Could Vicars help us overcome the ‘Activist Paradox’?

US megachurch pastors might not at first glance have a huge amount in common with campaign activists, but both have interesting thoughts on how you go about building a movement. Jamie Bartlett succinctly describes the ‘activist paradox’ that many movements face in his book The Radicals describing “the way a self-selecting groups of similar people create …

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What happens when you handover a campaign postcard?

A while ago, one of my colleagues got to speak to a former ministerial Special Advisor (SPAD) to find out what really happens to all those campaign postcards we send to a government department. My experience from running the Campaign Totals project over the last few years indicates that every department does things slightly differently, …

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8 things I learned at Netroots UK

I had a great time at Netroots UK yesterday, it was one of those conferences where various elements of my campaigning world came together, a conference full of NGO friends , Labour Party activists and lots of interesting people who I follow to help to collect ideas for this blog. I’d strongly recommend that people go …

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Reflections from campaigning in Brussels

Last week I spent a fantastic three days with campaigners from across Europe in Brussels calling on the MEPs and representatives of Member States to help to unearth the truth. We were calling on them to pass legislation that would require all oil, gas and mining companies registered in Europe to be open about the payments …

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Campaigning for the 'long haul'

We’re told that patience is a virtue, but if we’re honest with ourselves it’s not one that’s always found in abundance within the campaigning world. As campaigners we’re paid to be impatient people, we want things to change now. But a recent conversation with a colleague who’d been involved in the start of the Australian …

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From Serbia and beyond – FT profile of Canvas

Last weekend’s Financial Times has a wonderful article about Canvas (the Centre for Applied NonViolent Strategies), a Serbian organisation that trains activists around the world in how to successfully overthrow a dictatorship. Formed by a group of students who were involved in the overthrow of the Serbian Dicator, Slobodan Milosovic, in 2000, the group has gone on …

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EU Citizens Initiative – All you wanted to know (and much more beside)

Yesterday, the European Council adopted a regulation that will allow the ‘European Citizens Initiative’ to go ahead from early 2012. A key part of the Lisbon Treaty, the initiative allows a group of  citizen to bring legislative proposals to the European Commission, providing they can gain the support of a million other Europeans. The documentation …

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Why I'll be pleased to see the end of the No10 petition site

Third Sector PR is reporting on twitter that the No10 petition site might be a casualty of the new administration. The site, was set up in 2006, and is perhaps best remember for the million plus people who signed a petition about road tax. The creators MySociety suggest that over 5 million unique e-mail addresses …

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