TIGE’s theory of change towards a just and sustainable economy has three dimensions.
1. Such change requires an inspired and committed individual.
Over the years, the TIGE community has been collecting and cherishing stories of inspiring and inspired leadership in business and economy. Whether these stories start from an ‘aha’-moment or a long and painful dilemma, what is common to them is that their main characters chose to act based on their sense of integrity and personal values. It may seem that the changes that these individuals have effected are incremental compared to the scope of problems we are dealing with. However, for them these changes and choices are fundamental and sometimes life-transforming, arousing deep emotions and connected to their sense of self-worth. We propose that without this first individual transformation the structural transformation is very difficult or very short-lived. Although economic transformation is definitely not a one-hero journey but a collective one, individual initiative is the first dimension in TIGE transformational process.
2. Such change requires socio-economic innovations.
Without understanding the current economic system and the ways in which it can be changed, it is almost impossible in the long run for an individual to stay inspired and committed. We apply our inspiration and commitment to do what we believe is good for the people and the planet, creating new business and economic models which, however marginal at first, have the potential over time to create a structural transformation for a just and sustainable economy. The TIGE community is a living fabric of such new models, which aims to conceive, practice, develop, support and illuminate them.
3. Such change requires an honest conversation between actors who often find themselves on the different sides of the economic barricades.
Honest conversation is a tool and a principle of the Initiatives of Change movement, and that of TIGE. No matter how uncomfortable it may be, over the years we have brought together corporate leaders and NGOs, bankers and their (disillusioned) customers, companies and their (vexed) clients, senior business leaders and students of business, government officials and citizens who they serve. These encounters have not always been pleasant. We have been accused of inviting ‘the enemy’ and giving them the chance to do their ‘PR’, ‘CSR’, ‘white-washing’ and ‘green-washing’. They have been accused of doing wrong things, or, if doing something right, not doing enough. However, we persevere, because we believe that these conversations are important and that we need to develop our capacity to host them, wherever we are.