Organisational Change Management Volume 2

15. The Power of One Person, or a Small Group, to Make a Difference?

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. Most individuals perceive themselves as powerless, ie not listened to and/or unable to act to change conditions; they feel paralysed or impotent when it comes to changing things. Yet

"...Small groups of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that has..."

Margaret Mead as quoted by William Isaacs, 1999

. Just think of the religious icons like Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, etc who have changed the world.

. Think about the awesome power of one person, who could just be you, who could change the way history unfolds. Here are some examples of where one person changed history:

- in 1645, one vote gave Oliver Cromwell control of England

- in 1776, one vote gave America the English language instead of German

- in 1845, one vote saved President Andrew Johnson from impeachment

- in 1875, one vote changed France from a monarchy to a republic

- in 1923, one vote gave Adolph Hitler control of the Nazi Party of Germany.

. Some recent examples of a person, or small group, making a significant difference:

- Civil Rights (Rosa Parks & Martin Luther King)

- Cuban missile crisis (one Russian submariner)

- Holistic approach to development ( Brian Arthur & Geoffrey McNicol)

- Slow food movement (Carlo Petrini)

- Toshiba (one upset customers)

- Dell (Jeff Jarvis, upset customer)

- Monsanto (OK group of protestors)

- James Hardie (Bernie Banton)

- Harper Collins (one librarian)

- Arab Spring Revolution (Tunisian suicide)

- Independence of India (Mohandas Gandhi)

- Female liberation (Gremaine Greer)

- Fall of Soviet Empire (Mikhail Gorbachev)

- Environmental movement (Rachel Carson)

- Thalidomide (Francis Kelsey)- US Supreme Court in Muhammad Ali case as a conscientious objector (young lawyer changes Justices's opinions)

- Jabiluka uranium mine (owned by global miner, Rio Tinto) (2 Indigenous women activists, Jacqui Katona & Yvonne Margarula)

- China (Deng Xiaoping)

- South Africa's apartheid ends (Nelson Mandela) 

- Washington Post (Katherine Graham (Chairman & CEO) and Warren Buffett (maverick investor and board member)

- Tobacco (Dr Bronwyn King, Prof Simon Chapman & Hon. Nicola Rixon) 

- Severe Brain Degeneration (Dr Bennett Omalu) 

- International negotiator (James Britt Donovan) 

- Mathematician (Srinivasa Ramanjan)

- Pope ( Pope John Paul 2 ) 

i. In the 1950s a seamstress and a recently graduated divinity student ‐ both black - changed the nation (USA). In Montgomery, Alabama, the segregation laws prohibited black people from sitting in the white section of a bus. If a black person violated this law, he/she could be arrested. A small black activist, seamstress Rosa Parks sat down in the white section of a bus and refused to move. She was arrested, charged and fined. This one deed and resultant boycott of the bus system, etc., combined with the efforts of 26 year old Martin Luther King, Jr., set in motion a chain of events that culminated in overturning segregation laws in USA.

ii. In 1962 the USA discovered that Russia had secretly placed nuclear missiles in Cuba (around 200 km from USA) that could be used against the USA. This escalated into a political/military stand-off, called the Cuban missile crisis, when the 2 superpowers (USA and Russia) came very close to war. During this crisis 4 Russian submarines were dispatched to the Caribbean Sea, near Cuba. Each submarine was armed with nuclear weapons as torpedoes that were as powerful as the atomic bombs dropped on Japan ending World War 2. The USA had declared a quarantine (blockade) area around Cuba where it reserved the right to stop and search ships entering this area. One of the Russian submarines (B59) was detected by the USA Navy who used depth charges, etc to "encourage" them to surface in international waters outside the USA declared quarantine area. With no communications with the Soviet Government in Moscow, the submarine was allowed to act on its own initiative if 3 people agreed, ie Captain of the submarine, Political Officer and Captain of the Fleet. Owing to the USA Navy's aggressive action, the Captain of the submarine gave the order to prepare to launch a nuclear torpedo and the Political Officer agreed. But Vasili Arkhipov, the Captain of the Fleet, refused. This act stopped the launching of the nuclear torpedo that would have destroyed the US Navy Fleet above the submarine. If the torpedo had been launched, the USA, which was on full war alert, would have retaliated, with a resultant nuclear war; with dire consequences for the world.

