Book review: “This is an Uprising”, Paul and Mark Engler

(This review was originally published by SEARCH Foundation in their special edition on environmental justice, benefitting from the editorial input of Geoff Evans.) Does strategic community organising create and lead sweeping social change? Or does social change momentum arrive from disruptive actions and sweep individuals and organisations along with it? This is the question tackled […]

The role of stories in organising

Early in 2015 I completed a course in organising with Marshall Ganz: Leadership, Organizing and Action. Ganz’ deconstructs organising into five crafts: public narrative (covered in this post), relationships, structure, strategy, and action. In this post I summarise and explore Ganz’ treatment of public narrative. All unsourced quotations come from the course. Story is fundamental […]

“The Tyranny of Structurelessness” – Jo Freeman

Groups are fascinating things. Sometimes you’re in a group and everything seems to go so well, it’s almost like magic. Other times – much more often, I fear – groups are a burden. Communication is poor, decision-making is chaotic, and things aren’t getting done. Jo Freeman’s “The Tyranny of Structurelessness” is a 1970 paper that […]

Is personalized political communication manipulative?

Living in Canberra as I do, it’s no surprise that at a recent party I found myself in a conversation about the ethics of canvassing voters. With Taylor Swift in the background, a few peers and I discussed whether it was manipulative to have personal conversations with voters with the aim of getting them to […]

How Organizations Develop Activists

NB – this is a long post! (2300 words). You probably won’t be inclined to read it if you have half-heartedly come here while checking on Facebook. Maybe bookmark it? Clip it to Evernote? Or just promise yourself.  There probably aren’t many people who would decide what to read by opening Amazon’s Kindle section and […]

we still have our bodies

On Sunday 2 November, Brisbane Airport rejected a climate change billboard as “too political”. The billboard was the initiative of a handful of climate and environment NGOs who sought to reach G20 leaders arriving in Brisbane before the G20 Leaders’ Summit beginning on 15 November. Brisbane Airport tweeted @GuardianAus We don’t accept any political ads, […]