Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society.
“When the number of committed opinion holders is below 10 percent, there is no visible progress in the spread of ideas. It would literally take the amount of time comparable to the age of the universe for this size group to reach the majority. Once that number grows above 10 percent, the idea spreads like flame,” said SCNARC Director Boleslaw Szymanski, the Claire and Roland Schmitt Distinguished Professor at Rensselaer.
Inspired by this provocative research, The Circles USA Board of Directors has approved a major, high-impact strategic plan to achieve a 10% tipping point in the United States to eradicate poverty! By 2021, we plan to have Circles in 10% of all counties (300 of 3000 counties) and 30 of the 300 major cities.
Circles USA will engage with communities interested in the tipping point by supporting these four stage of development:
- ASSESSMENT—Asking questions: “Is Circles right for our community? Do we have the leadership and resources to start a Circles program in our community?”
- CIRCLES IN THE MAKING—Getting started: If your community is ready and willing to start Circles, you will enter into a planning agreement with Circles USA (CUSA) to lay the foundation.
- CIRCLES DEMONSTRATION—Taking action: You are now implementing Circles to support families out of poverty, collecting data, and assessing outcomes. You are asking, “How is it working in our community? Do we like the results we are getting? Have we been able to secure resources to sustain and grow the Circles program?”
- SCALING TO A TIPPING POINT—Moving forward: You are happy with the results and can see the potential of growing Circles in your community to end poverty.
As Circle Leader graduate Rebecca says, “We have changed our lives so profoundly that we will not move back into poverty again.”
How many more children do we have to raise in poverty before it is gone? How many more families will we let live with the constant anxiety of not having enough money to meet their basic needs? It’s overwhelming and we can end the suffering so that everyone has a real opportunity to get out of poverty and thrive.
The time has come to intentionally pursue the end of poverty in our nation, in our lifetime!