iii. An economist, Brian Arthur, and a sociologist, Geoffrey McNicoll, were working in Bangladesh in 1970s. They spent months observing, gathering information and "doing nothing". This was the time when traditional economic models were applied by Western economists and development institutions, such as the World Bank, to developing countries without any real questioning of the models. Based on their work, Arthur and McNicoll developed a fresh understanding of how to approach and handle the developing world's problems, ie take a holistic approach. They showed how conditions such as landlessness and large families were self-reinforcing over time and how the standard "band-aid" fixers prescribed by international aid institutions resulted in maintaining the status quo

"...what they saw was new, and the paper they wrote helped shift focus on these institutions toward addressing fundamental socio-economic conditions rather than just standard economic indicators of development..."

Peter Senge et al, 2005

iv. The slow-food movement (favours local ingredients, ideally organic grown) started out as a protest against McDonald's opening in Rome's Piazza di Spagna. It was founded in the mid-1980s by Carlo Petrini, a left wing political activist turned professional gourmet (see volume 5 for more details). It bloomed into an international organisation that defends small farmers, local markets, agriculture diversity, artisanal producers, human dignity, small business and human health)

v. In June 1999, a Japanese consumer was upset about inadequate repairs to 2 allegedly defective Toshiba VCRs. He created a Web site about Toshiba's post-sale services, telling the story and demanding a formal apology from the company (plus $US26 to cover his shipping costs). He included audio recordings of customer service representatives' comments, such as "I'm not going to apologize for being impolite. Why should I?" On July 19 1999, Toshiba issued a public apology, withdrew a law suit against the site, and sent a vice-president to make a personal apology for rudeness. Even so, by August, the site had registered more than 7 million visits and generated extensive press coverage. Copycat sites with similar tales have sprung up, with some calling for a boycott of the company's products

vi. Jeff Jarvis, a blogger and magazine executive, alleges that he was mistreated by Dell over a problem with his $3,000 laptop. By using the Internet, he was able to humble a global organisational and its brand. Until recently, mass marketers could ignore individual disgruntled customers; with the Internet, this is no longer the case, as a few malcontents have the potential to destroy a brand's reputation.

vii. A small group of UK people working with the Internet caused a large global company, Monsanto, to suffer significant loss of reputation occurred. A group of concerned mothers joined together to discuss their concerns about baby food made from crops that were genetically modified. These mothers researched the issues and shared their findings. They approached supermarkets and stated that they would not buy baby food that included genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and wanted the foods with GMOs to be labelled as such. This was communicated to the leading baby food producers (Gerber and Heinz); rather than risk a consumer boycott, they removed the GMOs from their products. Furthermore, the mothers mounted an Internet campaign demanding that major grocery chains in UK label GMOs. Soon non-GMO products were trading at a premier. Monsanto countered by attempting to buy out seed companies and monopolise seed stocks and also persecuting many North American farmers for the crime of "seed saving". Monsanto's aggressive action led to its reputation plunging globally; it went on to record one of the biggest losses in US corporate history and the CEO resigned!!!!!!

viii. Bernie Banton was an Australian social justice campaigner and asbestos sufferer who was the widely recognised face of the legal and political campaign to achieve adequate compensation from James Hardie for the many sufferers of asbestos-related health conditions. James Hardie was an Australian-based firm that produced asbestos-based products for the building and other industries. These products led to the death of thousands of Australian workers and customers who were never informed of asbestos's dangers. It is estimated that James Hardie will have more than 12,500 claims against it for asbestos-related diseases (including deaths).

James Hardie developed strategies and structures to reduce its financial responsibilities to people who were adversely impacted by its asbestos products, ie

"... Hardie embarked on a cold, calculated strategy to maximise profits, minimise compensation and conceal the culprits..."

Matt Peacock, 2009

This included relocating the parent company in Netherlands and then Ireland; setting up an "underfunded" Medical Research and Compensation Foundation (MRCF) to handle Hardies's asbestos liabilities; moving assets out in Australia, etc.

