Interest in creating programs like Ceasefire to halt urban violence regularly comes from other governments and organizations from across the globe. The current staff of 20-30 individuals, however, struggles with the amount of labor and communication required to train, implement and execute a program similar to Ceasefire. Founder Dr. Gary Slutkin believes the interest can be better transformed into action through a comprehensive communication plan focused on the idea that “violence is treatable.” Early ideas from the team surround street teams, sharable content, broadcast messaging, distributing workloads, and re-education.
The hurdles presented by changing public perception of violence from a law enforcement problem to a public health problem presents a large change management predicament. Dr. Gary Slutkin summarizes the difficulty of transforming public perception through an adage called “3 Steps.” In the adage, you can succeed in influencing new behavior if your messaging is one step ahead of the prevailing public opinion. Two and three steps ahead of current conceptions, however, will result in disenfranchisement and even creating angered opposition to the messaging (hate in some cases).
A recurring suggestion surrounds the SETI@home method – or offloading detailed tasks of being an interrupter to the general public. Deciphering the details of those tasks and how the general public can easily participate will be the focus of some team members in the coming hours. Topics circulating include materials people can easily share with friends or volunteers for community awareness events.
Any ideas on how people can simply participate with Ceasefire? Send suggestions through the hashtags #ceasefire or #ux4good.
Andy Angelos @andyangelos