Hahrie Han on how relationships improve mobilisation

I have shocking news for you: people are more likely to take action if a relationship exists. The are particular ideas associated with relational engagement, and using these ideas can improve mobilisation outcomes. This is my takeaway from an upcoming paper by Hahrie Han: The Organizational Roots of Political Activism: Field Experiments on Creating a […]

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 […]

Retain volunteers with intrinsically-motivating work

Just because the work is important, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be rewarding. Civic associations depend upon volunteers to get their work done. But sometimes they trust that the purpose is enough to motivate volunteers – solving climate change is important! reducing poverty! tackling domestic violence! While purpose is motivational, work itself can be designed to be […]

“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 […]