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Creative thinking

paintbrushes covered in paint

Creative Activism: Start Here

Suggestions from the Commons Librarians about resources to explore in the Arts & Creativity topic area – to help you bring more art and heart to your social change activities.

people at climate change march with person holding orange parasol with words "we are the people's climate march"

Parasols of protest

Activism and Artivism – Sharon France, graphic designer, shares how she created the designs for ‘parasols for protests’ for the People’s Climate March.

Ted logo

TED talk: Activism needs introverts

Sarah Corbett introduces us to “craftivism,” a quieter form of activism that uses handicrafts as a way to get people to slow down and think deeply.

Change Makers (Text on orange background)

ChangeMakers 2.1: Brooklyn Nine Nine

What can we learn when a Hollywood TV show gets into ChangeMaking? Comedy show Brooklyn 99 took on police racism. How did they do it in a way that people didn’t turn off?

Photolanguage - photograph of set of photos.

Photolanguage – Communicate through images

A process guide to be used in training workshops, planning sessions and team building. Photolanguage has many uses, including to facilitate self-­awareness; deepen engagement and relationships; stimulate connections between intellectual reflection and personal experience; and stimulate creativity in personal expression.

Photograph of a group of people standing in a circle with a beach ball.

Games and energisers for your workshop

Games are great to use during a workshop. They may be scheduled into the workshop at various times or you may just toss one in when you feel that the group could benefit from playing a game. The games in this handout are separated into the categories of introductory games, name games, dynamicas (energisers) and fun ways to get people into groups.

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 brick wall painted white with the words Art = Change! graffitied in black

Art and Campaigning: Lessons about the effective use of art in campaigns

Lessons about the effective use of art in campaigns from three activist artists: Tom Civil, Arlene TextaQueen and Van Thanh Rudd. Lessons include: Build strong culture; Represent ethically; Consider your audience; Court controversy; Always remember the visuals; Value the labour of artists.

A large crowd marching behind a banner saying: We march with Selma!

Building 21st Century Movements

Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, Founder and former Executive Director of SumofUs, at Progress 2015 with a series of movement case studies challenging us to be technological innovators and to bring our social change work to the cutting edge of the current century.

A jubilant group of people pose behind a large banner reading 'We won'. They are at the beach with sky and ocean in the background.

Celebration is an Activist Skill

Activists are often so focused on problems – it’s important to take in wins, whether big or small, to sustain us through the struggle. This article includes reminders of what we can celebrate, how, and why it is so important.