How Change Happens: Speaking Tour

How Change Happens


Join Oxfam and partners at a How Change Happens event in your city to address the powerful forces that shape social change.

How Change Happens: tackling poverty & gender INequality  

Join Oxfam and partners on a national speaking tour inspired by Duncan Green's new book How Change Happens, which explores how political and social change takes place. Each event will feature four speakers: Duncan Green, Author of How Change Happens and From Poverty to PowerShirley Pryce, President of the Jamaica Household Workers Union (JHWU), Julie Delahanty, Executive Director of Oxfam Canada, and a local women's rights activist. 

The gap between rich and poor is widening, and the majority of the 1.2 billion people living in extreme poverty around the world are women and girls. Economic inequality and gender discrimination go hand in hand. So, how can we influence the systems of power that keep people trapped in poverty?

How Change HappensTackling Poverty & Gender Inequality will examine the main issues that keep people poor - inequality, discrimination and unequal access to resources - and explore powerful strategies for social change. Drawing on decades of experience as activists, each speaker will share insights on how to influence progressive change to make the world more just and equal for all. Attendees will be invited to engage, challenge and add their own perspectives to the discussion.

How Change Happens: Tackling Poverty & Gender Inequality will visit five cities across Canada: Vancouver, Calgary, Waterloo, Winnipeg, and Ottawa.

Whether you are an activist, community organizer, development practitioner, entrepreneur, an individual or an organization, understanding how change happens can help guide how you can influence and create change. 

All talks are free with reserved seating. Seating is limited.  More information about Duncan Green’s book How Change Happens can be found here. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for updates.

Tour Dates

  • November 4 – Vancouver, BC (Vancouver Public Library)
  • November 5 – Calgary, AB (University of Calgary)
  • November 8 – Waterloo, ON (St.Jerome's University)
  • November 9 – Winnipeg, MB (Canadian Museum for Human Rights)
  • November 10 – Ottawa, ON (National Arts Centre)



Duncan Green

Dr. Duncan Green | Author How Change Happens 

Dr. Duncan Green is Senior Strategic Adviser at Oxfam GB, Professor in Practice in International Development at the London School of Economics, honorary Professor of International Development at Cardiff University and a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Development Studies. He is author of How Change Happens (OUP, October 2016) and From Poverty to Power: How Active Citizens and Effective States can Change the World (Oxfam International, 2008, second edition 2012). His daily development blog can be found on Ducan Green was previously Oxfam’s Head of Research, a Visiting Fellow at Notre Dame University, a Senior Policy Adviser on Trade and Development at the Department for International Development (DFID), a Policy Analyst on trade and globalization at CAFOD, the Catholic aid agency for England and Wales and Head of Research and Engagement at the Just Pensions project on socially responsible investment. 

Shirley Pryce

Shirley Pryce | President of the Jamaica Household Workers Unions

Shirley Pryce is the founder and President of the Jamaica Household Workers Union (JHWU). A dedicated human rights activist, Pryce is co-founder and current chairperson of the Caribbean Domestic Workers Network and serves as an executive member of the International Domestic Workers Federation, based in Hong Kong. Earlier in 2017, Ms. Pryce joined a distinguished rank of women in the region named as CARICOM 'Woman of the Year'. The award reflects Pryce's sustained advocacy in promoting the rights and cause of domestic (household) workers in Jamaica. It also underscores her assiduous and tireless work in regional and international communities to protect and safeguard their interest and welfare. Pryce played a pivotal leadership role in 2011 in Geneva, Switzerland, in the development and adoption of the ILO Convention for Domestic Workers, as well as its recent historic ratification by the Government of Jamaica.

Julie Delahanty, Executive Director, Oxfam Canada

Julie Delahanty | Executive Director, Oxfam Canada

Julie Delahanty, Executive Director of Oxfam Canada as of October 1st, 2014, is a leader on gender equality and human rights with more than 20 years of international development experience. Before joining Oxfam, she was the Director of the Central America Program for Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, and has served as the Director of CIDA’s Gender Equality and Child Protection Division.  Julie has written extensively on issues of gender and employment, agricultural biodiversity, sexual and reproductive health and rights, garments and globalization.  She sits on the Executive Board of Oxfam International where she acts as the gender champion for the world-wide influencing and Procampaigning work of the organization. 

