Dispatch 10/1: Open campaigns manifesto; Russian pothole shaming; #FreeKaren

In collaboration with Mobilisation Lab, here is a recent roundup of grassroots-powered movement news from around the world. To receive the Mobilisation Lab Dispatch directly each week, please sign up here. If you have ideas for reports that should be in future Dispatches, please contact me here.

Would you let your campaign targets review your theory of change? Greenpeace strategist Pierre Terras shares his experience doing that in Trusting the people: A manifesto on open campaigning. Pierre tells of how having an outdoor clothing industry representative at a Detox planning session aided the campaign.

Tiago Peixoto muses on the role of public shaming when used to force municipal action on issues such as potholes and fly tipping. This globe-spanning review introduces us to the artists in Russia who have painted politicians’ faces around neglected potholes and the UK-based Fix My Street app, which allows citizens to geotag local nuisances and instantly bring them to the attention of the public and decision makers alike.

Speaking of shaming, Shell has pulled the plug on its plans to drill in the Arctic Ocean and point directly to the high costs of public outrage as one reason why. In Rolling Stone, Andy Bichlbaum of the The Yes Men explains why Shell’s decision is a people-powered win.

Is the Internet building power for social change or helping maintain the status quo? Center for Media Justice asks that question in a new report drawing on interviews with dozens of organizers. The report concludes that net neutrality and ownership issues surrounding software are vital but largely unexplored issues in networked gender and racial justice movements.

“If we listen right and are thinking broadly there is hidden power in stories that have stood the test of time.” Amy O’Leary, Upworthy’s Editorial Director, expands on that in a recent presentation on using ancient storytelling practices to win.

What you do with your data matters. A group of data scientists, nonprofit leaders, scholars and philanthropists recently shared 3 principles for ethical data use by NGOs:

  • Default to person-centered consent.
  • Prioritize privacy and minimum viable data collection.
  • Plan from the beginning to open (share) your work.

Seem like great points for open campaigning conversations. (H/T @Civicist First Post)

The pending execution of young Saudi activist Ali Mohammed al-Nimr should remind us all that some are still paying a very high price for dissent across the world. Over 800,000 people have supported an Avaaz campaign pleading for a suspended sentence.

#FreeKarenFictional activist “Karen” is profiled in the Australian government’s “anti-radicalisation kit” as someone who got turned onto direct action after listening to alternative music. Karen has now become the focus of online derision and is currently trending under the #FreeKaren hashtag.



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