At summit, Obama urges activists to be patient for change

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CHICAGO — Former President Barack Obama urged community organizers and social innovators to be patient in their pursuits of wide-scale community change.

Obama made the plea during a talk Monday at the Obama Foundation summit in Chicago.

The former president noted that patience is needed because societies are “complex, organic things that you don’t turn [like] switches. They evolve. They shift. They change.”

Obama talked extensively about his background as a community organizer, his experiences as a politician and writing his book. He joked writing the book is a “brutal” process he says is causing strain in his marriage now that Michelle Obama has launched her book tour.

Obama delivered his remarks from a plush chair, engaging in a conversation with author Dave Eggers.

The Obama summit is a two-day conference that brings together civic innovators and community activists from around the world to network, exchange ideas.