The term 'activist' should really be stripped of its obnoxious (and in many cases unfair) connotations and begin to be understood exactly as what it really means: acting resolutely in accordance with ones most dearly held principles. The crowds that have been marching in unity throughout the world show that this process is already under way and I urge every one of us to raise their banner alongside them in solidarity.
Every human is on their own 'hero's journey', each of us attempting to make peace with the greater parts of self. If you believe what's playing out in mainstream media and in our political and educational systems, you just might fool yourself into thinking that you don't have what it takes to create what you want.
How liberating that the industrial notion of needing money, qualifications, scalable ideas and established networks to realise your dreams is being augmented with the power of authenticity to drive your vision. Technology allows us to connect our authentic self to the social values of so many organisations, so if you believe, like us, the world is user-friendly then there is enormous game changing power to be had!
Hadia Tajik, the Vice President of the largest political party in Norway, was challenged on national radio by Health Minister Bent Høie; would she still punish drug users? Her reaction; being evasive, making a point of being against legalization and saying young people using illegal drugs at a party to 'act cool' should expect to be met with punitive sanctions.
This week the Prison Reform Trust and Women in Prison published a new report. It found that a chronic shortage of safe and stable housing for women leaving prison is leading to more crime, more victims and greater use of unnecessary and expensive imprisonment. Six in ten women leaving prison may not have a home to go to on release, and recent prison inspectorate reports suggest that the situation may be getting worse. Vulnerable women, desperate to secure a safe place to stay, are being deemed intentionally homeless and not in priority need. For some, getting sent back to prison seems like the only solution.
Voices and ideas from the areas of food, land, travellers, domestic violence, poverty, asylum and debt are all vital to finding grains of truth that allow us to face up to our Hidden Civil War. To face difficult truths in troubled times, we require deep collaboration, reflection and above all, listening.
At times like these, it's even more important than usual to have a variety of voices making sense of events. The diversification of online media has started to see a wider range of journalists, bloggers and social commentators developing their voices. But we need diverse artists too, to help us re-examine the past, question the present and imagine the future.
The other major disadvantage to the mainstream branding of social justice is that it's making the Right loathe us. From the point of view of a social conservative, social justice is the new normal in the public eye and especially on social media, meaning that their opinions appear sidelined, oppressed and unspeakable.
Young people across the world are giving up more of their time to donate to good causes. We have already seen the masses of research and reports about Generation Y, Z, Millennials, whatever the name is you want to call the now generation - they suggest that young people now have more of a social conscience than ever and care more about their impact on the world than their wages.