SOPHOS AFRICA seeks to contribute to efforts to reduce the scarcity of transformed women and men who can transform society. In order for society to change, the multiplication of changed people is absolutely vital. So it is strategically paramount to stimulate, nurture and mobilise a critical mass of opinion leaders or change agents within churches, institutions, government, development organisations, political parties, media, businesses, and state organs. How can this be achieved?
An analogy from the COVID-19 pandemic is helpful here. Governments in Europe tried to keep the R (Reproduction) number under 1 in order to keep the infection levels under control. The reason being that if the R number is 1, 1 person will approximately infect 3 people; 10 people 30 and the number of infected people will grow exponentially. But if it is 0.5, 10 people will approximately infect 15 and 15 people will approximately pass the virus to 8 people. So, in order to minimise the impact of COVID-19, the R number should go down
For our purpose here, we replace the R number with the C number. C stands for Change Agents. According to the SOPHOS AFRICA model, the C number should go up rather than down. That is, in order for society to be transformed, a critical mass of transformed people must be multiplied. This would mean that when a certain percentage of a given population is committed to a transforming idea that change agents consistently promote, the minority opinion will become the prevailing opinion of the majority or the entire population
The question is how many change agents would be enough for a society to change? We base our answers on two research examples. In 2011, the Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in USA put the figure at 10%. In 2018, an online research carried out by the University of Pennsylvania and the University of London put the figure at 25%. If we take the average of 10% and 25%, it becomes approximately 18% of a given population. So out of 1.2+ billion people, Africa needs approximately 210 million transformed minds and lives. Ethiopia needs approximately 18 million transformed women and men to be a transformed nation. Thinking more realistically, if an organisation or a government office or a church has 100 people, 18 transformed women and men can change that organisation, government ministry or church.
In order to achieve this, SOPHOS AFRICA seeks to create a transformative ecosystem (a complex network of change agents) through group and public activities focused on achieving changed ways of thinking and praxis (mindset, culture and values), and changed ways of thinking and praxis coupled with wealth creation (holistic empowerment). This will be explained further a little later. But here it would be useful to consider five integrated strategic pillars.
SOPHOS AFRICA works with five integrated strategic pillars: