The People’s Accelerator – Aren’t we all campaigning?

by Greg.Winfield
19.01.2015

The People’s Accelerator supports organsiations from across the UK to deliver structured, high-impact and financially robust civil movements which tackle the root causes of inequality. More background here

As part of the People’s Accelerator curriculum we are running ‘Wish Week’, an intensive 5 days of workshops helping our participants improve their capacity to create a movement around the work that they do.

 

Our first session on measuring impact began with a simple question for each participant – What’s your campaign? Easy enough for some, but for others less so. They didn’t identify as campaigners. However, we had welcomed them onto the programme as people who could create real change through this approach. What was the disconnect – aren’t we all campaigners?

In the social sector/ third sector/voluntary sector, whatever you want to call it, we are all running or working for organisations with a strong social mission. When we introduce ourselves, that message is (hopefully) front and centre. We are pushing a world view of how to make things right. By simply existing we are saying “There’s something to fix here, and here’s how we are going to help fix it”. We are always looking for more people to get on side and support what we do, through providing skills, funding or just help spreading the word.

Our work on the ground can alleviate the problem on a small scale, and that’s good, but the real challenge is to change it for everyone. As inequality grows, collective action and opinion forming are key to expanding the message. Knitting together skills, money and support will help you do more, but also amplify your broader message, and eventually look at addressing the causes of the issue. The more people, organisations, communities and decision makers that hear, agree and act, the better the chance of a substantial, lasting difference.

The tools of movement building and campaigning therefore apply far more broadly than just to people who identify as movement builders and campaigners. Your work in your organisation is good, but your broader goal for all of society is key. With a broader community united behind your message, you have the potential not just for more delivery on the ground, but also for much greater change across the board.

 

Throughout this week we will be blogging on what we’re learning, thinking and doing on the People’s Accelerator. You can stay up to date via @YFAccelerator and the hashtag #wishweek