Session Two of the ChangeMakers Organising School began on the 13 August, with seven weeks of change making content. We provide all the content overviews, slides, relevant articles and edited videos of the trainings here. You can register for season 2 here.
Session One – August 13
Norms, Purpose and Relationships – how we all work best together
In our first week we will take the time to set up the seven week season, focusing on the all-important organising skills required to work well together. In the first half, Isabella Morand explored how to build good group culture and reflections on the norms of this training (as outlined in our purpose and norms document).
In the second half Amanda Tattersall did an advanced training on relational meetings. Participants were supplied with the introductory relational meeting video from our first session. This session provided a brief recap, model a relational meeting and then debriefed the meeting teaching several key insights for powerful relational meetings (eg. probe not pry, political autobiography, public and private, questions and interruption).
Session Two – August 20
Campaign planning in a pandemic
This week, Millie Anthony from Tipping Point will train in the basic tools of campaign planning, including goal setting, theory of change, critical path, power analysis, strategy and tactical approaches.
The second half involves reflections from campaigners on doing our work amidst the complexity of COVID, exploring how campaigns need to shift approaches to respond to pandemic times They’ll show how these elements covered by Millie work in practice, identifying insights for participants for their own campaign work.
Session Three – August 27
Learning from the Power of First Nations Resistance and Relationships
In week three, Original Power’s Edie Shepherd presented on the power and history of First Nations resistance. The first half of this session explored lessons from the history of Black Resistance in Australia – drawing from the Frontier Wars, Black Power, Land Rights and fighting Black Deaths in Custody. The session centred Black resistance in the story of struggle in this country, and identifies distinctive, often poorly known approaches that could help inform social change today.
The second half focused on working with First Nations, and through examples shared by Christine Dungay and Paddy Gibson explored lessons drawn from the justice fight for David Dungay Jr and the fight to end Black Deaths in Custody/ Their talks centred on strategies for building powerful Black and White relationships.
Session Four – September 3
What does it take to change political decision makers: Campaigning in an election
This session discussed how we can make change using elections. To frame the session, Amanda Tattersall shared some concepts about electoral politics. We reflected that there is a lot to learn in this space, identifying some of the struggles we have had.
We then dove into the August 2020 Northern Territory election, with local organiser Jamine Story reflecting on their (very recent!) campaign (looking back), drawing out not only what they did but the more universal elements that speak to how the campaign has been contested.
After a breakout, we featured two campaigners Emily Kain and Jason Young from the upcoming Queensland election (looking forward) who shared their plans and reflections on how to build an election campaign in real time.
Session Five – September 10
Building Scalable, Participatory Activism: How to make the most of your list
Most social movement organisations have contact lists of thousands of people who would be prepared to put in a couple of hours each week or each month. What is the most we can hope for from these supporters? Are donations, petition signing, and the occasional rally all such supporters are capable of?
Nick Harrigan, academic and delegate from the National Tertiary Education Union, explored strategies for organising large scale, participatory, volunteer run organising in Singapore and Australia. At the core of his talk are two questions:
- How can we create meaningful, interesting, collective activism that supporters can do with minimal resources and training?
- What skills do leaders need to set up such work?
The session offers concepts as well as very practical tools that you could use to test out some of these insights in your group.
Session Six – September 17
Taking People from Passive Interest to Active Involvement: Using the conversation tool Anger, Hope, Action
Drawing from the work of the union movement, in this session Alice Solomon teaches the conversational tool – ‘anger, hope, action.’ This is a different conversational practice than the relational meeting – and is designed to work with people in target communities (like a workplace, or an organisation) who are in a space where a campaign is building. The tool explores the specific challenges they face, what change could mean, and encourages them to take action. The tool is a persuasion tool designed to get people to take action.
The session teaches the purpose of the tool, models the tool, provides space for using and practicing the tool, and explores some case studies of when and how it has been applied.
Session Seven – September 24
Evaluation & Reflection
This week we’ll focus on the importance of evaluation and reflection in organising before then applying the skill practically by engaging in an evaluation of this season of the training.
We teach the art of evaluation and the (useful) difference between debrief and evaluation. We revisit the organising cycle and hear a testimony of someone who changed how they made change because of insights gained in evaluation.
We also explore the power of reflection and bending the mirror back towards ourselves. We look at reflective practices and things that get in the way. We identify strategies for building a reflective personal and group culture.
After September 24 we’ll take a short break then return with another season of training.