Achieving change by transforming engagement

By Katja Jäger

Katja Jäger (biography)

How can civil society organisations, which rely on volunteer efforts, contribute more effectively to societal change? How can they position engagement with volunteers in a forward-looking way, so as to unleash the potential of committed people? What lessons does this have for researchers interested in social change efforts and in stakeholder engagement?

As a leader of a civil society organisation which works in the field of volunteer support, I am interested in how organisational engagement with volunteers can be most effective in supporting change efforts. Here I share a framework that we have found useful, along with four sets of questions for civil society organisations to reflect on in cooperation with their volunteers.

This work also aims to give researchers interested in social change insight into how they might effectively partner with civil society organisations, as well as how they might expand their thinking about engagement.

As a starting point, I have used the AQAL (All Quadrants All Levels) model shown in the figure below, which was developed by Ken Wilbur (1995) in his framework of integral theory.

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