In the early 2000s Hardie estimated that around A$ 300 million was needed by MRCF. Several years later it was estimated that the liabilities were around A$ 1.5 billion!!! James Hardie refused to accept any responsibility for the shortfall.

Banton had the support of a group of unionists, lawyers and activists who helped expose James Hardie's negligence; eg its senior management knew about the dangers of asbestos decades before it became a health issue.

After a judicial inquiry (which began in 2004), which was very critical of James Hardies's behaviour, protracted negotiations with State and Federal Governments resulted in Hardies agreeing to a compensation deal in Feb 2007. In May 2012, the High Court of Australia found that 7 former James Hardie non-executive directors had misled the stock exchange over the asbestos victims' compensation fund that it had established.

Bernie Banton's tireless advocacy was honoured when he was made a member of the Order of Australia in 2005. Unfortunately, he died from his asbestos-related health issues in late November 2007. He received a New South Wales government state funeral; and a new asbestos-disease research Institute at Sydney's Concord Repatriation General Hospital was named after him.

ix. A female librarian in a small US community who changed the mind of a very powerful, global organisation. In 2002, Michael Moore, winner of the 2003 Oscar award for Best Documentary with "Bowling at Columbine", and, more recently the director of the controversial "Fahrenheit 9/11"which was praised at the 2004 Cannes Festival, wrote a book called "Stupid White Man". Around 50,000 copies were ready for publication when the terrorists flew into the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001. As his book was very critical of the current political situation in USA, the publishers (HarperCollins) decided to pulp all copies. Needless to say, Michael Moore was shattered. Soon afterwards, as guest speaker at an annual meeting of a citizens' action council in a small US community, he spoke about the imminent fate of his book and recited extracts. In the audience was the local librarian. On hearing Michael's story, she wrote a letter to her librarian friends via a couple of Web sites devoted to discussing library issues. She wrote about the publisher's intentions and asked everyone to write to the publisher and demand that they release the book. Apparently thousands of librarians conveyed their opinions to the publisher. Owing to the pressure of this lobbying, the book was published. It became a best-seller with the first 50,000 copies sold within hours of release. Despite a virtual media blackout on advertising the book, by the fifth day the book was into its 9th printing!!!!

x. In Tunisia (early 2011), one young man set himself alight and burnt to death. This started a "people-based-grass roots" movement that swept the Tunisian President out of office; the momentum spread into Egypt, where the President was forced to resign. It is continuing to spread unrest throughout the Middle East & Northern African countries like Yemen, Iran, Libya, Syria, Bahrain, Algeria, Jordan, etc.

xi. Mohandas Gandhi successfully led India to independence. He used the concepts of "non-violent, non co-operation, civil resistance/dis-obedience, peaceful protest (Satyagraha), including "hunger strike" as a last resort, in the struggle to gain independence (Swaraj or Swarajya) from the British "Raj" by the mid 20th century (1947). In the early 20th century, the British Empire was at its military peak when Gandhi started to galvanise a dedicated core of followers who were representatives of the different ethical/racial groups (Hindus, Muslims, Untouchables, Brahmins, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians, Anglo-Indians, Jews, etc) of the 350 million Indians. Under Gandhi's leadership, they successfully used civil dis-obedience, etc to force the British to quit India, ie

"...The spindle in Gandhi's hand became sharper than the sword; the simple white sheet wrapping Gandhi's thin body was an armour-plate which guns from the fleets of the master of the seas could not pierce; and goat of Gandhi became stronger than the British Lion..."

