Sex, Slactivism, and How Not to Change the World

Brianna Plaza at the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction reached out to let me know they entered GOOD Maker’s TEDxUChicago Speaker Challenge to present their “Learning Our Way Out” project in Ethiopia.

The project supports community-led efforts to talk about the relationship between family planning and poverty. IIRR’s TEDx talk is about the women AND men who wanted to change their communities from the inside out by leading their friends and neighbors in discussions about the poverty they all faced, what was causing it, and how they might address it. These conversations allowed the communities to openly discuss family planning and early marriage’s effects on women’s education for the first time, coming to the realization that over-population was a burden they could no longer bear.

Participants in the Learning Our Way Out (LOWO) Program

IIRR believes this story needs to be heard because it is such a great example of how putting a community in the driver’s seat of their own development is more effective than sending in a foreign aid agency to “educate the people”. When it comes time to make a change in the world, we too often resort to quick “clicks” or heavy-handed, large-scale development efforts run from offices far away. They believe more people should hear about the effectiveness and sustainability of community-led development. That this is an “idea worth spreading.”

So do I.

So let’s help get them to the TEDx conference in Chicago in 2013 by voting for them HERE.
Voting ends June 4th.


This post originally appeared at:


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Tags: Ethiopia, International Institute of Rural Reconstruction, TEDxUChicago, community-led development, family planning, poverty, slactivism


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