Featured image for “What do 70 Masters students from around the world want to campaign on?”

What do 70 Masters students from around the world want to campaign on?

November 17, 2023
I’ve just spent a busy few days giving feedback on students’ proposals for their assignments in my activism class at the LSE, which I teach along with Tom Kirk. For this they have to pick a topic that they feel strongly about, and design an influencing strategy to achieve a positive change. They have to work through the course content
Featured image for “New Version of the free online ‘Make Change Happen’ course launched this week – check it out”

New Version of the free online ‘Make Change Happen’ course launched this week – check it out

October 3, 2023
One of the more enjoyable things I’ve been involved in at Oxfam in recent years is the Make Change Happen MOOC (Massive Open Online Course – where have you been?). A new version is launching this week – if you haven’t already done it, let me try and persuade you to sign up/promote it to your networks.  When joining the
Featured image for “Effective Activism in a Time of Coronavirus: what are we learning six months in?”

Effective Activism in a Time of Coronavirus: what are we learning six months in?

July 10, 2020
Kirsty McNeill of Save the Children had a great piece on Global Dashboard this week. It mainly focuses on the UK, but I think its relevance is much wider than that. I’ve cut down the original for the tl;dr community, but if you have time, do read the full post here. In a fight between a rewind and a revolution,

Against fascism in India: in solidarity, through care

February 26, 2020
Enda Verde and Chandan Kumar write about how women are leading the resistance against the unconstitutional Citizenship Amendment Act in India. Enda Verde is a Ph.D. candidate working in both Europe and India. Chandan Kumar is a labor rights activist based in Pune, India, and part of a citizen’s movement against the Citizenship Amendment Act called “Hum Bharat Ke Log.”
Featured image for “Two new Manuals for Activists, with some useful lessons”

Two new Manuals for Activists, with some useful lessons

August 13, 2019
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 this by mistake, mixing up
Featured image for “Meet the artist changing gut reactions to the Philippines ‘war on drugs’”

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

July 5, 2019
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 single-seater armchair sits in the
Featured image for “How to have Difficult Conversations”

How to have Difficult Conversations

May 10, 2019
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 because in part, it’s true.

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

January 29, 2019
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 of long-term change and temporary

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

December 20, 2018
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 up my views. But after

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

September 13, 2018
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 social movements succeed while others

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

August 17, 2018
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 be one of the talking

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

June 14, 2018
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 students’ heads – you find