Mikhail Noema (Arab poet) as quoted by Rajmohan Gandhi, 2008

His approach laid the foundations for the development of similar concepts like "freedom without violence", "reconciliation after violence", "empowering the weak or disadvantaged", variations of "people power", "civil dis-obedience", etc. Some examples are

- Martin Luther King, Jr with the civil rights movement in 1960s (USA);

- Dalai Lama handling the Chinese communists (Tibet);

- Nelson Mandela ending apartheid in the early 1990s (South Africa);

- Aung San Suu Kyi handling the military junta (Burma);

- Benigno Aquino toppling the Marcos regime in 1980s (Philippines);

- Ibrahim Rugova's struggle with Yugoslavia (Kosovo);

- Eastern Europe bloc countries ending Soviet communist domination in late 1980s;

- starting in 2011, the "Arab Spring"challenging and/or removing Moslem dictatorships (Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Syria, etc);

- earth's environment movement, like Greenpeace, starting in the late 20th century, etc

NB Although Gandhi was successful getting in the British to quit India, he was not successful in achieving other objectives like

- keeping the Hindu and Moslem groups in one nation. A new country called Pakistan (East and West) was established to accommodate the Indian Moslem population at Independence.

- ending the "caste system" in India.

xii. An Australian academic and journalist, Gremaine Greer, wrote a best selling book (The Female Eunuch) in 1970s. It was translated into 8 languages. This book helped popularise the "Women's Liberation"movements around feminism, equal rights for women, groups against gender discrimination, etc in the western world. Rather than seeking equality with men, she stressed the need for women to determine their own destiny by

"...embracing gender differences in a positive fashion - a struggle for the freedom of women to define their own values, order their own priorities and determine their own fates..."

Wikipedia, 2013

xiii. The last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev (President of USSR, 1990 -91) changed the face of the world's political landscape by reforming Soviet communism and ending the "Cold War"in the late 1980s. He introduced economic reforms called "Perestroika" (restructuring and reformation) that tried to free up the Soviet economy, and political freedoms called "Glasnost" (openness and transparency in government) that encouraged freedom of speech. Furthermore,

- his reorientation of Soviet strategic aims contributed to the end of the Cold War (with US and Western Europe);

- he ended the political supremacy of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) that led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and its "satellite" states.

- he encouraged the ending of the Soviet Communist domination by publicly stating that the Red Army troops were no longer in the business of keeping communist governments in power. This invited Soviet controlled areas, like East/Central European countries (Poland, Czechoslavia, East German, Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan etc); the Baltic republics (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, etc); Central Asian republics (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, etc) to rise up (mostly peacefully) and to remove the "Soviet controlled governments".

He was awarded the Otto Hahn Peace Medal in 1989 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990.

xiv. In 1962 Rachel Carson wrote a book called Silent Spring that focused on environmental problems she believed were caused by synthetic pesticides. Its publication was one of the signature events in establishing the environmental movement because it brought environmental concerns to the attention of Americans and the world.

Most of the book is devoted to pesticides' effects on natural ecosystems, but four chapters also detail cases of human pesticide poisoning, cancer, and other illnesses attributed to pesticides. The book catalogued the environmental impacts of the indiscriminate spraying of DDT in the US and questioned the logic of releasing large amounts of chemicals into the environment without fully understanding their effects on ecology or human health. She was not advocating the banning or complete withdrawal of helpful pesticides, but was instead encouraging responsible and carefully managed use with an awareness of the chemicals' impact on the entire ecosystem.

Although Silent Spring was met with fierce opposition by chemical companies and their supporters, it spurred a rethink in US's national pesticide policy, which led to a nationwide ban on DDT and other pesticides. DDT dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) is an organochlorine insecticide. First synthesized in 1874, DDT's insecticidal properties were not recognised until 1939. It was used with great success in World War II to control malaria and typhus among civilians and troops. After the war, DDT was made available for use as an agricultural insecticide, and soon its production and use skyrocketed. However, widespread agricultural use led to resistant insect populations, plus potentially negative impacts on environment, wildlife, humans, etc.

Her book resulted in a large public outcry that eventually led to DDT being banned in the US in 1972. DDT was subsequently banned for agricultural use worldwide under the Stockholm Convention, but its limited use in disease vector control continues to this day and remains controversial.

Along with the passage of the Endangered Species Act, the US ban on DDT is cited by scientists as a major factor in the comeback of the bald eagle, the national bird of the US, from near-extinction.

