The Community Organising and Digital Campaigning Webinar Series by Australian Progress explores the winning case studies and insights from Australia and around the world on how to best organise and lead digital campaigns. Learn from expert organisers and campaigners who’ve engaged in powerful campaign tactics, mobilised first-time voters, pivoted strategies during the pandemic and won big in progressive change.
Four webinars were held in 2020:
- US Election Debrief
- Lessons from the Northern Territory (Australia) election
- Lessons from Aotearoa New Zealand
- Lessons from the US: Scaling up through functional organising
Two upcoming 2021 webinars:
- Hahrie Han, 12 February 2021
- Alicia Garza, 9 March 2021
US Election Debrief
Reflections on what was learnt from the US election and key insights from some of the organisations involved, such as Organising Corps, the Working Families Party, coworker.org, Jobs With Justice and Momentum. This was followed by a series of structured conversations by organisers and campaigners to discuss their thoughts and insights about the outcome of the 2020 US Presidential election and what it has meant for movements in Australia.
Luke Hilakari, Secretary, Victorian Trades Hall Council
Luke is Secretary of Victorian Trades Hall Council, the peak body for unions in Victoria, representing over 40 unions and 500,000 members. Under his leadership, Victorian workers are taking grassroots action in unprecedented numbers to improve our working lives. Luke’s experience organising some of Victoria’s lowest paid workers drives him to fight for wage justice in Victoria. Under the banner of We Are Union, Victorian workers are leading the fight for progressive social change.
For more see:
- Slides from this session
- Stacey Abrams (Twitter), Fair Fight and the New Georgia Project
- Unite Here – Media release on their organising including a breakout of the numbers of doors knocked / votes pledged
- Organising Corps
Lessons from the Northern Territory
GetUp’s First Nations Justice team travelled over 40,000km between Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory (Australia) to listen to the key issues that matter to them, in a state-wide campaign to increase voter engagement and turnout in rural and remote communities for the August state election. First Nations Justice Campaign Director Larissa Baldwin shares lessons, tactics and strategies on how to mobilise communities across the NT to enrol to vote on election day.
Larissa Baldwin, First Nations Justice Campaign Director, GetUp
Larissa Baldwin is a widjabul woman from the Bundjalung Nations and currently First Nations Justice Campaign Director at GetUp. She dedicates her life to fighting for First Nations justice and Self-Determination. From staunch grassroots resistance, to building the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network, to starting First Nations Justice campaigning at GetUp. Larissa has a passion for mentoring young people, and crafting brilliant campaign strategies.
Lessons from Aotearoa
In October, the Green Party’s Chloe Swarbrick contested and won the local electorate seat of Auckland Central with almost 35% of the vote, becoming the second Green Party MP in history to win the seat since 1999 and the first to win without support from the Labour Party. From drag shows, stand up comedy shows, cookbooks and nationwide social media engagement, hear from Campaign Manager Leroy Beckett on what it took to beat the odds and engage the majority young voting population to turn the blue seat green.
More than 10,000 people working in essential services called upon the NZ Government for safer sick leave, increasing the legal minimum from five days to ten days a year. In another win, the Labour Party in late September announced major changes in Workplace Relations & Safety policies including the doubling of current minimum paid sick leave as well as an increase to the nation’s minimum wage. NZ Council of Trade Union’s Strategic Campaigns Coordinator Jennifer Lawless offers insights into the success of their campaign, including how they leveraged the pandemic, online petitions and the stories of workers’ experiences to win.
Leroy Beckett, Campaign Manager, Office of Chloe Swarbrick
Leroy is the Campaign Manager of Chloe Swarbrick. Previously, he ran Phil Goff’s 2019 re-election campaign in Auckland and before that was a key figure at Generation Zero, a climate change advocacy group, as their Media and Campaign Advisor. Leroy has also run campaigns against digital threats to democracy. He is passionate about the planet, its people and the cities we live in.
