‘Mistakes, I’ve made a few’

‘Mistakes, I’ve made a few’ so goes the song. I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can learn from mistakes and failure since the start of the year. Much of it was prompted by reading Matthew Syed’s Black Box Thinking. In it, he writes ‘a closed loop is where failure doesn’t lead to progress …

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After Article 50. Some questions for Remain campaigners

Last Wednesday, Article 50 was triggered, and already the papers are full of headlines about the return of Blue Passports (and worse). It’s getting me wound up. But over the last week, I’ve found myself on a few occasion lamenting the apparent lack of any effectively organised campaign against ‘hard’ Brexit, and quietly getting frustrated …

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6 campaign lessons from Obama’s rejection of Keystone XL

Climate activists in the US secured a HUGE win last week, when President Obama rejected the building of the Keystone XL pipeline because of it’s impact on climate. I’ve written before about the campaign and my admiration for 350.org, the organisations who have been behind so much of the campaigning. In the last few years, the pipeline has …

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How to stop your campaign falling off a cliff…

As campaigners, we can be like Wile.E.Coyote running so quickly that we ignore the impending cliff. With summits on what replaces the Millenium Development Goals and another on Climate Change in Paris in December, plus a General Election, it’s fair to say that 2015 is a huge year for anyone campaigning on development. Lots of …

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11 lessons from #TurnUpSaveLives

Yesterday, I was able to celebrate (with loads of others) a huge campaign victory. Over the last few months, one of the campaigns that has kept me busy has been #TurnUpSaveLives, a push to enshrine in law our commitment as a country to spend 0.7% of our national income on international development. It’s been hard …

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Can 'Theory of Change' transform our campaign planning?

To be honest, I’ve struggled to get my head around the ‘Theory of Change’ approach that I’ve seen being talked about across the sector over the last year. I’ve felt that its something that could be an incredibly powerful tool, but found it’s been hard to really understand of it. In an attempt to understand …

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Can these tools help to make campaign evaluation interesting?

Let’s be honest. Evaluating campaigning is a subject that excites few people, but it’s a really important part of the campaigning cycle. Over the summer, I’ve been trying to think and learn more about campaigning evaluation, looking at the reports of other organisations that are available, like this one on Oxfam GB’s climate campaign, and …

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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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