DILC and the Problem Lady; Phase 1, the activists

The Dialectic Issue LifeCycle Model (DILC) is a very cool heuristic for thinking about how some societal problems become issues, what industry does when the problems climb the political agenda and how the issues are (or aren’t) ‘resolved’.

You can see an old video I made here, that stars its progenitors, Prof Frank Geels and Caetano Penna.

The DILC has five phases, and looks at three categories of actors in detail – those trying to get the issue onto the agenda, those trying to keep it off/to shape the problem into a soluble issue, and the state functionaries (elected and non-elected).

Last year I came up with the idea of each of these ideal types writing letters to an agony aunt during each of the phases.  I will publish these 15 (well, 16) letters, one per day, over the next two weeks or so.

Today, Phase one, the activists

Dear Problem Lady,
We are passionate activists, from the pressure group Raise The Alarm. Why does nobody care? We’ve contacted journalists, other activists, everyone. They just give us blank stares. This issue is Important, dammit. What should we do?

Activists Trying To Engage Normal Types In Outrage Now

What can I say, ATTENTION? You know the answers, but you wish there were a magic bullet. There is only hard work, timing (aka luck) and reflection on how you are going as you’re going (you have got some success metrics sorted, haven’t you?) Don’t give up. Unless you should give up, of course.

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