Praszkier, R., Nowak, A., and Coleman, P. T. (2010). Social entrepreneurs and constructive change: The wisdom of circumventing conflict. Peace and Conflict: The Journal of Peace Psychology, 16(2), 153-174.
Ashoka Fellows—social entrepreneurs—often operate in a context of conflict as they challenge critical social problems that are seemingly hopeless and unsolvable. This article presents the strategies they employ, such as building new positive attractors (i.e., social capital) outside the field of influence of the conflict attractors; as a next step, they build a feedback loop between the success of their initiatives and reinforcement of social capital. Through subsequent positive experiences, they introduce constructive change outside of the field of conflict in a manner that modifies the societal balance based on higher levels of trust and tendencies to cooperate. Through this strategy, they make conflict less relevant and less salient. Several case studies are presented as illustrations of this approach, and general principles are identified.