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People power

Picture of an orange manual.

What is Community Organising?

This excerpt from the Community Organising Guide provides an introduction to community organising. Organising is about generating and wielding people power.

Picture of an orange manual.

Three Approaches to Organising

This article outlines three frameworks of organising. They are broad based organising; social movement organising; and community development informed organising.

Cover of The Little Book of Power featuring a drawing of a rocket taking off.

The Little Book of Power

The goal of this book is to help become more aware of your own relationship with power. Despite the many negative associations and memories we have about power (mostly it’s misuse), power isn’t good or bad, and it is necessary.

A group of people stand on a bridge holding large letters spelling 'Global Goals'.

The power of civil society

Danny Sriskandarajah presented at Progress 2015 on what’s gone wrong in Australia and the world, and how we can steal it back. He argues for the power of civil society and solidarity to create a better future. 

Action in Times of Uncertainty

Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, makes the case for people power to address economic inequality and social exclusion, at Progress 2017.

Moving The Rock: Shifting Power for Sustained Change

This article explores the ‘moving the rock’ concept put forward by Daniel Hunter in his book Strategy and Soul. The concept has been valuable for campaigners and organisations reassessing their theory of change and particularly how they engage politicians and supporters.

Photograph of a large group of people in a rural paddock. They are holding signs and banners reading 'No Gas Mining on Our Prime Ag Land'.

Time to move the rock

A follow up article from a workshop presented at Progress 2015 by Holly Hammond and Sam La Rocca with a video presentation from Daniel Hunter. The workshop explored Daniel’s metaphor ‘politicians are like a balloon tied to a rock’.

Group of men stand and sit in front of a sign reading 'Gurindji Mining Lease and Cattle Station'

Gurindji Land Rights Struggle

In August 1966, Aboriginal pastoral workers walked off the job on the vast Vesteys cattle station at Wave Hill in the Northern Territory, sparking the Aboriginal land rights movement. A summary of the campaign case study is included along with a process for use in training workshops.

Pro-democracy protesters hold umbrellas in front of police cordon line outside of the Hong Kong Government Complex.

Umbrella Movement Reflections

In 2014 the Hong Kong Umbrella Occupation shook the world. The 79-day occupation of the Admiralty political and commercial district ended on 11 December 2014, with the police arresting hundreds of protesters.

Large crowd gathered in front of the library. In the foreground someone holds up a placard reading 'Let Them Stay'.

Can we do politics better than this?

When we leave politics to the politicians, we get The Canberra Show. But when people organised in their communities, acting on their deep concerns, have the skills and knowledge to act powerfully a new political life might finally be possible.

This is an Uprising

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.

Cover of the book 'How Organizations Develop Activists'.

How Organizations Develop Activists

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.

Aerial photograph of huge crowd filling Federation Square and surrounding streets.

Tips for Turnout from Your Rights at Work

The Your Rights at Work campaign ran from 2005 to 2007 and included some of the largest mobilisations in Australian social movement history. This article draws out some of the lessons in relation to ensuring strong turn-out at rallies and other events.

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.

Máté speaks into a microphone at a protest outside the Hungarian Parliament. In the background protestors hold a large poster with Hungarian text.

Home Care in Hungary

In Hungary, digital campaigning organisation aHang has been winning big and building people power in a difficult political environment. Their homecare campaign was a huge win for Hungarian carers, and people power everywhere.

Cover of No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age.

No Shortcuts to Building Power

Joel Dignam reviews Jane McAlevey’s No Shortcuts: Organising for Power in the Gilded Age. McAlevey outlines a critique of most contemporary union campaigning, using case studies and other analysis to argue for a deeper more rigorous approach to organising.

Cover of Daniel Hunter's book 'Strategy & Soul'. Features a photograph of Daniel Hunter and fellow campaigner Jethro Heiko with the Philadelphia Town Hall in the background.

Strategy & Soul Insights

Anita Tang reflects on meeting Daniel Hunter and reading his book Strategy and Soul. She shares insights from his work which can contribute to strategic and soulful campaigning.