Our Theory of Change

The two loops model has been a fundamental piece of The Berkana Institute’s theory of change. As one system culminates and starts to collapse, isolated alternatives slowly begin to arise and give way to the new. In this video Deborah Frieze, Berkana’s former co-president, explains the two loops theory and speaks about the way that our work to name, connect, nourish and illuminate has fit into this model. She also identifies some of the different roles we might play to hospice the dying system, usher in the alternative system and make clear the choice between the two.

We believe that no universal solution exists for the challenges of this time: increased poverty and disease, failing large-scale systems, ecological degradation. But widespread impact does become possible when people working at the local level are able to learn from one another, practice together and share learning with communities everywhere. We have observed that large-scale change emerges when local actions get connected globally while preserving their deeply local culture, flavor and form. And we have called this trans-local learning.