People immersed in campaigns for clean water, climate justice, fair economic systems, equality and other positive social changes are changing the lives of others every day. It’s intense and rewarding but often isolating work that leaves little opportunity to seek support from peers, research solutions and test alternatives. High-value, context-rich insights from other campaigners is difficult to get, stifling innovation and partnerships that could directly benefit communities in need.
The rapid democratization of technology has ushered in a new and rapidly changing landscape for social change campaigners of all types. As increases in citizen uprisings around the world demonstrate, critical masses of individuals now have the tools and access they need to drive campaigns for change — to raise awareness, money, and support at scales previously only accessible to professional campaigners and NGOs. For example, over 100 million people today have led or participated in a grassroots-led campaign through open campaign platforms sponsored by NGOs and social enterprises like Change.org, Care2, 38 Degrees, GetUp, Avaaz. We explored this further in Grassroots-Led Campaigns: Lessons from the new frontier of grassroots-powered campaiging.
Regional email lists and conferences help to connect subsets of digital campaigners to one another, but there is not yet an accessible, trusted source for learning about innovation, failure and success in the global progressive campaign community.
Mobilisation Journal increases the capacity of campaigners and strengthens social change campaigns globally by delivering practitioner-driven campaign stories, actionable learning from the field, and experience-driven insights. Our model delivers information in accessible and timely ways: audio, video and written posts distributed through our blog, email, social networks and partner sites.
The Journal makes campaign insights and lessons transparent — exposing learning from around the globe to those who need it in ways they can use it. We operate with awareness of cultural, geographic, language and technological obstacles and continually work to overcome those barriers and support the full global community.
MobLab has published over 200 original stories, case studies and tools aimed at giving campaigners a deeper understanding of what colleagues around the world are learning and testing.
We perform in-depth interviews with communicators, organisers and strategists in and around Greenpeace to find and analyse insights that campaigners can immediately use to build powerful social social change. A focus on direct interaction and tangible support has grown a trusted global network.
Here’s a bit more background on MobLab’s network and reach:
- Website receives over 4,000 monthly visits.
- 2,000 email subscribers around the globe — more than two thirds of which represent high profile campaigning NGOs like Amnesty International, Oxfam, and Save the Children as well as campaign organizations such as 350.org, Avaaz, GetUp!, 38 Degrees, Change.org and more.
- 2,500 Twitter followers with a potential network reach of approximately one million (reach via SumAll).
- Voice messages mobilise farmers amidst India drought
- Social media engagement FTW: Lessons from Greenpeace Brasil’s growth
- Campaigners in China: Social media plays critical role in social action
- Secret agents power citizen science, help protect Lebanese coast
- Record-breaking street team recruitment in Chile: Teamwork trumps departments
- Half-million Ask VW Not to Give In...to the Dark Side (Case Study)
- Mobilisation Integration Toolkit
- Grassroots-Led campaigns transforming social change
MobLab has three guidelines for developing campaign analysis and stories. Campaign strategies and tools are not one size fits all; we emphasize (and explain) context. We emphasize a global viewpoint — campaigners in the West can learn a lot from Asia and Africa, for example. And as campaigners ourselves, we care about impact and make tangible takeaways easy to find and use.
Context-Driven: Our stories surface from the ground through close connections with campaigners around the world and extensive tracking of blogs, news, social media and more. We use the language of campaigns and campaign-driven organizations to craft clear takeaways for readers. We also combine written narrative with audio and video, interviews, photos, graphics and more to ensure stories are accessible to a range of users.
Global Perspective: We identify stories using strong connections with a worldwide network of Greenpeace staff and many others working in the global social change community. We recognize our limits as Western-based editors and are actively building a strong network of campaign spotters and writers worldwide.
Outcomes-Focused: We tell great stories that campaigners can use to improve the results of their work by understanding the deeper data, innovation, models and patterns often missing from reporting on campaigns. We seek lessons campaigners can apply to their work from a wide array of causes, geographies, organizational models and politics.
Capacity and Partnerships that Empower a Generation of Global Campaigners
Investing in the capacity of Mobilisation Journal to surface stories and support a dynamic global community will strengthen social change around the globe.
We will broaden our network of proven leaders and upcoming citizen campaigners by producing more interviews, chats, and stories about the work of these people The formats we use will deliver content to many who may not be able to read our primarily English stories.
Our plan includes adding to our in-house editorial experience by creating a partnership network of practitioners and writers around the globe. We will create a website that serves as a hub for stories, tools and a community of grassroots changemakers and practitioners. This broader range of stories delivered in alternative formats will be shareable and more easily distributed into content networks that can reach more campaigners.