Last night, this quote popped up on my Facebook feed and got me thinking – first of all, is it valid? There was a vivid discussion in the comments about whether lone action can actually make a difference if the system in which those actions are embedded remains the same. Currently, I am doing research on so-called “transition movements” that try to transition society as a whole into a more sustainable lifestyle, simultaneously shifting technology, policies, but also mindsets – and the mindsets are the hardest part! Once people make different value judgments (e.g., on whether they prefer to spend money on experiences rather than goods, or what percentage of their income they are willing to spend on good food), the technology will follow along to enable them to do so. But how many people have to change their individual attitude for societal change to occur? As one of the commentators remarked,
A lone action by millions is a powerful voice.
What do you think, where should the shift to more sustainable food systems occur first? In individual mindsets or in overarching policies and systematic changes?