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 partnered with The Engage Network, a leader in citizen engagement, to look at innovation in volunteer and citizen-led engagement in Greenpeace around the world. We plan to share and discuss findings internally and externally in February and are also looking at ways to help grow a Community of Practice network that further builds and scales innovations and best practices for grassroots engagement.

(c) One-on-ones: Finally, I’ve personally had the opportunity to meet with over 70 staff working on mobilsation and engagement staff across the organization to hear more about what’s working, what we can improve, and we can better support one another in this work.

Phase II. Reflection (Dec – Feb)

We expect to have the survey and listening results compiled by the end of the year, at which point we’ll be setting up realtime as well as virtual conversations to come together and take a fresh look at the data and what you’ve had to say. The Lab’s job is to facilitate that conversation and help us reflect as a community.

Phase III. Co-creation (Jan – March 2012) 

The Global Digital Mobilisation Skills Share organised for late February 2012 marks the formal “launch” of the Mobilisation Lab. If you can’t attend, there will be other ways to participate and contribute to the community of practice as it begins to take on new shapes.