Anatomy of a Campaign

What makes a campaign work? Here we take a look at the context, people, strategies and tactics of mobilisation campaigns.

Bring on the people: Opening up non-violent direct action

A look inside Greenpeace New Zealand's open NVDA

In March 2016, Greenpeace New Zealand (GPNZ) called on members of the public to blockade the annual New Zealand Petroleum Conference in Auckland. The action marked one of the first times a Greenpeace office invited the general public to directly participate in non-violent direct action (NVDA). Many did not have a prior relationship with Greenpeace nor any […]

How grassroots campaigners and a digital startup joined forces against Unilever

When old and new campaigning work together and win

A mercury thermometer factory in Kodaikanal, a city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, left behind a toxic legacy of pollution and health problems. The factory, known to have lax environmental and health standards, closed in 2001. Local leaders, former factory workers, labor activists and others spent 15 years challenging the factory’s owner, Hindustan Unilever, […]

An open (and open source) campaign takes on Facebook

How a handful of people grew to millions fighting for Net Neutrality in India

Across India, concerns about net neutrality and the future of the Internet arose even before Facebook and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, began an intense marketing campaign in 2015 in support the company’s Free Basics program. A self-organized group of Indian volunteers from diverse academic, civil society, and professional backgrounds used open source software and open campaign principles […]

Why a campaign against coal was all about olives

In Turkey, people are transforming their nation's energy by talking about olives, not clean air

In Turkey, on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, the olive is ubiquitous. “It is the most basic food item that you can find in every single household that is consumed by every person, every single day,” explains Nejat Dinç of Greenpeace Turkey. “It’s a very symbolic fruit.” Turkey is the world’s second largest producer […]

Six trees, collaborative tech and people power

How a campaign in Auckland gave people tools to craft winning organizing strategies

Ryan Mearns, a Campaign Director at New Zealand’s ActionStation, shares his experience with a fast-growing community campaign to save six heritage Pohutukawa trees in Auckland. Like many campaigns that rapidly grow online through email and social media, the Powhutukawa campaign struggled to give interested people meaningful ways to get involved on the ground. Mearns used collaborative tech, […]

The 350.org and Hollaback! approach to distributed campaigning

Finding the balance between top-down leadership and bottom-up action

350.org and Hollaback! are relative newcomers to the world of cause campaigning but have experienced an explosive rise in following and impact since their founding. Their distributed approach to movement building seems to have been a key factor here but unlike other distributed movements that rose quickly and faded just as fast, their growth is […]

Pay attention and win: Lessons from Brasil

How Greenpeace Brasil is adapting Big Listening to its needs to become an opinion leader

In 2013, Greenpeace Brasil realised it was having trouble turning it’s fast-growing social media audience into the kind of active and vocal supporters needed to help influence public opinion on its issues. In mid-2013, they connected with MobLab’s Benjamin Simon and colleagues at Upwell, Rachel Weidinger and Matt Fitzgerald, to learn about using social media monitoring (or Big […]

How the Web Was Won

Ten lessons from the underdogs’ victory

A year ago, if someone said an upstart coalition fighting for net neutrality would beat Comcast and Verizon, most would have laughed or just rolled their eyes. On January 14, 2014, we’d just lost a major lawsuit and were up against the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. Obama was at the Comcast CEO’s house […]

How Direct Response TV scales emotional stories for a new audience

Behind the curtain of DRTV projects in Italy and New Zealand

Email response rates got you down? Online petitions not reaching new people? Looking to talk to new people that are busy at home — but may have a TV on and a phone or tablet in their hand)? Greenpeace offices in Italy and New Zealand tested direct response television (often referred to as DRTV) as a way […]