Strategy Development + Collaborative Processes + Design-thinking ⇒ Effective, people-powered campaigns
The Campaign Accelerator blends high-performing campaign strategy tools and collaborative processes with proven methods inspired by design thinking. We’ve found that this hybrid approach enables teams to build campaigns that engage more people in deeper, more powerful ways.
This is an action-based process. We develop ideas and test theories. We get out of the meeting room and work with key audiences. Over five days, the plan evolves and gets refined. Multidisciplinary teams work together–team members contribute equally throughout the process by relying on diverse perspectives and expertise.
Together, problems are identified and solutions tested, building a culture of collaboration that lasts beyond the planning process.
Participants have remarked that there was no difference between roles during the process. Alignment on strategy and plan through the process brings higher levels of autonomy during implementation. Teams are able to focus on the big picture instead of small details.
Results: Plan for Moving Forward
By the end of the five day programme, teams generate a project plan with clear next steps based on an analysis of the problem and solution, audience research, and tested ideas that address the campaign challenge.
Participants also walk away with processes and tools for radical collaboration and planning that can be taken home and used with their teams long after their week together ends.
Five Day Process
At the end of the day, we’ll have created a vision of what we can achieve and identified possible strategies that will be tested and refined over the following days. We take a collaborative approach to strategy that involves the entire project team using visual templates and exercises. This allows everyone to participate and build the possible strategies for a project step-by-step.
By the end of Day 4, we’ll have an agreed strategy, defined target audiences, agreement on which ideas we will take forward and an understanding of how to improve it/them based on audience feedback.
Why Design Thinking?
Design thinking has earned a reputation for generating innovative new products and services.
We’re seeing the methodologies spread quickly throughout the international aid and development sectors (“human centred design“), and the NGO / advocacy worlds are beginning to take note as well.
Adapting and including a design thinking approach in campaign planning develops empathy with audiences, challenges assumptions, and helps us better understand people’s challenges and needs.
The process includes field research and interacting with key audiences to uncover what inspires action. Gaining empathy helps remove the barriers between ‘us’ as staff and ‘them’ as people we wish to engage.
Design thinking uses prototypes and testing to gather direct feedback on how and why people engage in and interact with campaigns. The process of prototyping, testing and iterating based on feedback frees teams up to try wild ideas while minimising risks. Free from failure, participants find courage to try new things rather than sticking to what they already know.
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes a good project for the Accelerator?
How does it work?
Who needs to participate in the workshop?
When and where?
Can this happen in a language other than English?
What will you get out of it?
What are some problems that this addresses?
We designed the Accelerator to address the following question which we heard with increasingly frequency from colleagues: “How can I plan a high-impact campaign with people-power at its heart?”
Additionally, the Campaign Accelerator has been designed to address or at least mitigate all of these potential issues we’ve seen:
- General boredom with “traditional” or “business as usual” planning processes, which can result in unimaginative campaigns that feel like they’ve been done before.
- Strategy developed by a smaller team that, even if it make sense, can’t be executed because the full team doesn’t really understand it.
- Campaigns developed where the outputs are completely out of sync with the audiences who are actually needed.
- Campaigns which fail to have the desired impact.
How can I run my own version of the Accelerator?
Check out our Campaign Accelerator Resources page for starter tips, worksheets and more. An experienced facilitator should be able to run most of the exercises. Many are fairly straightforward, but leading a full process does require practice.
We’re also running periodic facilitation trainings. Please consider joining the next one!