"Listen to the right people. Okay, so you probably don’t know what it’s like to carry fifty pounds of firewood on your head. Well, don’t pretend that you do. Talk to someone who has done it. I believe that the key to innovation in international development is truly understanding the problem, and using your imagination is not good enough." - Amy Smith
This is completely correct. No one person is a social revolution alone. Not only is it nearly impossible to change a society significantly with the ideas of one person, but the "problems" in said society might not even be identified without talking to the people from that community.
I worked on this last year on the micro-level on my college campus (at the College of William and Mary). I was involved in a group that sought to better the lives of student-parents on campus by working towards providing childcare during the day. The issue arose that it was a group of students trying to make a change for people with whom they had not spoken. Once this was realized, the student group began to see that the student-parents were systematically being ignored by the system as a wh***. The direction of the project became an effort to raise awareness for the issue of student-parents and to create a network in which student-parents could communicate with each other. Once the network was established and the student group had a chance to speak with these people, REAL, EFFECTIVE goals were able to be developed.
In short, always listen before you speak and create. I understand that people genuinely want to help, but we can't get trigger happy. If we don't listen to the communities that we're engaging with, we might do more harm than good. We can make a positive difference, but we have to LISTEN above all else.