Silent Spring inspired grassroots environmental movements that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1970). Carson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter plus other prestigious awards.

xv. How in the 1960s a young female scientist saved thousands of babies from deformities and changed the laws around approving drugs for human use. Thalidomide was a drug used as a tranquilizer and painkiller, especially for pregnant women to treat morning sickness. Unfortunately, major birth defects, like children being born armless and legless, were found after their mothers took Thalidomide. It is estimated that the drug killed approximately 2,000 children and resulted in serious birth defects in more than 10,000 children in 46 countries. Despite the drug's acceptance in many countries (including in Europe and Australia), a young pharmacologist (Frances Kelsey) withstood strong pressure from the pharmaceutical industry and refused Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to market Thalidomide in USA. She stated that further studies were needed as she was not satisfied with the evidence presented to her. Her decision not to allow Thalidomide to be used in US by pregnant mothers saved many thousands of children in USA from being born with deformities. Once the negative side-effects of the drug were discovered and her role in preventing its introduction into the USA market known, she was hailed as a heroine. As a result of the public outcry about the Thalidomide story, the Kefauver Harris Amendment was passed unanimously by US Congress in October 1962 to strengthen drug regulation. Companies were required to demonstrate the effectiveness of new drugs, report adverse reactions to the FDA, and request consent from patients participating in clinical studies. The drug testing reforms required "stricter limits on the testing and distribution of new drugs" to avoid similar problems. The amendments for the first time recognized that "effectiveness" should be required to be established prior to marketing.

As a result of her blocking American approval of Thalidomide, Kelsey was awarded the President's Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service by President John F. Kennedy in 1962; she was the second woman to receive that award

xvi. How a young law clerk changed a US Supreme Court decision. After doing some research into the issues, young law clerk (Kevin Connolly) convinced his boss, one of the members on the US Supreme Court (Justice John Marshall Harlan II), to change his mind about rejecting Muhammad Ali's appeal against draft evasion charges. The 8 Justices of the US Supreme Court initially voted 5 to 3 to uphold Ali's conviction. Justice Harlan, assigned to write the majority opinion, became convinced that Ali's claim to being a conscientious objector was sincere after reading background material on Black Muslim doctrine provided by one of his law clerks. Justice Harlan concluded that the claim by the Justice Department had been a misrepresentation and he changed his vote, tying the vote at 4 to 4. A deadlock would have resulted in Ali being jailed for draft evasion and, since no opinions are published for deadlocked decisions, he would have never known why he had lost. A compromise proposed by Justice Stewart, in which Ali's conviction would be reversed citing a technical error by the Justice Department, gradually won unanimous assent from the 8 voting Justices.

Some background on Muhammad Ali ‐ he was born Cassius Clay. By the age of 22 he had won the world heavyweight championship in 1964 from Sonny Liston. Shortly after that bout, Ali joined the Nation of Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali. In 1967, 3 years after winning the heavyweight title, Ali refused to be conscripted into the U.S. military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War. The U.S. government declined to recognize him as a conscientious objector as Ali declared that he would fight in a war if directed to do so by Allah or his messenger (Elijah Muhammad). He was eventually arrested and found guilty on draft evasion charges and stripped of his boxing title. He did not fight again for nearly 4 years-losing a time of peak performance in an athlete's career. Ali's appeal worked its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, where in 1971 his conviction was overturned on a technicality. The Supreme Court held that, since the Appeals Board gave no reason for the denial of a conscientious objector exemption to the petitioner, it was impossible to determine on which of the 3 grounds offered in the Justice Department's letter the board had relied. Ali's actions as a conscientious objector to the war made him an icon for the larger counterculture generation.

xvii. In 2003 the Jabiluka uranium mine (owned by global miner, Rio Tinto) in Northern Territory (Australia) was closed. This was after 2 Indigenous women activists (Jacqui Katona and Yvonne Margarula ‐ the later being an Elder of the Mirarr People) led and organised a successful protest against the development of the mine on their traditional land. This was the first time traditional owners had successfully stopped a mine's development in Australia; furthermore traditional owners gained the power of veto on future development (Jabiluka Long-term Care and Maintenance Agreement, February 2005). After witnessing the lack of benefits to the traditional land owners from the development of the nearby Ranger Uranium mine, and with the support of environmental activists, these 2 ladies led the fight. The issue came to a head in 1998 with an 8 month blockade of the mine resulting in over 500 people being arrested. Having the support of the environment movement meant that mainstream Australia and the international community became aware of the struggle. Rio Tinto, being a global miner, became concerned about its public image. In August 2003, rehabilitation work commenced on the Jabiluka site, with 50,000 tonnes of material eventually put back down the mine.

