Erika Jacobson - CEO and Founder
BA, MA International & Community Development, PhD
I created Act Out because I wanted to change the way I was doing community development. I was trying to help people and communities change but it was not happening effectively. I set out to search ways to do this better.
And I found some. I think we need to have fun and be playful while we examine and tackle difficult problems. I think we need to be comfortable and safe to be exactly who we are to transform issues. And I think this can only happen through practices that engage the whole person, the body, the brain, the senses, the emotions and the spirit – the good, the stunning and the not so stunning!
I started using theatre, especially Augusto Boal’s social theatre (informed by social educator Paulo Freire) because theatre gives us an opportunity to observe each other and ourselves. Then I synergized with the work of Otto Scharmer, David Bohm, Maxine Greene, Ken Wilbur, Allan Kaplan, Peter Senge and many other wonderful social thinkers and practitioners - go on, Google them! That’s how I ended up with the approaches we use today.
I am proud of all the work we do with communities and organisations. I am especially proud of our work with Aboriginal communities and their young people. I also count as an achievement the successful work in Tibet in very sensitive political conditions on the taboo issue of sexual & reproductive health with communities at-risk.
Something is working! And the transformation continues.