When organisations invest in supporters and give them resources to do substantial work they create leaders, scale impact and win more often. A new MobLab report, Beyond the First Click: How Today's Volunteers Build Power for Movements and NGOs examines innovative volunteer engagement work by 35 organisations empowering people to create change by learning and doing more.
A months-long occupation at Standing Rock surprised most observers with its persistence and growing support. Volunteers led non-violent protests in the face of harsh weather and military style tactics. Jack Smith IV reports for Mic on the vital role played by direct action training and maintenance of camp norms.
The Climate Strategies Accelerator aims help people around the globe develop ideas with the potential to dramatically slash carbon pollution. Participants will join a week long boot camp and 90-day accelerator program with the potential to receive significant three-year funding.
Looking to get more involved in activism and campaigning but don't know where to begin? Check out Caleb Gardner's Personal Impact Canvas to help figure out where you could have the most impact.
Sociologist Jennifer Earl defends slacktivism by arguing that those who want larger and more powerful social movements "should be working to find ways to include everyone who will do anything, not upholding an artificial standard of who is a 'real activist' and who is not.
A networked world may have wildly unexpected results, as seen when millions of people in Myanmar suddenly get the Internet. In a fascinating long read, Buzzfeed writer Sheera Frankel looks at how Myanmar's staggering growth in Internet (and Facebook) access over the past two years have changed society, contributed to persecution of the minority Muslim population, and led those anti-Muslim leaders to find inspiration in the rise of Donald Trump.
Social media footprints and other digital data left behind by Chinese are being turned into a national "social credit system" with the power to let government control people. The Economist updates readers on the (so far) experimental scheme and pushback against it.
In Bear Witness – But then What?, Reyhan Harmanci calls on us all to address the empathy fatigue of a hyper-connected world where journalists and people are posting seemingly endless video, photos and first-hand accounts of injustice and tragedy. "We should understand the risks of watching violent or traumatic imagery," Harmanci writes. "There needs to be calls to action, or at least discussion, that give meaning to the reams of primary documents."
Direct Action Camp! Over 125 activists from around the United States will gather in March at the Greenpeace Direct Action Training Camp. Strengthen skills and develop the tactics and strategies needed to protect the planet and people. The application deadline is 6 January, 2017.
What we're reading: With at least a couple days of downtime at year end, we're looking forward to catching up on some insights from colleagues and friends. Two books on the list include Analytic Activism: Digital Listening and the New Political Strategy by David Karpf and Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything by Becky Bond and Zack Exley who both worked on the Bernie Sanders campaign.
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Not as New. Still Open.