(NB At the same time as the mine was closed, the price of uranium was falling)

xviii. Deng Xiaoping led the change in economic direction in China via reforms in the early 1980's that allowed market forces to take a more active role in the economy. This laid the foundation for decades of phenomenal economic growth in China after decades of economic stagnation. China is the world's 2nd largest economy (2013) and an estimated 0.5 billion Chinese were lifted out of poverty (see volume 5 for more details).

Archimedes states

" me where to stand and I will move the earth..."

as quoted by James Carlopio, 2007

"... it is hard to comprehend today that because most Europeans thought that the world was flat in the 14th century, it was then impossible to sail around the world - until somebody did it. Until 1960's, it was impossible to put a man on the moon. It was impossible to split the atom, to climb Mount Everest, to run a mile in under four minutes - until someone did it. It is now impossible to cure cancer, to travel faster than light, to feed everyone on the planet and to achieve peace on earth - until one of us does it!..."

James Carlopio, 2007

xix. Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist who served as the first black President of South Africa (1994-1999). He was elected in a fully representative democratic election; his government dismantled the legacy of apartheid by tackling institutionalised racism, poverty and inequality; he fostered racial reconciliation.

After the Afrikaner minority government of the National Party established apartheid in 1948, Mandela rose to prominence in the ANC's defiance campaign. Working as a lawyer, he was repeatedly arrested for seditious activities. Although initially committed to nonviolent protest, he co-founded the militant Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1961 and led a sabotage campaign against the apartheid government. In 1962 he was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment. After an international campaign, he was released after serving 27 years in prison. Amid escalating civil strife, he negotiated with the nationalist President FW de Klerk to abolish apartheid and establish multiracial elections in 1994. He led the ANC to victory in these elections. During his government of national unity he invited other political parties to join his Cabinet and promulgated a new constitution; he created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate past human rights abuses. He declined to run for a second term and became an elder statesman who focused on charitable work. He received more than 250 honours, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, the US President's Medal of Freedom and the Soviet Order of Lenin. He is often described by South Africans as the "father of the nation".

xx) Washington Post - Katherine Graham (Chairman & CEO) and Warren Buffett (maverick investor and board member) formed a powerful combination. She had no managerial/business experience before becoming chairman/CEO after the death of her husband, but on the other hand, she was an excellent selector of talented people, like Warren Buffett. Warren Buffett, in contrast, has an investment performance record "second to none". During her chairmanship (1971 - 93), the Washington Post's financial performance was outstanding, eg compound annual return to shareholders was 22%; compared to S&P of 7.4% and similar media organisations of 12.4%. This was despite having to navigate around sensitive political issues including
- Pentagon Papers (a highly controversial and negative Pentagon assessment of the war in Vietnam that the court had barred the New York Times from publishing. The Nixon administration had threatened her company's broadcasting licences if it published a report. They published.)
- Watergate (the political scandal in the 1970s about the illegal break-in to the Democratic Party's headquarters by some operatives of the Republican Party; with the subsequent cover-up by President Richard Nixon's administration, ie claiming to have no knowledge of this activity. Her newspaper researched & published this story that exposed the White House's cover-up which resulted in the resignation of USA President Nixon and indictment of around 70 people.

