Tag: activism

Two new Manuals for Activists, with some useful lessons

I’ve been taking advantage of the summer lull to skim some of the backlog of tomes that have accumulated on my study floor. Some were so bad and/or obscure that they really don’t deserve a mention, but two on activism got my attention. First up, Be the Change by Gina Martin. Full disclosure, I bought […]

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Meet the artist changing gut reactions to the Philippines ‘war on drugs’

Jay Ramirez writes about Carlo Gabuco’s visceral, intimate and poignant depictions of Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’ in the Philippines. Some brilliant insights on the power of art that bring the concept of human rights “down to the gut.” In an art fair in Manila in March last year, one installation caught everybody’s eye. A blue […]

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How to have Difficult Conversations

This piece on Open Democracy by my old friend Marcela Lopez Levy has stayed with me since it was posted a week ago, so thought I would repost it. Campaigners aren’t known for being contemplative. By definition they are trying to change something beyond themselves, and the stereotype of an outgoing extrovert with a megaphone exists […]

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Please help me answer some scary smart student questions on Power and Systems

Tomorrow night I am doing an ‘ask me anything’ session on skype with some students from Guelph University in Canada, who have been reading How Change Happens. They have sent an advance list of questions, which are really sharp. I’d appreciate your views on 3 in particular: Are there important differences to note between processes […]

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Book Review: New Power: How it’s Changing the 21st Century and Why you need to Know

Here’s my recommendation for a last minute panic Christmas pressie for your activist friends. You’re welcome As befits a grumpy old technophobe, I have long been sceptical of the hype around online activism. I’ve cited Malcolm Gladwell’s bah humbug piece on the Arab Spring ‘why the revolution will not be tweeted’ as pretty much summing […]

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Someone just called their new book How Change Happens – here’s my totally impartial review

Finding out that someone’s called their new book ‘How Change Happens’, and that it’s about social movements, is disturbing – a bit like finding out that someone who looks just like you has assumed your identity and is chatting to your mates. But the new book by Leslie R Crutchfield ‘How Change Happens: Why some […]

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Make Change Happen: a new online Oxfam course for activists. Please check it out.

MOOCs, for those of you who still don’t recognize the acronym (tsk), are Massive Open Online Courses. Oxfam’s getting into the MOOC business with ‘Make Change Happen’ – a training course for activists. You can register any time, and the course starts 15th October. I’ve contributed my usual spiel on power and systems, and will […]

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What did I learn from teaching LSE students about advocacy and campaigns?

I spent a week last month marking student assignments. Sounds boring, right? Well it was brain-drainingly hard work, but it was also enthralling. Usually I just give lectures or write stuff, and the level of feedback is pretty cursory. In contrast, marking the assignments for a course you have taught provides a unique peek inside […]

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Bruised but better: the stronger case for evidence-based activism in East Africa

Wrapping up Twaweza week, Varja Lipovsek (left) and Aidan Eyakuze reflect on the event that has provided the last week’s posts It was a stormy couple of days in Dar es Salaam. First, it is the rainy season, so the tent in which we held our meeting flapped and undulated over our heads like a […]

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How can researchers and activists influence African governments? Advice from an insider

One of the highlights of the Twaweza meeting was hearing from Togolani Mavura (left), the Private Secretary to former President Kikwete (in Tanzania, ex-presidents get a staff for life, not like in the UK where they have to hawk themselves round the after dinner speaking circuit). Togolani has worked across the  various policy levels  of the […]

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Can Evidence-based Activism still bring about change? The view from East Africa

Spent last week defrosting in Tanzania, at a fascinating conference that produced so many ideas for blogs that, even if all the promised pieces don’t materialize, we’re going to have to have a ‘Twaweza week’ on FP2P. Here’s the first instalment. I’m buzzing and sleep deprived after getting back from an intense two days in […]

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5 common gaps and 4 dilemmas when we design influencing campaigns

I’ve just read the initial proposals of 30+ LSE students taking my one-term Masters module on Advocacy, Campaigning and Grassroots Activism. Their two main assignments are to work as groups analysing past episodes of change (more on that later in the term) and individual projects where they design an influencing exercise based on their own […]

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