The Power of Contagious Ideas

| 2/10/2011 1:48:15 PM

 Orca off Tofino British Columbia 


Anyone can initiate small positive changes by creating beautiful things and enterprises that foster abundance, and by focusing on fairness in their daily affairs.  

To create major change, however, we need ideas that are contagious. 

In his book The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell demonstrates that, “Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do.”[i] Gladwell compares HIV and a recent fashion craze for Hush Puppies shoes. When a virus–or a shoe–catches on it can spread across the globe almost instantaneously.   

Footwear might seem like a frivolous example but fashion provides us with an excellent model for the creation of contagious ideas. Fashion is an ideal technical example of how one develops a collective human vision. From year to year, human beings around the world collectively alter their vision of beauty. Millions of individuals suddenly subscribe to a new idea and implement it in their own lives, sometimes at great expense. The mavens of haute couture are global experts in the art of forming–and reforming–collective vision. 

3/15/2011 1:42:18 AM

In my opinion you are correct in your statement that “Thou shalt not…” as the opening salvo of environmental correctness just doesn't cut it. As for myself I never liked it and have ignored positive information that was in fact beneficial but I didn't like it because it condemned me from the onset. If the information was presented in a more positive light such as here is a money saving idea, or try this new twist on an old idea, I might have tried it. Simple ideas put into a more positive light with direct benefit such as use those coffee grounds for healthier house plants work much better than compost your coffee grounds for a better environment. If there is a direct financial or otherwise direct worthwhile benefit as viewed by the consumer the idea will fly on its own. Improve your health with a backyard garden stimulates interest and that is the way to change.

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