MobLab Dispatch

MobLab Dispatch | 20 September 2018
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.

Powerful conversations were behind Ireland’s win for abortion rights. Tough talks were necessary to shift perceptions about deeply held values, and the Yes campaign provided training and support for people to do just that with their family and friends face to face and online. Clodagh Schofield explains. [MobLab]

How do you frame a campaign when the dominant narrative is regressive? Lessons include appealing to people’s better selves, promoting an expansive “us,” and showing people they can make change happen. [Bec Sanderson, Elena Blackmore and Dora Meade | Public Interest Research Centre]

A new disinformation toolkit for INGOs and civil society: Among other things, InterAction’s report recommends that organisations move from ad hoc responses to streamlined workflows to deal with false claims about their work online.

MobLab Live: Building power by letting members lead

We believe the most effective campaigns make use of people’s collective leadership. We’ll be talking the hows and whys of distributed organising in the next hour-long session of MobLab Live on 3 October. Will you join us?

In the meantime, want to fill your next commute with some big ideas on campaigning? Head over to SoundCloud, where you’ll find audio of previous MobLab Live episodes and more.


Caught between Taliban and army, Afghans organise for peace. Protesters marched hundreds of miles across the country, conducting strategic dialogues with religious leaders, tribal elders and the general public as well as developing networks of local support groups. [Roshni Kapur | Waging Nonviolence]

A canal tour in Amsterdam has passengers fishing for plastic. Plastic Whale builds boats and furniture out of the waste collected by tourists during its scenic litter-gathering excursions. [Matt Hickman | Mother Nature Network]

What’s the antidote to inaction? A supportive social movement. To build momentum for student debt reform, activists in the US are fostering meaningful connections among struggling borrowers to counter the taboo of admitting financial ruin. [Daniela Senderowicz | YES! Magazine]


India’s LGBTI rights win shows the importance of changing hearts and minds—even if it’s ultimately a court decision. Activists’ creative campaigning and ally building softened the political ground for the legal ruling. [Maxim Anmeghichean | Open Society Foundations]

How Argentina’s feminist movement shifted the reproductive rights debate. Over the years, they framed the abortion conversation around human rights, autonomy and public health, as well as linked it to popular protests against gender-based violence. [Mari Lilleslåtten | Kilden Gender Research]

When hurricane relief was slow to come, Puerto Ricans organised bottom-up solar solutions. Government simply does not have the “flexibility that more grassroots initiatives have,” so local anarchists restored power by establishing a self-sustaining, community-owned electric system. [Arvind Dilawar | Newsweek]


“Must do” digital security practices for campaigners: Blueprints for Change has a draft guide on security basics that can prevent potentially damaging attacks, sourced from experts who support progressive advocacy.

Go where people’s attention is instead of creating a whole new app. That’s one of the keys to deploying messaging apps for development work, according to research by the Digital Impact Alliance. [Wayan Vota | ICT Works]

Five women using blockchain to empower communities: No. 3 on the list is Daisy Ozim, founder of Blockchain for Social Justice and a previous guest on MobLab Live. Missed our episode on using blockchain technology for good? You can watch it here. [RYOT Studio | Huffington Post]


“[F]unding has become a serious challenge and we are on the brink of shutting down”: Maldivian Democracy Network executive director Shahindha Ismail tells CIVICUS about the widespread crackdown on dissent in the country.

A satirist and a strongman walk into a Facebook group… A look at how social media reshapes political satire—often a key social change tactic—and how authoritarians in Southeast Asia try to stamp it out. [Peter Ford | Splice]

Building alliances is one of the keys to becoming more resilient in shrinking civic spaces. Strength is in (diverse) numbers, reads a report from Oxfam as explained by Duncan Green.

For systems-level social change to work, the people for whom change matters most must be heard. Though transformative shifts are increasingly seen as necessary, there’s too much focus on “solutions developed in idealized contexts.” [Madeleine Clarke and John Healy | Stanford Social Innovation Review]

“Brands that can offer meaningful experiences of belonging and becoming are going to keep growing”: Casper ter Kuile, a researcher at Harvard Divinity School (and co-founder of UK-based Campaign Bootcamp), looks at how intense fitness classes are supplementing the role of religion. [Tara Isabella Burton | Vox]

What American football can teach campaigners about refreshing old ideas with new words: Alan J. Kellner examines how “communism” inspires negative reactions in Green Bay Packers fans, yet the team’s unique collective ownership is a source of pride. [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: Social media icons in powder tins by Flickr user Mike Corbett via CC BY 2.0

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