A little over five years ago, amidst a period of radical transformation for Greenpeace and the wider environmental movement, Greenpeace leadership set out to rapidly advance the organisation’s ability to engage and mobilise millions by scaling digital capacity and investing in “people-powered” campaigning.

The Mobilisation Lab was set up to guide this work and serve as a platform for experimentation, learning, strategy development and training for a Greenpeace network covering 55 countries and over 3,000 staff and partners.

Greenpeace is now a very different organisation. We’re proud to have played a critical role in Greenpeace’s transition to a powerful new era of people-powered campaigning.

But the underlying challenge remains the same: Strategies and tactics that worked yesterday won’t necessarily work tomorrow. We work in a rapidly changing landscape where threats to citizen action, advocacy and free speech continue to mount.

Meeting today’s challenges means building nimble, resilient advocacy and campaign organisations that move at the speed of the internet, adapt to constantly changing realities—and are even one step ahead.

These challenges reach far beyond Greenpeace. That’s why, as of today, MobLab is taking the first steps toward becoming an independent organisation—a shared movement resource dedicated to serving greater numbers of social change campaigners, organisations and networks.

Our vision is a thriving network of emergent, nontraditional leaders and practitioners collaborating across organisations, movements, and geographies to continuously adapt, innovate, and achieve greater impact.

And while we know that value is measured by impact on the ground, not good intentions, we’re proud to be guided by this mission going forward:

MobLab is a global innovation, training, and research hub dedicated to enabling a diverse network of changemakers to build a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world. Amidst growing threats–to people, the planet, and the very right to advocate for change–we equip campaigners around the world with the strategies, tools, tactics, and partners needed to win in the digital era.

We’re thrilled that Greenpeace and CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation are jointly investing in this vision with considerable organisational resources–bringing finances and new talent to MobLab.

Through this unique partnership, both organisations are demonstrating their commitment to activists, campaigns and leadership growth beyond their own networks and alliances. We look forward to welcoming additional partners into the mix and unlocking even greater potential by growing a global movement of forward-looking advocates and organisations.

What’s cooking

We’ll be sharing more with you soon about new peer learning opportunities and campaign support resources. Please share this message and let your network know about our Dispatch emails so that we can keep in touch about the future of organising and advocacy, upcoming events, and maybe even your next job. 😉

Look for more stories of innovations in people-powered campaigning, fresh resources, and new tools that campaigners can can immediately apply to build more powerful campaigns–including opportunities for training.

We’re also working with our CampaignCon partners from last year to plan two additional events in 2017 and extend the learning and collaboration to even more individuals, movements, and geographies.

Stuff we learned

One thing we’ve discovered over the past five years is that the challenges facing Greenpeace–how to stay sharp in the face of a fast-changing campaigning landscape while scaling organizing to meet the challenges we face–are common to campaigns and NGOs around the globe.

MobLab’s next steps draw on this and other lessons. We asked two longtime experts in NGO adaptation and innovation to analyse MobLab’s work to date. Their findings—based on more than 20 interviews with teammates, senior leaders, and allies outside Greenpeace—are distilled in this new report, From Burning Platform to Building People-Power: Lessons from Greenpeace’s Mobilisation Lab.

OK, let’s do this!

With great appreciation to our Greenpeace colleagues for their generosity in sharing the MobLab with the movement; and to our friends and allies around the world campaigning for a better world: We can’t wait to build this next chapter with you!

–Michael, for the MobLab team


Have thoughts or questions to share? Should we be working on something together? Please drop us all a note anytime. Read more about our updated vision, mission and desired outcomes here.

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