Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead (1901-1978) American anthropologist

Phrase frequently attributed to Mead, but not found in her writings. The first sentence, however, is trademarked.

Mead founded the Institute for Intercultural Studies in 1944 (it dissolved in 2009). Regarding this quote, the IIS noted on its still extant website:

We have been unable to locate when and where it was first cited, becoming a motto for many organizations and movements. We believe it probably came into circulation through a newspaper report of something said spontaneously and informally. We know, however, that it was firmly rooted in her professional work and that it reflected a conviction that she expressed often, in different contexts and phrasings.

Additional discussion about this quotation's origins: Never Doubt That a Small Group of Thoughtful, Committed Citizens Can Change the World; Indeed, It’s the Only Thing That Ever Has – Quote Investigator.

Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 23-Jun-22
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