Jennifer Lawless, Strategic Campaigns Coordinator, New Zealand Council of Trade Unions
Jennifer Lawless is the Strategic Campaigns Coordinator for the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions. She has spent the last 15 years in political, communications and advocacy roles in the New Zealand parliament and union movement. She works at the NZCTU as part of a small, collaborative communications and campaigns team, on a small budget, to try to affect big legislative change for working people.
Lessons from the US: Scaling up through functional organising
Founder and President of Accelerate Change (US) Peter Murray conducted research on hundreds of organisations across the world on what enabled them to scale. He found that all organisations that successfully scaled had achieved it through the functional organising model, which combines service delivery and organising. But what exactly is functional organising, and how can it amplify your organisation’s impact and shift policy wins? Hear from Peter about how Accelerate Change is using digital technology to both serve and build powerful constituencies of marginalised communities to win with functional organising, with examples from AFL-CIO, Planned Parenthood and more.
For more see:
- Article – The Secret of Scale, Standford Social Innovation Review, 2013, Peter Murray
- Article – The Promise of Lean Experimentation, 2015, Peter Murray and Steve Ma
- Book – Lean Impact: How to Innovate for Radically Greater Social Good, 2018, Ann Mei Change
Peter Murray, Founder and President, Accelerate Change
Peter Murray is the President of Accelerate Change, an incubator for innovative progressive civic engagement ventures. Accelerate Change works with startup and established progressive civic organizations to dramatically increase experimentation with new citizen organizing models. Peter spends most of his time helping progressive entrepreneurs build less, talk to constituents more, and fail faster. And every once in a while, after many iterations, he helps these entrepreneurs scale organizing models that build deep relationships with constituents and are financially self-sustainable.
Upcoming webinars in 2021
Dr Hahrie Han specialises in the study of organising, movements, civic engagement and democracy. Her newest book, Prisms of the People: Power and Organizing in 21st Century America, examines the way some winning grassroots organisations translate the engagement of their people into political power, acting like prisms refracting white light into rainbows. Hahrie will share insights from her latest research outlined in her book using data from six movement organisations, with lessons on organisational design choices that shape the people, their leaders, and strategies that will help you understand how grassroots groups achieve their goals.
Hahrie Han is the Inaugural Director of the SNF Agora Institute, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Professor of Political Science, and Faculty Director of the P3 Research Lab at Johns Hopkins University. She specializes in the study of organizing, movements, civic engagement, and democracy. Her newest book will be published by the University of Chicago Press in January 2021, entitled Prisms of the People: Power and Organizing in 21st Century America. She has previously published three books: How Organizations Develop Activists: Civic Associations and Leadership in the 21st Century; Groundbreakers: How Obama’s 2.2 Million Volunteers Transformed Campaigning in America; and, Moved to Action: Motivation, Participation, and Inequality in American Politics. Her award-winning work has been published in the American Political Science Review, American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and numerous other outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and elsewhere.
Alicia Garza is the co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter and the Black Lives Matter Global Network, an international organising project with the mission to end state violence and oppression against Black people. Her first book, The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart, is an essential guide to building transformative movements to address the challenges of our time, centred around Alicia’s personal story, her background and her experiences in community organising. Join us as Alicia shares her story and what it means to be invested in social change.
Alicia believes that Black communities deserve what all communities deserve — to be powerful in every aspect of their lives. An innovator, strategist, organiser, and cheeseburger enthusiast, Alicia founded the Black Futures Lab to make Black communities powerful in politics. She is the co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter and the Black Lives Matter Global Network, the Strategy & Partnerships Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and the co-founder of Supermajority, She shares her thoughts on politics and pop culture on her podcast, Lady Don’t Take No. She warns you — hashtags don’t start movements. People do.
Stay tuned to the Australian Progress event page for other webinars, training programs and conferences.
- Digital campaigning
- Elections_Electorates (Australia - Northern Territory - 2020)
- Elections_Electorates (New Zealand - 2020)
- Elections_Electoriates (United States - 2020)
- Lessons learned_Reviews_Reflections
- Organising - Community
- Organising - Models