Theory of Change #3: Inner Transformation

by | Jul 6, 2020 | ShiftHappens

As grassroots service and individual action bloom in the world, we believe it is important that each changemaker cultivates a lush and verdant inner garden, too. This is why we advance the ideas of #heartivism, which is the intersection of heart and activism.

Activism can sometimes begin as a reaction to negative events, or a desire to save the world. Coming from this place, as well-intentioned as it may be, may not enrich our lives in the long-term. In fact, it can sow seeds of anger and division.

What good does it do to project our vision of what is right into the world, when those same things we dislike also reside within each of us? If I want to remove hate from the world, we have to remove hate from ourselves. If we want to add more kindness to the world, we have to be kinder. No one can give that which they do not have.

Instead of “saving the world,” let us serve the world. This seemingly simple shift is actually quite profound. If we serve rather than save, ego and judgment are no longer the center of the equation.

We can come from a place of equanimity, meaning we remain calm in the face of adversity. We can discern rather than react.

And most importantly, good deeds alone are no longer the primary channel through which we can bring about more compassion and kindness. Our very presence and walk in the world can be an abundant harvest of peace and goodness, freely nourishing anyone we meet.

This is the third in a series of blogs highlighting The Pollination Project’s Theory of Change. Click here to read the introduction, here to read the first post on uplifting individual action, and here to read the post about building capacity & collaboration.


Academic professionals Carla Forte Maiolino Molento and Rodrigo Morais-da-Silva founded Cell Ag Brazil at the end of 2023 with support received from The Pollination Project. The objective of the newly created association is to reflect, contribute, and promote the development of cellular agriculture in Brazil through proactive promotion and unifying actions among different audiences interested in the development, production, and commercialization of food through cell cultivation processes. 
With a seed grant, they founded the organization and designed a logo that represents their mission. They are now inviting people and organizations to participate in the association so that it gains greater relevance. 
Their members will be distributed across three chambers: 1) academia, 2) private sector, and 3) third sector and civil society. With this, they aim for diverse representation and to create a positive movement to act in different areas to promote and accelerate alternative proteins in Brazil and Latin America.
Billions of animals involved in food production in Brazil will be impacted in the medium to long term from this work. Data from IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) indicates that approximately 6.1 billion chickens, 56.5 million pigs, and 30 million cattle were slaughtered in Brazil in 2022. 
With this association, Carla and Rodrigo may help reduce the number of non-human individuals involved in food production as they help to speed up the replacement process with alternative proteins.
In this World Day of Social Justice we celebrate the transformative impact of The Pollination Project and our dedication to seeding the essential change our world needs. Since its inception, The Pollination Project has been at the forefront of empowering grassroots initiatives, providing the crucial support needed for small-scale projects to blossom into powerful agents of social change.

Our unique model of micro-granting has enabled a diverse array of projects across the globe, touching upon various facets of social justice including environmental sustainability, poverty alleviation, gender equality, and human rights. From providing clean water solutions in remote villages to empowering women through education and entrepreneurship, we always believed in the power of individual action to create a collective impact.

Each project funded is a testament to our faith in the inherent goodness and potential of every person to contribute meaningfully to the betterment of society. These initiatives not only address immediate community needs but also foster a culture of empathy, equity, and inclusiveness - essential pillars for achieving true social justice.

On this World Day of Social Justice, let's draw inspiration from the myriad projects The Pollination Project has nurtured. Their work reminds us that each small seed of kindness and action can indeed grow into a mighty force for good, paving the way for a more just and compassionate world.