American Civic Life

WATCH: 3 Videos on How to Build Solutions that Enact Social Change

By Staff
Eboo Patel in the Stand Together video. Video screen grab

Eboo Patel in the Stand Together video. Video screen grab

In recent collaboration with Stand Together, Interfaith America president and founder Eboo Patel outlines how to move beyond criticism to build solutions that enact social change.  

Watch these three videos to learn more about the importance of religious diversity in America, three tips to enact change, and one piece of advice for any leader. 

Society needs less critics. Here’s why. 

If you want to positively change the world, be prepared to act instead of criticizing current systems. That is a lesson that Eboo Patel learned firsthand after realizing that he spent more time talking about problems than he did building solutions.

Patel outlines three pieces of advice for changemakers: deciding to be a builder and not just a critic, telling a story that combines dissatisfaction with hope, and providing solutions. He believes that when you build something effective and inspiring, it has the power to influence others to make positive changes as well. 

The role of faith in America today, in 5 minutes

Diversity in the United States has long been a proud hallmark of the nation’s identity. However, this diversity has recently taken on a divisive tone, with an “us versus them” mentality overshadowing the unity it could foster. Eboo Patel wants society to reshape its perspective on the role of diversity in America; specifically, religious diversity.

He advocates for harnessing religious diversity as a source of strength and collaboration, rather than letting it become a battleground. Patel suggests replacing the antiquated “melting pot” model with a more inclusive “potluck” model, where individuals contribute their unique cultural and religious backgrounds to create a richer, more harmonious society. 

A presidential advisor’s #1 leadership tip

Leaders are often good at identifying strengths in others, but the same is not always true when identifying them within themselves. That is why Eboo Patel advocates for leaders to metaphorically “stand on the balcony” — an idea coined by Harvard lecturer Ronald Heifetz. This can be difficult because leaders are often engulfed in the daily operations of their organizations. But Patel believes that by stepping back and observing patterns, leaders can focus on enhancing what they do best, turning these bright spots into engines for improvement. Ultimately, knowing and focusing on one’s core competency can lead to more meaningful contributions and collaborations.