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.

IMPACT – six patterns to spread your social innovation

A lot of people talk about social change, few have actually made it in a lasting way, changing not only an issue or a life but a whole system. Even fewer have become wise and remained humble after a lifetime doing it, and are generous with their sharing of what they...

Learning from doing – 15 years of Web of Change

A wise friend of mine likes to say “be the thing that you’re on about”. In my world where organizations are encouraged to take bigger risks, often relying on the advice of digital change agents to direct them to unmapped territory, you want to be sure those giving you...

Three styles of campaigns (with wicked websites)

Some of the most exciting work I get to do is campaign planning: taking a group with a vision and some resources and helping them focus a tight communications, engagement, and digital strategy that's going to help them win. Sometimes people want to start right away...

Standing behind First Nations to stop new fossil fuel infrastructure

Sept 2015 Update: I am so excited to report the campaign blew past all its goals, raising over $600,000 in just over a year! I don't often post here about my personal passion projects, preferring to stay focused on content useful for digital and comms directors...

6 things today’s breakout campaigns get right

People often ask me what are today's most successful online campaigns. It’s a great question to ask when planning your own, because the pace of change keeps speeding up, and campaigns that aim for viral growth and real engagement know that just adding a website and...

Webinar: Facebook throttled my social media strategy. Now what?

In my new role as a leadership fellow at the Broadbent Institute they want me to share digital insights with the progressive movement, so we are organizing what should be a popular webinar on recent changes at Facebook that have impacted every non-profit, community...

Influence and Impact: The new state of digital teams

Overall we see a very positive maturing of digital programs and leadership across the board. In the past two years digital leaders have increased their internal influence, successfully advocated for more resources, and built larger and better skilled teams.

They have stabilized their main digital platforms (websites, social media, email), partly due to a slowing of growth in new channels and other shiny objects they’ve had to chase after, and are now focused on more strategic optimization to produce better outcomes. Most leaders report their digital work is receiving more consistent attention from senior leadership, something we’ve long advocated for as essential to realizing its full potential.

What makes crowdfunding work (for causes)

There’s been a lot of excitement around crowdfunding recently, but until last fall I wasn’t convinced there was a there there. I knew they worked, sometimes, for start-up tech products, some indie films and a few hyper local community projects. But would they do heavy...

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