MobLab Dispatch

MobLab Dispatch | Originally sent on 25 October 2018
The Dispatch tracks innovations in people-powered campaigning, training opportunities and mobilisation jobs around the globe. Get it in your inbox and catch up on past Dispatches.


Campaigners have tons of valuable know-how. How do we liberate it? Tom Liacas explains how collaborative tools and a rewarding community culture were keys to building the Blueprints for Change knowledge-sharing network. [MobLab]

Creating positive emotional experiences with art: The People’s Paper Co-op transforms otherwise stressful legal clinics in the US by having attendees make new, blank paper from the scraps of their criminal records. [Emily Nonko | Next City]

Optimise your failures: Share what you learn with the world, make your strategies flexible, and think of your work as building capacity toward an intervention, not just as an intervention alone. [Jen Ford Reedy | Standford Social Innovation Review]

Do you have strong people-centric digital skills?

Are you knowledgeable about social change campaigning around the world? Are you experienced in building online communities? Maybe you’re MobLab’s next Digital Organising & Comms Lead! Apply today or spread the word.


An online poetry contest in the Balkans promotes reconciliation. For the last six years, “Sweet Duels” has facilitated friendships between citizens of countries that not too long ago were in conflict. [Tudor Mihailescu | Forbes]

Change the conversation, change behaviour, change an industry: Luxury brands are dropping fur because the balance has shifted—in an age of social media and values-based shopping, the goodwill generated by doing so now outweighs the costs. [Tamison O’Connor | Business of Fashion]

Don’t just react to a crisis. Make a strategic choice. After a deadly earthquake in Indonesia, the Mosintuwu Institute set up public kitchens because food and a place for survivors to meet and heal were more pressing needs than housing reconstruction. [Febriana Firdaus | The Interpreter]


South Africa’s shack dwellers movement is all about deep organising: “If you mobilise people, they will come for that particular day […] But you have not organised them because you have not been able to sustain such a gathering of them,” says founder and leader S’bu Zikode. [Celina della Croce | Alternet]

Harnessing people power to combat the US addiction crisis: The pilot Recovery Corps program trains volunteers as “recovery navigators” and assigns them to guide others who are newly substance free. [Andy Steiner | MinnPost]

Want better outcomes? Listen to people’s personal stories. Narrative identity theory says a person’s stories about their life should be considered an essential element of their personality. [Liz Brazile | YES! Magazine]


Gabbie the chatbot helps women in the Philippines report sexual assault. The organisation GABRIELA says the bot complemented their services for the country’s growing number of victims, even as staffing and volunteers were limited. [Mong Palatino | Global Voices]

Juji has what other chatbots are missing: empathetic conversations. People respond better to the persona’s emotional-laden responses than they do to open-ended questions on online surveys. [Dean Takahashi | VentureBeat]

Could a game move people from climate apathy to action? A study found that people who played “World Climate Simulation,” in which participants pretend to be delegates at international negotiations, came away emotionally engaged in the issue. [Juliette N. Rooney-Varga | The Conversation]


The growth of internet access worldwide has slowed dramatically. Research shows women and the rural poor are most excluded. [Ian Sample | The Guardian]

The CIVICUS Youth Action Team is looking for new members. Nominations are open until 11 November 2018.

The Overwhelmed Person’s Guide to Activism: Two pieces of advice in this Medium piece? Connect with others doing the work and think about activism as a habit to integrate into your day-to-day life.

Whither large international non-governmental organisations? To remain relevant, INGOS need to be more open to collaboration and more nimble to adjusting mid-route, according to this Third Sector Research Centre report (PDF).

Some great frameworks on organisational design: These human-centered approaches from NOBL are useful for groups thinking about how to adapt and thrive in the modern campaigning landscape.

Lessons on creating enduring, meaningful experiences—from Pokémon Go. Players report the game has helped them cope with physical disabilities, motivated them to use public transport, and provided a chance to bond with family members. [Michael Saker and Leighton Evans | The Conversation]


Interesting conferences, events and trainings across our global network.


Looking to create change (or make a change)? Scan these open roles in campaigning, digital innovation and social change leadership. Have a job to share? Send us a link!

Featured photo by Mel Poole on Unsplash.

Like this story?