Kasari Govender

Kasari Govender | Executive Director of West Coast LEAF

(Vancouver guest panelist - November 4)

Kasari is passionate about women’s equality and using the law as a tool to build a more equal world. Before joining West Coast LEAF, Kasari practiced constitutional, equality and aboriginal law. She earned her law degree from the University of Victoria, and her Masters Degree in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford. She is the founding President of Rise Women’s Legal Centre, has sat on the board of Pivot Legal Society, the Coalition for Public Legal Services, and Society for Children and Youth, and was an Adjunct Professor of Law at UBC. When she’s not knee deep in constitutional law and the feminist movement, Kasari can usually be found running around after her toddler.

Sarelle Calgary

Sarelle Azuelos |Social Issues Coordinator of Women’s Centre Calgary

(Calgary guest panelist - November 5)

Sarelle Azuelos is the Social Issues Coordinator at the Women's Centre of Calgary. She works to support women's voices and representation in conversations about poverty reduction, public transit, child care and other issues. The Women’s Centre community capacity building peer model recognizes women's participation in community and policy level change is essential to their individual well-being, and to maintaining a good society.

Sara Bingham

Sara Bingham | Executive Director, Women's March Canada

(Waterloo guest panelist - November 8)

Sara Bingham, based out of Waterloo, Ontario, got on a bus and marched in the Women's March on Washington on January 21, 2017. She is a biracial woman who grew up in northern Ontario and holds a Bachelor of Arts (psychology) from Carleton University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts (linguistics) from the University of Ottawa. Sara is a mother, therapist, entrepreneur, author and now activist. Sara has called herself a feminist her entire life and found her place in the social justice world while studying psychology at Carleton University. One, let's call it "enlightening", semester of courses at Carleton included: psychology of women, women in modern christian traditions and psychology of black women. Sara has been a chapter leader for Lean In since 2015 and a chapter leader for Hacking Health since 2016.

Karine Duhamel

Dr. Karine Duhamel | Curator for Indigenous Rights, Candian Museum for Human Rights

(Winnipeg guest panelist - November 8)

Dr. Karine Duhamel is the Curator for Indigenous Rights at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, having joined the CMHR team in February of 2016. She is Anishinaabe Metis, with roots in northwestern Ontario, as well as in Manitoba. As Curator, she is responsible for all Museum content that engages the stories of Indigenous people and of communities and assists in building new relationships for story development and in advising on program content, on media and on special initiatives associated with these projects. A professional historian having taught at University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg, Dr. Duhamel created and piloted an in-depth course on the history and legacy of the Indian Residential School system. Her academic research interests also include Indigenous social movements and Indigenous grassroots organizing. Prior to working at the CMHR, Dr. Duhamel worked in various Indigenous communities for over 10 years as an independent consultant and researcher focused on specific and comprehensive claims. A public educator and frequent speaker, she is also an award-winning elementary teacher and university educator. Karine holds an Advanced B.A. in History from Mount Allison University, a B.Ed. from Lakehead University, and both a Masters degree and Doctorate and a Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba.

Excerpt from Duncan Green's book How Change Happens:

Progressive change is not primarily about ‘us’ activists: it occurs when poor people and communities take power into their own hands; shifts in technology, prices, demography, and sheer accident can be far more important than the actions of would-be change agents. The first lesson for activists is humility. That said, activists do play a crucial role. We put new questions into the endlessly churning stream of public debate, and we can help those on the sharp end raise their voices, shifting some degree of power from those who have too much to those who have too little.

Such work is a joy, a privilege, and a responsibility. 

Praise for How Change Happens

“In How Change Happens, Duncan Green points to a simple truth: that positive social change requires power, and hence attention on the part of reformers to politics and the institutions within which power is exercised.  It is an indispensable guide for activists and change-makers everywhere.”—Francis Fukuyama, author of The End of History and the Last Man.

“It was George Orwell who wrote that “The best books... are those that tell you what you know already.”  Well in Duncan’s book How Change Happens I have found something better: A book that made me think differently about something I have been doing for my entire life. He has captured so much in these pages, drawing on global and national and local change and examples from past and present. But what makes this book so insightful is that at all times we are able to see the world through Duncan’s watchful eyes: From his time as a backpacker in South America to lobbying the WTO in Seattle and his many years with Oxfam, this is someone who has always been watching and always been reflecting.” -- Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International