What is Power?

What is Power? (1 of 4)


Why start with power?

Because it's our ability to shape the future. Inequality, discrimination, even the climate crisis - these are the results of unequal power relations in society. But people and communities have the ability to change those conditions, because power is within all of us, and we can flex it like a muscle. When communities come together to define the problems we face and the solutions we want, we can build our people-power through collective action.

In this module, you will learn:

  • Theories behind what power is, who has it, and what people-powered change means
  • Stories of people building people-power in their communities
  • Key lessons and reflection exercises to help you build people-power in your own community

You must register to see this content
Register or Login


What is power?

Power is our ability to shape the future through democratic participation, while achieving beneficial material outcomes for ourselves and our communities.

Unequal relations of power produce racial, gender, and class injustices among others. While people may be excluded by systems and structures, they don’t lose the capacity to act independently to change those conditions. 

This capacity to act is a muscle flexed in relationships with other people through collective action. It is a muscle that builds power.


Who has power?

We all have power within us. We can develop it when we get together with other people to think about the problems we face and the solutions we want. We build the power we need to make the change we want in collective action.

What does people-powered change mean?

People-power is the...