TED Conversations

Todd McCune

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What are the social, economic, political and psychological factors hindering China's First Ladies from publicly opposing the abuse of women?

The key understanding Sheryl WuDunn’s challenge lies in understanding what it would take to change the behavior of a small number of individuals, not entire institutions or cultures. President Truman supposedly said about President-Elect Eisenhower, ““He’ll sit here, and he’ll say, ‘Do this! Do that!’ And nothing will happen. Poor Ike—it won’t be a bit like the Army. He’ll find it very frustrating.” Ask yourself this question: What would it take to convince approximately 200 women to publically support Ms WuDunn’s goal? The answer isn’t obvious. Let’s do a simpler thought experiment. What would it take to convince four women to support this organization and provide sustained public support for its objective? I’ll make the odds as high as possible and concede that two of these women have global name recognition and openly support Half the Sky’s goal. The other two women are extremely well educated and closely connected politically to powerful men. What are the odds two famous and influential women can persuade the other two to follow their lead? Why are they unlikely to succeed at this time? What could you do to increase the odds of future success? “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead