Aaron Swartz, (Swartz 2010)


I am increasingly convinced that the difference between effective and ineffective people is their skill at developing a theory of change.

A theory of change is the opposite of a theory of action — it works backwards from the goal, in concrete steps, to figure out what you can do to achieve it. To develop a theory of change, you need to start at the end and repeatedly ask yourself, “Concretely, how does one achieve that?”


Swartz, Aaron. 2010. “Theory of Change.” http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/theoryofchange.