Pursuing “The Tipping Point”: Portland, Oregon’s Take the Time Initiative

  • Michael J. Nakkula
  • Karen C. Foster
  • Marc Mannes
  • Shenita Bolstrom
Part of the The Search Institute Series on Developmentally Attentive Community and Society book series (SISS, volume 7)


Whereas the first two case studies we presented (Traverse Bay, Michigan’s GivEm40 and Moorhead, Minnesota’s Healthy Community Initiative) focus on particular sectors and neighborhoods, Portland’s Take the Time is organized largely around two interrelated theories of community change: diffusion of innovation theory, as articulated by Everett Rogers, and social threshold theory as discussed in Malcolm Gladwell’s popular 2000 book The Tipping Point. Diffusion of innovation theory, which argues, in part, that influential early adopters of new ideas are critical to persuading others to try them out, is used to foster a grassroots orientation to mobilizing the community. Specifically, Take the Time initially used the widespread awarding of mini-grants to get the Developmental Assets framework in the hands of a number of potentially key early adopters who might persuade others to follow their lead. This strategy was designed to stimulate local ownership of the initiative and to reflect the value placed on individual contribution, creativity, and egalitarianism.


Common Ground Innovation Theory Focus Group Participant Positive Youth Development Parent Organizer 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. Nakkula
    • 1
  • Karen C. Foster
    • 2
  • Marc Mannes
    • 3
  • Shenita Bolstrom
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of Applied Psychology-Human DevelopmentGraduate School of Education, University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.AndoverUSA
  3. 3.Search InstituteMinneapolisUSA
  4. 4.Medtronic, Inc.MinneapolisUSA

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