Nuit debout: The rebirth of occupied squares? A protest movement sparked by a French labour reforms has led to an enduring mass presence, day and night, in Paris' Place de la Republique. As "Nuit debout" persists and spreads to other cities, writers draw parallels between the takeover of squares during the Arab Spring and the Occupy Wall Street movement.

"Understanding the distinction between organizers and amplifiers matters," writes activist and writer Dani McClain writes in The Nation while examining the value of both social media and committed on the ground organising to Black Lives Matter and other movements. Those failing to make a distinction between the two may, she says, "overrate those who excel at amplifying the passion of a movement and undervalue the organizers, who make concrete change happen."

Organisations are getting real about people power. We brought together winning campaigners to find five ways they are creating and scaling member engagement. Hear what we learned about collective identity, experimentation and even layer cakes from Human Rights Campaign, MomsRising and United We Dream.


Let's get to know each other. The divide between traditional advocacy organizations and their digitally native peers is deeper than it should be, writes Nathan Woodhull, founder of ControlShift Labs. Some groups have deep community and donor relationships needed for lasting power. Others can test, innovate and make a message viral almost overnight. To paraphrase: spend more time together and we'll all be more awesome. 

Looking to engage a new generation in a nation where distrust of government is a rule, Mexico City is crowdsourcing its new constitution using and a massive outreach campaign that includes drones, YouTube, public computer kiosks and more. We're curious to see what engages people (and what doesn't). [ht Amrekha Sharma]

"In the last five years, movements have taken dynamite to the borders of political consideration, blasting open significant space on the left," writes Jesse Myerson in a piece looking at the long but highly networked path that led to Bernie Sanders's rise in America's presidential campaign. It's a movement moment, he argues, that may fail to win office but position progressives to work from a more powerful place. 

Digital organising and rapid response capacity grew and learned together. Meanwhile, online engagement experiences influenced Sanders campaign strategy writes Michael Grothaus after interviewing Scott Goodstein, a key strategist in the Bernie Sanders campaign. It's a good read for digital campaigners and those obsessed with how innovative tools can be put to use. 

A cabin in the woods has become a powerful symbol of community defiance and togetherness. Will Elwell, a timber frame builder in western Massachusetts modeled his protest of the Kinder Morgan TGP Northeast Energy Direct pipeline on Henry David Thoreau's Walden cabin

The painstaking business of movement building. Julie Quiroz and Kristen Zimmerman provide a detailed account of how the Our Walmart movement was built in Open Democracy. Starting from nurtured relationships with small circles of employees based on empathy and support, Our Walmart was able to ramp up from this base to become a national force that the corporate giant must now reckon with.

Who decides what goes and what stays? Experts estimate that at least 100,00 people worldwide (maybe many times that) are employed to moderate content on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other platforms. In The Secret Rules of the Internet, Catherine Buni and Soraya Chemaly, examine the opaque role content moderators play at the intersection of social responsibility, human rights and corporate profits. A must read for campaigners and activists. 

Big Listening shows the way forward for LGBTQ activists. Crowdsourcing at impressive scale, the Our Tomorrow campaign described in Stanford Social Innovation Review processed over 14 thousand responses to three simple questions concerning the future of LGBTQ advocacy in the U.S. The project's experiences with online and offline data sourcing as well as its approach to big data processing are of interest to all groups thinking of doing issue-mapping work around their causes.

Can worker-owned platforms create a more equitable sharing economy? That's what Coopify is trying to do writes Alissa Quart in FastCo.Exist. She describes how the alternative app and other "platform co-op" systems aim to give employees, not executives or investors, control over wages and work.

Let's Get Smart (together) trainingsCheck this out! has opened up resources and tools it uses to scale global training of activists, campaigners and volunteers. Included are how-tos for running training workshops, facilitating meetings, strategy development and more.  

MobLab's Tracy Frauzel presented on design thinking for campaigns at ECF 2016 earlier this month. Didn't make it to Oxford to see it in person? Catch her talk on creativity and innovation for change here.  

Benchmarks X is here. The annual state of the online fundraising and marketing report from US firm M+R highlights the rise of online advertising by NGOs as well as why online and email fundraising grew 25% last year. 

Be a craftivist, eh?Slow down and learn how to do activism in a kind and beautiful way using craft in the new book How to be a Craftivist: the art of gentle protest(It's on our reading list).

Get yourself to Vancouver, British Columbia, for the Spring 2016 Tyee Master Class Series. Immersion trainings will cover working with the media, framing and messaging, and creating (and winning) breakthrough online campaigns (the last one led by MobLab friend Karl Hardin of Dogwood Initiative).

The Tech We Need is the theme of Personal Democracy Forum to be held June 9-10 at New York University. Activists, strategists and thinkers from around the globe will be speaking and organisers are inviting session proposals through the end of April.  

Ted Fickes and Tom Liacas rounded up and summed up these stories. Something to share? Working on a people powered campaign? Send your news to @MobilisationLab and we'll get to out to the network. 


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