Author: Anna Keenan

How to run a global online volunteer training

Insights, People Lead

Trainings, workshops, gatherings and meetings: all are important tools that networks use to bring volunteers closer to the heart of the organisation. But what do you do when you need to train volunteers spread all across the country but you don’t have the financial budget or carbon budget for an in-person training? You need to get creative if it’s not an option for staff to travel around to meet volunteers in the field one by one. This is a good time to experiment with digital meeting tools. Group Leadership 101! In March and April 2014, an international group of volunteer leaders came together...

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A local collaboration innovation – training the movement

Campaigning, People Lead

If you’re an activist in Toronto, you probably know Tools for Change. There to “help you develop skills to champion social change,” they are a fabulous example of local collaboration between organizations. And it is leading to both greater efficiency and higher impact for Greenpeace and for the broader movement. One look at their testimonials page and you’ll see that their trainees love them! How does Tools for Change work? Let’s say that Greenpeace in Toronto, with 250 active local volunteers, wanted a one-day workshop on processes and practices for conflict resolution for their 5 group leaders on a...

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Meet our Volunteers: Thoas the 'time donor'

Insights, People Lead

When Greenpeace’s new International Volunteering Lab team started thinking about our identity and logo, we decided that, in keeping with our mission, it was only right to ask a volunteer to design it, as an example of how awesome and full-of-talent our volunteering community is! So we reached out and found Thoas, after a quick search for graphic designers in the greenwire.nl volunteer community. Meet Thoas! Thoas is a professional designer and photographer with 13 years experience, ranging from work in a corporate design agency to his current role, running his one-man design studio, thoas.nl, out of his home-office in Amsterdam. He specialises...

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International Volunteering Lab launches in Berlin with new staff team

Leadership, People Lead

Meet Greenpeace’s new Volunteering Lab team! The Vol Lab is Greenpeace’s first international team dedicated to supporting and building up our global network of 133 volunteer-coordinators and an estimated 18,000 fabulous volunteers.  And when we say ‘build up’, we mean building the community not only in numbers, but also in leadership, relationships, skills and impact! Due to start in January 2013 and run for two years, the Vol Lab will be the ‘yin’ to the Digital Mobilisation Lab’s ‘yang’ – complementary and interdependent forces which together form a balanced whole. The Mob Lab (which you are no-doubt familiar with)...

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Values, story and strategy: Breaking down why Invisible Children's Kony campaign hooks people

Insights

Regardless of the politics of the film and the organisation (I’m not going to pretend to know enough about Uganda’s on-ground situation and its politics to make a call on whether Invisible Children’s strategy and politics is right or not.), I’d put the viral success of their recent film and related campaigning down to two things 1) a clear demonstration of the injustice and bearing witness to it, and 2) their use of all the best mobilisation/campaign-communication tricks in the book, many of which we heard at the Greenpeace DMS last week! The movie opens by appealing to the values of the audience (people, specifically American people, on Facebook/the internet that crave belonging, connection, and purpose) as well as universal values such as family and parenthood). Storytelling (in the Jonah Sachs style) in which the central character is ‘you’, the individual audience member watching the film. It doesn’t portray the narrator as ‘the hero’ but the mentor, and it invites people to be part of ‘the experiment’. It includes a clear participatory-democratic analysis: politics won’t change unless you do it yourself. The story itself tells of the entry path into activism, the struggles of past activism, and demonstrates the work that they have already done ‘on the ground’, to build credibility of the messenger. It is abundantly clear that this is an on-ground activist effort, with strong on-line storytelling,...

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