Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan decided to look beyond speculation to see how effective different social change movements (to overthrow the government or liberate territory) were between 1900 and 2006. Their study, conducted at Columbia University, revealed that non-violent uprisings involved greater parts of the population and were about twice as likely to succeed. They also found that any movement involving 3.5% of the population or greater was successful!

Chenoweth explains his journey into the topic, and her results, in the video above.

You cannot wait for “go time” in some paranoid fantasy. The tools of non-violent civil disobedience are available to us all, regardless of age, and represent a viable way of effecting social change.