Network Power at Greenpeace + The Rush for Security + Futurists + Reaching Into the Dark Web
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Beyond the First Click: How Today's Volunteers Build Power for Movements and NGOs, our new report with Capulet and, identifies six ways organisations around the world are investing in supporters, giving them resources to to do substantive work, and scaling their ability to extend winning campaigns.

The Twitter group Sleeping Giants is running a distributed, people-powered campaign at the intersection of ad-tech, journalism and politics since November's election of Donald Trump. Pagan Kennedy writes in The New York Times about how thousands of people around the globe are taking on Breitbart, an American right-wing news and opinion site, by calling out advertisers, most of whom likely have no idea their ads are running at Breitbart, on social media.

Sign of the times: demand for secure messaging apps is way up writes Lauren Smiley in The Verge. Smiley shares insights from several experts on encryption, digital security and safe online activism.

Education and Training in Nonviolent Resistance [PDF] profiles examples of how "a commitment to education and training is integral to the success of nonviolent civil resistance movements dedicated to social change." Thanks to Nadine Bloch of Beautiful Trouble for a strong addition to the dialogue about informing, scaling and supporting volunteer nonviolent action.

MobLab Exclusive: Volunteers are running a campaign to buy Twitter and transform it into a user-owned cooperative. Nithin Coca writes about what campaigners, many of whom are part of the Platform Co-op movement, are teaching us about open campaigning and why the idea of people owning a social media platform is both possible and powerful.

Romania just submitted an application to bring UNESCO World Heritage status to Rosia Montana, a Carpathian mountains region threatened by gold mining. Alexandru Predoiu writes in Waging Nonviolence about how people pivoted a long-running campaign to protect Rosia Montana from destruction, including creative ways of engaging city dwellers far from the land.

How does a long-established, staff-driven global advocacy organisation open up campaigns and scale meaningful action by millions? Mozilla's Matt Thompson spoke with MobLab for a wide-ranging conversation about helping staff around the world envision and build powerful people-led work. Read more in Open Campaigns at Greenpeace: Building network power and "an Army of Davids" to tackle new Goliaths.

Emily Armistead shares four key elements of strong community in her reflection on a year spent working with senior Greenpeace leaders around the globe to nurture strong internal learning communities.

Crowdtangle, a useful social media analysis tool, recently announced it was bought by Facebook. Last week, they shared news that the tool is now free for anyone to use and part of the Facebook Journalism Project, an effort to support eyewitness media, promote news literacy and more.

Want to see what's coming next? Look to the fringes – and see who's funding the work futurist Amy Webb tells MIT Technology Review in a recent piece for those of you who tracking tech innovation.

Speaking of the future: "The power of individuals and groups to block outcomes will be much easier to wield than the constructive power of forging new policies and alignments or implementing solutions to shared challenges, especially when the credibility of authority and information is in question." That is from the U.S. National Intelligence Council's introduction to its Global Trends report, an unclassified strategic assessment of what economic, political and technological trends may mean over the next 20 years.

Organisations, governments and legislatures need to get serious about inclusivity and technology ethics. Fundraising and membership tech, data handling, use of social media, and more should be on the table. Digital strategist Jess Morales Rocketto penned An Inclusive Vision for Democratic Technology in Civicist to outline a set of principles for the American democratic party. It's worth taking this conversation about tech vision intto leadership conversations at NGOs around the globe.

Identifying and indexing contents of the "dark web" – portions of the Internet on Tor servers – is the goal of Apache Tika. NASA data scientist Christian Mattmann works on the Tika project and describes how this "digital Babel fish" was used to uncover the Panama Papers scandal. Of course, the ability of government (or any other party) to index the dark web, photos, video, data and more can be used for both positive and negative ends.

Let's Learn

Alessandra Pigni's book The Idealist's Survival Kit. Learn more from Pigni (and read the foreword of her book) at Transformation.

FutureShift gives organizations the tools to transform speculative ideas into frameworks for change. They're offering two groups an opportunity to workshop their ideas for free. Find out more and apply soon.


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