Positive Deviance (PD) was designed as a practice for social change that enables communities and organizations to discover and act on the wisdom and skills existing in the system. The underlying premise of PD is that every community has individuals or groups whose uncommon practices or strategies enable them to find better solutions to problems than neighbors and peers who have access to the same resources. PD is led by people in the community who help identify and spread successful practices. Ideas, experiments and projects for change are more likely to be accepted and adopted when they are based on existing local wisdom versus external initiatives imposed on the system.
“The Positive Deviance movement is changing the landscape of how we achieve transformation and change in systems.” Peter Block, Author, Community: The Structure of Belonging.