Double your Impact
Half your Time
One-Fifth your Cost

Two approaches to social change are contrasted in the above statement. One approach “delivers” life improvements through services provided by professionals (typically assistance from the outside, funded by the outside). The alternative approach “grows capacity” inside communities, training  local persons to use more effectively resources they already have (empowering and educating people). The two approaches are not either/or—both become more effective when done in together.

Future Generations has led research and evolved demonstrations in many countries that advance the empowerment/educate approach. The university’s scholarship here also draws on advances made by many empowerment/education advances. Using resources already there, staffed and paid-for, gives the four-fifths cost efficiencies. But to use these, the one-fifth cost concentrates in delivering learning (rather than the more challenging delivery of material). Using what is already there also speeds up service extension—time is not needed to develop effective transport/staffing solutions—and becomes the dynamic that drives the “half-the-time” aspect.

Decisions becoming localized achieves the “double the impact” aspect. This happens through utilizing local as well as larger knowledge global knowledge. Thus, a diversity of resources is gathered—in this most importantly is the creativity resource. Moreover, that creativity is gathered in diversity of problem-solving from community, expert, and outside persons, allowing the financial and materiel resources to be optimized at each moment and sustained across time.


Examples and evidence throughout this website explain the process which is termed SEED-SCALE. Additional explanation is on our parallel website: Two scholarly books written by the Future Generations faculty provide further explanation and evidence.


Just & Lasting Change

When Communities Own their Futures, 2nd Edition (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016)


Empowerment on an Unstable Planet

From Seeds of Human Energy to a Scale of Global Change (Oxford University Press, 2012)