The ChangeMakers podcast is short series podcast that tells stories about people who are striving for social change across the world.
The Community Organising Guide is 296 pages of training resources to deepen our understanding of core organising skills: relational meetings and self-interest, the power of story in organising, building alliances, coalitions and networks, holding decision-makers accountable, leadership development, recruitment, doorknocking and phonebanking.
The struggle between the developers of unconventional gas (coal seam, shale and tight gas), farmers and communities has struck a chord with people all over the country and has rightly been referred to by Lock the Gate as ‘the fastest growing social movement in the country’. This short case study shares some of the keys to success of the LTG approach.
Keith Kelleher tells the history of fastfood worker organising – complete with employer dirty tricks, ambitious organisers, and efforts to rapidly scale up. Low wage workers are now organising nationwide for a new minimum wage – The Fight for $15.
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.
Joel Dignam reviews Ground Wars, Rasmus Kleis Nielsen’s hands-on ethnographic study of two competitive congressional campaigns in the 2008 US election. The book is a richly-detailed portrait of contemporary field campaigning.
Civic associations depend upon volunteers to get their work done. Joel Dignam distils insights from Ruth Wageman and Richard Hackman’s “Designing work for individuals and for groups” from Perspectives on Behavior in Organizations.
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.
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.”
Insights from The Organizational Roots of Political Activism: Field Experiments on Creating a Relational Context. In her paper, Han demonstrates that a relational context affects civic engagement, arguing that decisions like voting or other forms of activism aren’t based upon a simple cost-benefit analysis.
Joel Dignam reviews Paul and Mark Engler’s 2016 book This is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the Twenty-First Century. TIAU is an analysis of social change, how it has occurred, and how contemporary campaigners may make it occur again.
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.
“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.
Joel Dignam reviews Hahrie Han’s How Organizations Develop Activists. A key finding of Han’s research is that high-engagement chapters practise both organizing and mobilizing. The Voice for Indi campaign is considered as an Australian example of combining these two approaches.
Joel Dignam reviews Hahrie Han’s Moved to Action. Han tackles the question of what motivates political participation by people who face significant barriers. Han provides a toolkit for those seeking to empower and work with, or within, marginalised communities.
Joel Dignam reviews Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom’s ‘The Starfish and the Spider’. The book delves into ideas and language around decentralisation with useful examples from history, social movements and commerce. It also includes practical tips for putting decentralisation into practice.
Community organisers (and other change agents) have some excellent tools that can maximise the likelihood of making healthy goals a reality. This article will tune up your organising smarts as well as your health and wellbeing.
This MobLab report examines innovative volunteer engagement work by 35 organisations empowering people to scale change and win by learning and doing more. Featuring video and audio from the practitioners.
This free course covers core elements of a ‘people-powered’ campaign, when to use them and what to mix them with. Based on real-life campaign examples, you’ll also cover practical tools needed to create your own campaigns.
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.