The purpose of this paper is to discuss behaviour change beyond communication to trigger “organic growth”—a marked increase in the competencies, skills and knowledge in communities, societies and local economies. The paper discusses the challenge of triggering organic growth to help communities to build their capacity through “organic change”—concerted actions at an individual or community level to gain control over the social, economic and political influences that are necessary to improve people’s lives and health. The paper discusses how organic change sometimes involves an emotional or symbolic response that can be triggered by an evidence-based argument as part of a behaviour change approach. The paper concludes that it is useful to visualise behaviour change in a fresh way that goes beyond communication to articulate capacity building and community action, and that this is best represented through the terms “organic growth” and “organic change”.
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