Our review of Rules for Revolutionaries

A warning to those living in open and privileged societies and working in well-funded top-down advocacy institutions: This book may cause intense feelings of inadequacy and a burning desire to innovate. Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change...

Training to win big change

The stakes just went up dramatically for all of us working on social change so learning how to campaign more effectively, manage resources wisely, and punch above our weight has never been more important. We hope to help more campaigners and nonprofit managers gear up...

Nonpartisan NGOs face irrelevance in a polarized world

Each and every progressive institution in America - and perhaps the global north as a whole - is now presented with a stark range of choices at a time when Trump takes the U.S. presidency and a host of would-be authoritarian leaders line up for their turn around the...

Time to pick a side

Civic institutions in America face difficult questions about how they will operate in the new landscape created by a Trump government, and whether they are still equipped to achieve their social missions without major adjustments to their thinking, strategy, and work.

Our breakdown of a recent viral video campaign

In our more polarized world, mobilization and advocacy approaches become all important. Web video campaigns, when done right, are a tool that can bring your message to millions on a shoestring budget.

The world’s most successful directed network campaign

This article was originally published at the Greenpeace Mobilisation Lab.  American unions have been losing members and influence for over 30 years so it’s notable when a labor campaign changes wage policies across the U.S. and forces corporate giants, state leaders,...

Still waiting for a sign?

The role of social change institutions in leading us through this time of multiple, deepening crises in our culture, our communities, our planet, and our spirits couldn’t be more clear. It’s time to modernize your institution so it is part of driving the real, big change we need, or get out of the way to let others lead.

Networked Change in Stanford Social Innovation Review

Our Networked Change Report, which maps the strategic patterns behind today's winning advocacy campaigns is now available for free download. For busy folks, we also just published this summary with the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Below is a copy. Behind Today’s...

The last blog post you’ll ever read from Communicopia

Sorry about the headline. It’s actually not a sad story. It’s a re-birth. 23 years after Communicopia - then one of the world’s first digital media companies - opened its doors to serve the social change community, and five years after we stopped building websites to...

Distributed organizing in directed network campaigns

As part of the research leading up to our Networked Change Report, I explored in detail how groups like 350.org and Hollaback! are empowering self-starting leadership across the world while keeping it all focused on shared objectives.

What you can learn from Bernie’s online Bern

US Presidential elections are amazing generators of innovation in campaigning strategies and tools, and every few cycles allows us to witness a quantum leap. Clearly the leaper this time is Bernie Sanders. Much has been written about how the Sanders campaign is...

Policy is not a campaign plan. These three pillars are.

I just had a call with a promising start up that's trying to build campaign momentum after a successful media launch. They've a lot going for them: a solution to a very prominent issue, their timing is perfect, and they're using an intersectional frame that could...

Networked society insights from new team member Tom Liacas

The changes that networks are hard-wiring into society are discussed much more often in the corporate world than in our world of social change. That's why we're so excited that writer, researcher, and strategist Tom Liacas has joined our team. Here is a selection of...

Organizing vs Mobilizing – focusing your campaign to win

One of the best parts about being a consultant is being able to learn new ideas from organizations pushing the edge of innovation, and share them across sectors. I recently learned a new way of looking at and equipping advocacy campaigns based on what phase they are...

Canadian election – movement explainer for Americans

I spend my days pretty evenly split between US and Canadian work, and the questions I'm asked most often these past few years are simple: what the heck happened to you guys, how did it happen so quickly, and when will you come back to being nice again? Well last night...

Sending a breakthrough signal in a tuned out world

Most progressive advocacy groups still think getting “a story in a newspaper I read” is the ultimate PR coup. It’s so tangible, and its been the measure of success for so many decades, it's just so damn hard to stop. Global PR giant Edelman and I have both written...

A new high bar for campaign integration

The Act on Climate March mobilized 25,000 people to the streets of Quebec City, three days before the Premier of Quebec’s provincial climate summit. By bringing together the best of modern organizing, communications, and digital campaigning we were able to elevate our issue, change the conversation around it, and frame it in a way that boxed our opponents in, all while achieving breakthrough success in traditional and online media.