xxi) Tobacco (despite on-going research showing the major health risk of smoking, eg addiction to nicotine, causes cancer (there are around 70 chemicals in tobacco that are known to cause cancer), increases the chance of heart disease (strokes, heart attacks, etc), etc. The tobacco industry is a very powerful lobby group which resisted any restrictions on the sale/advertising, etc of cigarettes, etc. Yet in Australia, 3 people were instrumental curbing the power of the tobacco industry, ie
- Dr Bronwyn King (medical professional specialising in cancer who convinced the Australian financial industry, like super funds, etc to disinvest around A$2 b. away from the tobacco industry)
- Prof Simon Chapman (Public Health academic who was pivotal in convincing the government to only allow plain packaging on cigarette packets. This was the last place that cigarette companies could advertise their product).
- Hon. Nicola Roxon (Australian Minister of Health who was a champion supporter and in 2011 introduced legislation restricting cigarette packaging))

xxii) Starting in 2002, a forensic pathologist (Dr Bennet Omalu) conducts research on severe brain degeneration (chronic traumatic encephalopathy- CTE) that is caused by long-term impacts of repeated blows to the head. His research finds that some dead professional American football players suffer from CTE. Despite publishing his findings, his research is dismissed by the National Football League (NFL). In fact, Bennet and his supporters are harassed, eg one supporter is subject to a politically-motivated persecution on corruption charges, Bennett is forced to leave Pittsburgh as there is the threat of deportation or imprisonment for tarnishing the NFL's reputation. Several years later his research findings are accepted by the NFL and they are forced to take concussion issues seriously. (Wikipedia, 2016c)

xxiii) In the early 1960s, James Britt Donovan (international negotiator) was the American lawyer who defended Soviet spy Rudolf Abel during his trial in America; he took this case all the way to the Supreme Court and was successful in persuading the court not to impose a death penalty on the grounds that he could be useful in a prisoner exchange.  Then he successfully negotiated the exchange of the captured US U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers and American student Frederic Pryor for the convicted Soviet spy Rudolf Abel.  Later on he negotiated the release and return of nearly 10,000 prisoners held by the Cubans after the failed, US-backed "Bay of Pigs" invasion. (Wikipedia, 2016d)

xxiv) Srinivasa Ramanjan (an Indian clerk) is another example of an outsider making a significant contribution to a field in which they were not trained. At the turn of the 20th century, with no formal training, he showed exceptional skills in mathematics. His employer and other staff encouraged him to develop this talent, ie self-taught. He began communicating his ideas with leading university professors of mathematics. One of them (G. H. Hardy), at the University of Cambridge, recognised his talent and invited him to Cambridge. H e made many extraordinary contributions to mathematics including mathematics analysis, number theory, infinite series, continued fractions, etc. His exceptional skills became recognised and he was made a fellow of Trinity College (University of Cambridge) and the Royal Society (England). In 2015, his life story was made into a film called "The Man Who Knew Infinity" (Wikipedia, 2019b) 

xxv) Pope John Paul 2 is recognised as a catalyst who helped end Communist rule in Poland and eventually in all Europe. He was elected Pope in 1978 and died in 2005, and was the first Polish Pope. The Solidarity movement (main opposition to the Communist rule) in Poland thrived owing to his support. Also, he improved the Catholic Church relationships with other religions like Judaism, Islam and other Christian churches like Eastern Orthodox Church and Anglican. His celebrity status was reinforced by his travelling to around 130 countries during his pontificate. 

You just never know when you might instigate a ripple effect and ramifications way beyond your expectations. Your action might be the "straw that breaks the camel's back". That small choice you make could be the one that makes all the difference in bringing about some important change. And, you don't have to be bold, courageous or brilliant; you just need to keep your hope up and stay true to your values and beliefs!!!!!

One person, or a small group, can made a very significant difference!!!!!!!!!

sources: Michael Moore, 2002; Annette Simmons, 2002; Donald Horne, 1997; Karlson Hargroves et al, 2005; William Isaacs, 1999; Peter Senge et al, 2005; Maverick Spirit, 2008; Paddy Manning, 2008; SBS, 2102; Matt Peacock, 2009; Wikipedia, 2012; Wikipedia, 2012a; Wikipedia, 2012b; Wikipedia, 2013; Wikipedia, 2013a; Wikipedia, 2013b; Wikipedia, 2013c, SBS, 2013; Daron Acemoglu et al 2012; Wikipedia, 2014; Wikipedia, 2014a; Wikipedia, 2014b; Wikipedia, 2015; William Thorndike, 2013)


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