Listen: Spotify – Google – Apple – Stitcher

During our discussion group exploring TVOL’s Third Way Series, we asked the question “What is Positive Deviance?” There’s a small chance that you know all about it and a larger chance that you’ve never heard of it at all. That’s because successful cultural change methods have a way of emerging at a particular time and place, spreading to a degree on the basis of their success, but then coming up against boundaries, beyond which they remain unknown. So it is with Positive Deviance, which has been used to prevent child malnourishment in Vietnam, female circumcision in Egypt, and even improve an American pharmaceutical company’s outreach to doctors. Our guide to this effective change method is David K. Hurst, a Management educator and author of The New Ecology of Leadership: Business Mastery in a Chaotic World among other books. Sage Gibbons, budding evolutionist and TVOL’s Marketing and Development Strategist, joins me as guest host as we explore what Positive Deviance teaches us about the Third Way and how a formal articulation of the Third Way can add value to Positive Deviance. 

Referenced Materials:


Published On: August 16, 2020

David Sloan Wilson

David Sloan Wilson

David Sloan Wilson is president of Prosocial World and SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University. He applies evolutionary theory to all aspects of humanity in addition to the rest of life, through Prosocial World and in his own research and writing.  A complete archive of his work is available at www.David SloanWilson.world. His most recent books include his first novel, Atlas Hugged: The Autobiography of John Galt III, and a memoir, A Life Informed by Evolution.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.