Activists opened up a campaign against Facebook Free Basics in India. Diverse alliances, transparency and a wide set of free, open source tools helped millions of people speak out against a project many saw as limiting Internet freedom in India. Nithin Coca spoke to several campaign organisers to help us understand how, with few resources, this effort stood up to a massive corporate marketing campaign.
A new open dataset covering 17,000 hazardous chemicals was released last week by the Greenpeace Detox campaign. Two years of campaign research often ends up on a hard drive or bookshelf but this dataset covering chemicals used in clothing, cosmetics, electronics and more is available to anyone. Our colleagues are inviting people around the the world to put the data to use. We hope to hear your ideas for using the data.
Angola is trying to suppress a hip hop revolution. Music is a weapon in this country where people have been executed simply for humming a subversive tune. Enter radical rapper Ikonoklasta and the dissident movement he supports through online distribution of his tracks and a reading group that studies nonviolent resistance manuals. Jailed on charges of an attempted coup, the #Angola15 now face an uncertain future.
Creating the ability to campaign in the worst conditions. Greenpeace Philippines saw the harsh reality of climate change related disaster first hand during (and after) Typhoon Haiyan. We have the story of how the organisation wasn't content to advocate for change but instead readied itself to respond and helped support sustainable communities when Typhoon Ruby hit a year later.
Want to change minds? Have a conversation. That's the finding of a group of researchers that send canvassers door to door to talk with people about transgender issues. Vox and the New York Times cover how "deep canvassing" helps people actively process controversial issues by talking through them one on one.
Nonviolent people power gets the goods. Grassroots citizen movements have shaped history and continue to do so write Paul and Mark Engler in Open Democracy. Drawing a path from the Civil Rights movement to the recent overthrow of several dictatorships and the successful campaign for gay marriage in the U.S., the Englers offer hope to people working to solve the ecological, economic and political challenges posed by climate change.
A huge digitally organised and volunteer-driven campaign run by the Bernie Sanders campaign continues to bring in votes, donations and analysis. Nancy Scola, writing for Politico, looks at how tens of thousands of volunteers are organising barnstorming events, running phone banks and texting millions.
Choose your tax evading adventure. To make the complex fiscal machinations revealed by the Panama Papers come to life for readers, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has created an interactive role playing game in which you can trace the different paths that wealthy tax evaders take to hide their money.
Go watch TV is the TL;DR version of Tracy Van Slyke's recent piece on how to mine pop culture for hooks, narratives and stories that may reach broader audiences. Her specific examples may be more familiar to US television viewers but you'll appreciate the tangible ideas about how to start talking and thinking about ways to track and use pop in your culture change work.
Quiet activism. Big changes. People are using alternative ways of connecting distributed phones and computers to evade censorship, setting up platforms for cooperative work, using blockchain to buy and sell renewable energy, and sharing manufacturing hardware and skills in cooperatives. Athina Karatzogianni from University of Leicester identifies these as a few examples of people collectively working outside corporate, government and even NGO platforms to solve problems and potentially create powerful social and economic changes.