The 7 tools for defining your campaign problem come from The Campaign Accelerator Toolkit by MobLab which blends high-performing campaign strategy tools with proven methods inspired by design thinking. It is a practical guide for planning campaign projects that put people at the centre of efforts for change through a collaborative process that involves the entire project team using visual templates, methods and exercises.
Use this diagram from Mobilisation Lab to chart the causes of the problem that your campaign aims to address and how that problem affects people differently. This tool helps identify the “root cause” to tackle in a campaign or even in a set of campaigns. Begin with the main problems we see standing in the way of our vision in the “core problem” circle. Then work outward from there to explore underlying causes (one of which is likely the “root cause” to address); the effects you identify can serve as campaign hooks with different audiences, as they represent ways the problem is felt by people.
This tool allows a team to foster out a collective understanding of the overall context in which a campaign is happening. Work on different chunks in small groups, and then reconvene to build it out all together. This tool allows a team to foster out a collective understanding of the overall context in which a campaign is happening. Work on different chunks in small groups, and then reconvene to build it out all together.
Identify who and what upholds the system underlying your chosen problem and surface leverage points to target in your campaign. This template can help you think through the key relationships that uphold the current system, which in turn upholds the problem that your campaign aims to target. By mapping these relationships, you can identify possible leverage points to target in your campaign.
Deepen your understanding of the problem, moving from “what just happened?” to “what beliefs keep the system in place?” Developed by Northwest Earth Institute, the Iceberg is another way we drill down into the root cause of the problem our campaign aims to address — shifting our focus from the current event into underlying societal structures and mental modes. It can also help us move more directly into thinking about interventions in societal and cultural institutions.
Systems thinking provides campaigners and organisers with an overall approach and a set of tools to understand the entrenched problems we work on and more strategically engage with the complex systems.
We developed this guide in collaboration with Blueprints for Change to look at systems practice as an overarching approach that can help our campaigns and organising strategies be more effective at driving systems change. This approach is grounded in some key principles including focusing on relationships and patterns, working to unlock the forces of change, putting pressure on “leverage points”, planning to adapt and engaging multiple perspectives. We also go through a broad, flexible process that can be used to focus campaigning and organising strategies on driving systemic change. This is achieved by developing an understanding of the system you want to shift, identifying levers of change in that system and developing an adaptive strategy to put pressure on these levers to achieve your goals. We hope this guide will help you set up an approach for your campaigning and organising work that can analyze the different systems in play, not just the concrete issue your campaign or organisation seeks to address.
From vision and strategy to storytelling and metrics, the canvas ensures you’ve touched on all the essentials of an effective campaign. Inspired by the Business Model Canvas, working through each element of this canvas will ensure your bases are covered for a solid campaign. We recommend printing it out as a poster and using post-it notes to fill in your best thinking for each box. Then you can regularly check in with your team to update your strategy and tactics based on real-world inputs from your campaigning.
To explore further and give context to the tools see the Campaign Accelerator Toolkit – Module 1: Define.
Purpose: At this stage we are beginning to define where the campaign will go, aligning on vision, exploring the problem and system that creates the problem. We will identify topline strategies and the key people that we want to engage and influence.
Outcome: At the end of this stage you should know which problems you will focus on solving and the system you are campaigning to change. You should have a first iteration of your strategic direction and the key people you need to engage with to create that change.
- Table of Contents
- About Campaign Accelerator
- Module 1: Define
- SECTION 1: Problem & Context
- EXERCISE 1: Defining a Vision
- EXERCISE 2: Exploring the Problem
- EXERCISE 3: Context Map
- SECTION 2: Core Strategy
- What is Systemic Change?
- EXERCISE 1: System Surfing
- EXERCISE 2: System Narrative
- EXERCISE 3: System Mapping
- EXERCISE 4: Levers and Disruptors
- EXERCISE 5: Iceberg Exercise
- Systems Change Campaigning Toolkit
- EXERCISE 6: Campaign Canvas
- SECTION 3: Audiences
- EXERCISE 7: Mapping Allies, Audiences, Influencers
- EXERCISE 8: Who Will You Work With
Would you like to go to the next stage? The Campaign Accelerator Toolkit has 4 other modules:
To see the other modules click here.
- Campaigning - Strategy
- Problem solving