San Francisco Bay Area

Leading Large-Scale Social Change in Arts & Culture


February 27-28, 2019

From Indian independence to marriage equality, history is packed with examples of large-scale social change. Behind many of these changes lies a social movement: collective action by ordinary people working outside existing institutional frameworks toward a common goal, with the intent to disrupt the status quo.

As the line between organizations and social movements continues to blur, leaders from each sphere increasingly stand to learn from one another. Leading Large Scale Social Change in Arts & Culture is a two-day interdisciplinary seminar on February 27-28, 2019 in San Francisco that builds an understanding of the key levers available to those seeking to create major social change. Together will also seek to understand how organizations interact with social movements and how we as individuals can continue to support and enact large-scale social change.



You want…

to look beyond traditional theories and challenge yourself to work with different constituencies and levers for change.

You’ll gain…

an understanding of how to disrupt and challenge existing power structures while building loyal communities of brand advocates.

You’ll join…

your colleagues from across the Bay Area to share insights and examine social movements, discussing the effectiveness and limitations of different levers.

Details At-a-Glance


February 27-28, 2019


The seminar is best attended by organizational teams of up to six people per organization (board members, leadership, staff). Limited to 50 participants.


Thanks to generous underwriting by The Kresge Foundation, the fee for this two-day seminar is $150 per person.


  • Understand key levers used by social movements around the world and throughout history and apply them to current issues in the Bay Area
  • Analyze the uses and limitations of different instruments for large-scale social change
  • Identify challenges facing current social change movements locally and develop smart strategies to help them move forward
  • Provide participants with a toolkit of frameworks to take beyond the classroom


In the seminar we will explore the following:

  • The levers for leading social change, which include: Finance and Commerce, Law, Technology, Grassroots Organizing and Networks, Structure and Leadership, Communications, including Framing and the Media
  • The role of context and external threats, including violence
  • Reform vs. Revolution: the spectrum of social change and the role of disruption
  • Key phases and life cycle of social movements
  • Theory of Change: strategy, goals, and tactics
  • The roles of business, government, and the social sector in social movements
  • Leadership of social change


Participants will receive videos in advance of the session in order to prime them for collaborative learning, discussion and application.


NAS piloted Leading Large Scale Social Change in Arts and Culture as part of its 2017 Summit for Change. Participants in the program included CEOs of cultural organizations from all over the world. Our faculty engaged with participants in advance to pull their stories into their teaching as examples of the great work already happening in this sphere. Participants walked away having a deeper understanding of what their role and their organization’s role could be in community social change efforts.


Outcomes included both collaborative efforts and individual actions. Many leaders told us that they were better able to shape their personal narrative used to invite others into their visions for change. Collectively, a subset of the leaders formed a working group on racial equity which collaborated for a year to craft racial equity principles they recently shared with a broader group of NAS alumni at the NAS Summit and intend to adopt within their own organizations.

Meet Our Faculty

Nora SilverNora Silver is Founder and Faculty Director of the Center for Social Sector Leadership and Adjunct Professor at University of California Berkeley-Haas School of Business. She led the Center to be ranked third in the country (US News & World Report, 2016). Berkeley-Haas was also ranked first among business schools in social impact (Business as Unusual, 2014).