read more endorsements about How Change Happens

duncan2About Duncan Green

Duncan Green is Oxfam GB’s Senior Strategic Adviser. He teaches on international development at the London School of Economics, where he is a Professor in Practice. His blog is one of the most widely read on international development, and is named after his previous book to How Change Happens, From Poverty to Power.

Latest blogs from Duncan


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Explore the themes

We’ve curated content from around the world which highlights the major factors which enforce change. Do you have a case study, video, blog, article, etc. that you think shows how change happens? Fill in this form to submit your entry

Power & Systems

A ‘system’ is an interconnected set of elements coherently organized in a way that achieves something. Activists use ‘power analysis’ to explore who holds what power in any given system, and what might influence them to change.

Law & State

As both drivers of change and targets for influencing, states are often central. The machinery of the law – courts, police services, customary and international law – acts as an important counterweight to the state, but is often underestimated by activists.

Leaders & Advocacy

At every level of society, from the village committee or women’s savings group to great nation-builders, leaders reinforce group identity and cohesion, and mobilize collective effort toward shared goals.

International Systems & TNCs

The international system has a critical role in shaping society’s norms and beliefs. It is not enough for activists to declare ourselves either ‘anti-corporate’ or ‘pro-business’.
Whatever the starting point, we need to understand the traditions and mindsets of particular companies.