Pattern #34

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Felt Agency

Passivity and powerlessness serve neither quality of life nor wise democracy. When people see their voices and actions playing a meaningful role in public life, they experience an expansion of self and greater willingness to participate. So notice how social designs and activities contribute to or undermine participants’ sense of agency, and support empowerment.

  • What makes me feel like I matter? How important is that?
  • What’s it like to feel that I am having an impact? How does that feeling effect things like my self-image, relationships, willingness, and so on? Do these reflections suggest anything about how decision-making and public engagement should be handled?
  • Is it possible for people to feel like they are having an impact when they’re not actually having any or much? Or vice versa – to feel like they aren’t having any impact, but they’re actually influencing what happens? What should we keep in mind about that?

Going Deeper …

This is an edited version of the video on this page.

[The edited transcript of this pattern’s video will be posted shortly.]

Video Introduction (8 min)

Examples and Resources

  • The resources for this pattern are under development and will appear shortly.