Alexandra Rachelle Silcait

Alexandra Rachelle Siclait: What is large-scale change?

August 17, 2020

If you have looked at the Bush Fellowship application questions, chances are you have seen the words large-scale change. But what do those words mean in terms of the Bush Fellowship?

The Bush Fellowship is an investment in your leadership development, based on your leadership track record and your vision for transformational change in your community. If you become a Fellow, we are investing in you because you are thinking of making vast changes in your community and have partnered with people in your community to identify problems together. You are considering extensive shifts in systems, processes or patterns of outcomes.

When it comes to the application questions about large-scale change, many applicants identify the need for change, talk about raising awareness of an issue or focus on a single solution to a problem. Yet, large-scale change requires you to think bigger, beyond the existing situation. Large-scale change consists of transformational actions to bring about more desirable outcomes in your community.

It is the difference between:

  • Working within the system -or- working to remodel the system.
  • Relying on known patterns to solve challenges -or- reimagining new frameworks.
  • Simply tweaking current structures and mental models -or- redesigning ways of thinking and behavior patterns.

We are looking for aspiring Bush Fellows who continuously push their vision to have a huge impact; whose large-scale vision includes building inclusive, anti-racist systems regardless of the issue; and who are thinking big about how their vision will actively engage and activate their community to make change happen. Applied well, this can sustainably change attitudes, beliefs and behaviors.

As you think about your vision for large-scale change, ask yourself:

  • Does your vision affect a whole or a portion of a system?
  • Does your vision create a mental, behavioral or paradigm shift in you or others?
  • Does your vision impact many people or just a few?
  • Does your vision inclusively reflect your community’s needs and wants?
  • Does your vision include multiple stakeholders across systems, and commitments from members of your community to act?

As you reflect on these questions, your potential and vision of change for yourself and your community, think about how you will need to grow in order to influence the kind of large-scale change you hope to make. Then, develop your Fellowship plan to help you build the leadership skills, experiences and connections you need to build your vision with community. I hope you consider applying for the Bush Fellowship!