Author: Michael Silberman

What does the "Year of the Protester", #occupy, and Arab Spring mean for mobilisation at Greenpeace?

Campaigning, Insights

We asked Martin Prieto, Executive Director of Greenpeace Argentina and the Argentinian Innovation Lab for his thoughts. Some context: Greenpeace Argentina is known within the global organisation for its focus on “integrated campaigning” — an approach that successfully puts people (or mobilisation) at the center of campaigns and focuses every part of the organization on supporting successful mobilisation efforts, from fundraising to digital to volunteer coordination staff. We’ll have more on this and other learnings from Greenpeace Argentina in future...

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GPUK: "The rainbow warrior is your ship." Innovative ways of saying thanks.

Case Studies, Testing

The Greenpeace UK office is doing some serious thanking this holiday season. They’re reflecting back to supporters the impact they’ve had through their gifts of time, energy, or money. The two examples below are inspring examples of innovation in mobilisation that I look forward to pointing to for years to come. Recognizing supporters for these contributions is more than just polite; it’s a critical ingredient to effective citizen engagement, mobilisation, and community building. Critical as it may be, it’s also the kind of work that tends to fall off the list when schedules get busy (especially during end-of-year madness) — so kudos to the GPUK team for taking the time to produce such creative and heartfelt “thank you’s.” Example 1: Greenpeace UK pulled this video together to thank supporters who donated money toward the construction of the new Rainbow Warrior III… The Showcase of Fundraising Innovation and Inspiration had this to say about the video — (and I agree!): It was a good idea to invite supporters to see and touch the ship that they bought for Greenpeace. Then to send a video of the event as a thank-you is brilliant. And they really do say thank you throughout. The short interviews with various members of Greenpeace staff explain why the ship is so vital to Greenpeace’s work, what it means as a symbol of peaceful direct action and environmental campaigning...

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Global flashmobs to detox sportswear

Case Studies, People Lead

One more volunteer mobilisation video from Greenpeace to share while we’re on the topic. I think this one’s particularly unique and compelling for (at least) two reasons: 1. Global reach :: As many activisits within the network would attest, there’s something particularly powerful about joining a global day of action — especially one that your target doesn’t know is coming, as is true for this action. Videos like these show supporters and volunteers that they’re part of something larger than themselves — that their local (and perhaps small) event adds up to something larger and more powerful. 2. Online to offline to online :: You can’t coordinate, organise, or participate in an offline action like this without a great deal of coordination — which usually takes place with the help of technology. Then much of the storytelling, media, and word-of-mouth about the local, offline actions happens online through videos like the one below. The video below recaps Flashmobs taking place in 29 cities in late July — all at once. More than 600 people danced and stripped outside Adidas and Nike stores in 29 cities in 10 countries for the Detox Campaign challenging sportswear leaders to eliminate hazardous chemical releases from their supply chain and products. I’m looking forward to learning more about the mechanics behind this campaign from those involved. One question I’m particularly curious about: How do you...

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Here we go! (So, what exactly is the Lab doing?)


The concept of a Mobilisation Lab at Greenpeace, or digital “centre of excellence”, was nothing more than that — an idea — for so long that it may be hard to believe that we’re now open for business. Which naturally begs the response, “Great — show me your goods!” Here’s some guidance on how to think about our work together over the next few months, and ways to get involved. Right now our focus is on Greenpeace staff, but we’ll be finding ways to be engaging with a wider community soon enough, so stay tuned to this site. Phase I. Listening (Sept – Dec ) Our first objective is simply to listen. Deeply. The underlying premise of this new Lab is that innovation in digital mobilisation and citizen engagement is already happening in so many ways across the global organization. So our first task is to find out what’s working, to identify some of the “bright spots”, and look for patterns in how the Lab can support Greenpeace staff and allies and doing their best work. We’ve launched a three-part listening process: (a) Survey :: This week we’ve launched a global survey for all member / supporter engagement staff to give Greenpeace a deep understanding of the mobilisation community and begin identifying next generation knowledge sharing and communication. (More in my video message on Mundo) (b) Deep listening :: We’ve...

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