Want to learn about all kinds of change making, building relationships and people power, and leadership development? Access the recordings and slides from the ChangeMakers Organising School as well as details of upcoming sessions.
ChangeMakers Organising School seeks to strengthen the leadership, knowledge, skills and relationships between the hundreds of thousands of social movement members and organisational volunteers across Australia (and our broader region) who want to take the crises created and exacerbated by the pandemic and make deep real change.
Our core weekly training is a space for ongoing learning. Unlike a short-term training course, it has a broadcast quality – where you can tune in every week for new content that is responsive to what is going and building on a core set of organising conceptual principles. We do this because we believe Saul Alinsky when he says that people build their ambition for change based on the power that they believe they possess. This training is designed to help mass movement and organisational participants across Australia reimagine their power while they work on specific movements and campaigns.
We began our training under the original name – Organising in a Pandemic – in March 2020 as a weekly training ‘touch point’ for people making change at the start of the pandemic. The participants were mostly members of social movements or organisations. They used the training to connect and deepen their knowledge to organise for social change.
Our training is based on organising. We value leadership development and seek to explore and understand concepts like power, action, organisations, narrative, relationships and action as the bedrock for building a democratic public life. While anchored in the practice of the Industrial Areas Foundation, this training has an open and agnostic approach to its content. We seek to bring in new ideas that agitate the organising cannon to make it stronger.
Access the previous season’s recordings and resources – Changemakers Organising School.
Season 4 – How small groups make big change
Session 1: Why work in groups? – April 29, 2021
Looking at a history of social movements, we locate and celebrate the role of small groups in winning big change. This session will help situate attendees as part of an ecosystem with a long tradition of organising.
We were joined by Mary Crooks from the Victorian Women’s Trust and Paul Doughty from Your Rights at Work who shared stories of how local groups helped their campaigns with big, transformational wins.
Session 2: How do I build powerful relationships? – May 6, 2021
This week we look at putting the social back in social movements. Group work is most effective when built on a culture of strong relationships, and groups grow their power when relational meetings are used to draw in new leaders and build coalitions. We’ll cover how to cultivate intentional relationships using the skill of relational meetings, and how you can create a group space that people have fun together in. Our co-founder Amanda Tattersall will lead this training.
Videos for the following sessions will be uploaded as they become available.
Session 3: Effective group work – May 13, 2021
Have you ever been in a group where one person does all the work?
In this session we’re focussed on how to make sure your group is structured with roles and a plan to make your work effective. We provide tips on how you can maximise volunteers’ limited time to make the biggest difference on the issue you care about.
Session 4: How to run a good meeting – May 20, 2021
Let’s face it – social change work involves a lot of meetings. To be effective change makers, we need to run fun and productive meetings. This week, we’ll look at some of the ways meetings can go wrong, work on your facilitation skills, and provide guidance on building an excellent agenda that generates momentum and accountability.
Session 5: Leadership – May 27, 2021
Leadership is a core tenet of Community Organising. This week we’ll unpack an Organisers definition of leadership and share the skill of coaching as a practice to step others into leadership. We’ll also talk about using your leadership to help the group make collective decisions in the face of internal differences.
Session 6: Strong, sustainable groups – June 3, 2021
A huge challenge for activist groups can be creating a healthy and sustainable culture between the members of the group.
This week, we’ll cover how to create a group space that is safe and welcoming for new people and look at how to avoid experiencing burnout in your work. We will introduce skills for handling difficult people and hard conversations. These frameworks will help your group grow and succeed in the long term.
Session 7: Campaign strategy & creative tactics – June 10, 2021
How does your group decide what kind of action to take, and when? Do you find yourself doing the same thing over and over again? This week, we look at the basics of campaign strategy and how to deliver a powerful and creative tactic.
Session 8: How should we work with other groups? – June 17, 2021
Groups working with other groups can be a powerful model for change making. This week we look at how to identify allies and the strengths and challenges of working in a coalition. We’ll consider some successful coalitions and what it takes to develop a winning one.
Session 9: How can we measure success? – June 24, 2021
Sometimes in a local group you can fall into the habit of doing one thing after another without much clarity about how well it’s working. This week we’ll share a model to assist with planning and evaluation to supercharge your campaign work and grow your group.
Keen to learn more?
- Changemakers Organising School – Previous Sesasons
- So, what is organising? by ChangeMakers host Amanda Tattersall
- Changemakers Podcasts
- Activist Inspiration and Learning in Lockdown
- Organising: Start Here – a guide to many more organising resources in the Commons Library