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Diagram of 5 concentric circles labelled from outside to inside: Community; Crowd; Congregation; Committed; Core.

Levels of Commitment from Community to Core

Rick Warren focuses on five ‘circles of commitment’ – community, crowd, congregation, committed and core, and argue that it’s important to recognise where your supporters fall in these categories, and develop processes to move them from the outside in. An excerpt from Purpose Driven Campaigning.

Training as Organising

Tips for training or other events which connect people to a campaign and help individuals overcome their barriers to action. As organisers we can use the momentum of the group to leverage people to action – like a turbo-charged persuasive conversation.

Black and white photograph of a group of men marching with arms interlinked. Banner reads 'Support BLF Green Bans'.

Green Bans

In the 1970s Sydney builders labourers refused to work on projects that were environmentally or socially undesirable. This green bans movement, as it became known, was the first of its type in the world.

Black and white photograph of four protestors standing in front of Old Parliament House. Placards read 'Land Ownership Not Lease', 'Land Rights or Else!', 'Why Pay to Use Our Own Land', 'Which Do You Choose: Land Rights or Bloodshed?'. 'Legally This is Our Land. We Shall Take It If Need Be'.

The Aboriginal Tent Embassy

The Aboriginal Tent Embassy was established in 1972 when the Coalition Government failed to recognise the land rights of Indigenous people. From its inception, the Embassy has been interwoven into Canberra’s physical and political landscape, blending black politics, symbolism and theatre that opponents have found difficult to counter.

Black and white photograph of a large crowd of protestors. Banners include 'Vietnam Moratorium Campaign' and 'Stop the Country to Stop the War'.

The Vietnam War

Case study of the Australian campaign against involvement in the Vietnam War. The emergence of popular protest in Australia during the 1960s presented a fundamental challenge to government decisions and the way those decisions are made. By taking to the streets people challenged the policy positions of government and, in some cases, the very legitimacy and authority of the state itself.

Black and white photograph of Mau leaders sitting in front of a building.

The Mau Movement for Samoan Independence

Case study of the long struggle for Samaon independence which was ultimately successful in 1962. The Mau movement had its origins, in 1908, in a dispute between the German colonial administration and the Maloa o Samoa, or Samoan Council of Chiefs, over the establishment of a copra business owned and controlled by native Samoans.

Photograph of people dressed in suits and bowler hats and brief cases walking together in front of a coal fired power station.

Affinity Groups for Non-Violent Direct Action

Affinity groups are a feature of many large scale non-violent actions. An affinity group is a small group of people (eg: 5-15) who have something in common who take action together. Groups could focus on a specific theme eg street medics or legal observers or more commonly it is a group of people that take action as a team.

Photo of protesters at Leard Blockade. Protestors have arms crossed in 'no deal' sign. There is a banner 'ANZ: Think Again'.

Facilitation at the Frontlines

This article includes reflections and tips for ‘extreme sport’ facilitation at blockades and action camps. Includes notes about logistics, comfort of participants, timing, internal organisation within the facilitation team, holding the space, and being transparent about role and power dynamics.

Orange megaphone on orange wall

The Basics of Crowdfunding and how to use Pozible

Rick Chen, cofounder of Pozible, came along to a Melbourne Campaigner’s Network session to introduce the basics of crowd-funding and how to use the Pozible platform. Read on for some tips on how to get your crowd-funder up and running!

Coffee is poured from a metal jug into a large and unstable stack of coffee cups sitting on a wooden table.

Balance or Burnout?

A useful model for understanding activist burnout and how to avoid it from the Transitions Towns movement. Includes a downloadable worksheet with prompts for reflection.

Photo of the cast of Brooklyn 99.

What ChangeMakers can learn from Brooklyn Nine Nine

Who knew that TV could teach you how to change the world! Embedded in Brooklyn Nine Nine’s approach to sitcom writing are a few lessons about how we can successfully communicate important, difficult issues to a wider audience.

A large pile of books has a circular space cleared with a floating open book in the middle.

The Role of Stories in Organising

Joel Dignam reviews Marshall Ganz’ approach to story as fundamental to organising. Through story we understand happenings, communicate our values, and make sense of our choices.

A view of from a vantage point in Mount Buffalo, with rolling forested hills framing a valley, in which there is a small clearing.

Work less: You’ll get more done

Overwork has heavy costs. Working longer hours is dangerous and ineffective. But poor management, the subconscious, workplace culture, and work volume, can each be a barrier to better workplace practices. Thankfully though, these barriers can be overcome.

Diagram of 5 concentric circles labelled from outside to inside: Community; Crowd; Congregation; Committed; Core.

Circles of Commitment: A Model of Engagement

This article outlines a model for thinking about the different levels of engagement of people involved in a campaign; what kinds of things people at each level can do, and what support they need to do those things; and how people can move from one level to another, aka a ‘ladder of engagement’. It also has implications for how we think about events and capacity, and for how well a campaign can scale.

A diagram with three organisers at the centre. From each organiser arrows go to a Leader, from the Leader there are arrows to 5 team members.

How to Structure Teams for Organising

Joel Dignam reviews Marshall Ganz’ treatment of structure as a craft of organising. As Ganz notes “Developing leadership requires structuring the work of the organization so it affords as many people as possible the opportunity to learn to lead.”

Two transmasculine people sitting together and having a serious conversation

Relationships are the Glue of Organising

This post reviews Marshall Ganz’ approach to craft of relationships in organising. Relationships foster the commitment that is needed for success and allow us to understand the interests, values and motivations of others.

A group of people gather under a tree with clipboards.

Is personalised political communication manipulative?

“Personalized political communication” refers to when the medium for a message is a person, not media such as television, pamphlets, or billboards. The electoral arms race is seeing a renaissance of PPC and greater engagement of voters in campaigns and the political process.

A number of African American students sit along a lunch counter.

Lessons from the Greensboro Student Sit-ins

The Greensboro student sit-ins had nonviolence at their heart and succeeded, not only in their immediate goal, but also in building a lasting organisation in the SNCC. It stands now as yet another example of the successful use of nonviolence to stand against oppression.

Photograph of a group of people having a meeting.

On Conflict and Consensus

Making collective decisions and navigating conflict and are core activist skills. Conflict is usually viewed as an impediment to reaching agreements and disruptive to peaceful relationships. However, it is the underlying thesis of Consensus that nonviolent conflict is necessary and desirable.

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