What does social science and academic research say about the challenges we’re tackling in our work?
This MobLab Live series connects campaigners and activists with academics researching practical questions that can advance social change work through an accessible and engaging online learning environment.
Join us for real-time conversations with renowned scholars, thought leaders and activists around the globe.
Next MobLab Live: Confronting Authoritarianism
Join campaigners and strategists around the worlds as well as featured guests Steve Levitsky and Maria Stephan to talk through research into the growth of authoritarian governments around the world–and how organise power in the face of authoritarianism. We’ll look at the factors behind their rise; impacts on civil society and social change organising; and insights for people powered campaigns.
Future MobLab Live sessions
Building More Effective Campaign Narratives through Social Science
What does the latest research tell us about how to engage people more effectively and inspire them to act?
Date and Time: Late-November
Register for MobLab Live: Confronting Authoritarianism
Date: 27 Oct, 1 pm Eastern | 5pm UTC
Past MobLab Live Sessions
How social ties scale modern advocacy campaigns
We’ll explore new research on social ties and relationships to understand network connections and interactions are impacting modern campaigning and affecting how organizations, campaigns, and coalitions build relationships with individuals. MobLab Live is hosted by Vanessa Williamson. Vanessa is a research scholar and a fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. She is the coauthor of The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism.
10th October, 9am Pacific | 12pm Eastern | 4pm UTC
Featured Guests: Joining us will be Hahrie Han, Anton Vonk Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara; David Karpf, Associate Professor of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University; and Meghana Rao, a gender rights campaigner who will offer on-the-ground insights from her work in India.
Organisations and Movements
Wednesday 2 March 2016 : Watch / Full story
When does it make sense for groups to interact with new movements? Can campaigning organisations engage with, and help, rising movements to expand one another’s networks and scale impact? And how do social movements benefit from the involvement of larger organisations while retaining their independence and vision? Greenpeace and many other organisations are wrestling with these questions—as are growing movements around the globe. Movement leaders Leslie Mac of Ferguson Response and Alba Villanueva of No Somos Delito joined us to talk through these questions and more. Get a recap and view a recording of Organisations and Social Movemements.
Friday 27 November 2015 : Watch / Full story
Is your organization ready to go when disruption happens? Disasters, political decisions and other surprises mean that campaigns operating in a 24/7 news cycle and amid hyper-connected social networks must respond quickly and strategically to get the best results and stay most relevant. Find out how leading campaigners at Avaaz have thrived in organizations known for strong rapid response programs, while hearing from the Response Lab at Greenpeace about their efforts to help bring the organization into a more responsive way of working and thinking. They’ll share insights into cultural, strategic and technical capacity needed to not just respond quickly but turn breaking events to your advantage. To learn more, catch the recap.
Bearing Witness 2.0
Monday 19 October 2015 : Watch / Full story
Journalists and filmmakers are using immersive technologies to build public awareness by telling richer and more deeply engaging stories. But what lessons can we learn as campaigners? Find out how emerging tools like 360° video, virtual reality (VR) and drones bring people to places they might never see, in ways they haven’t expected and allow us to bear witness to the world in new ways. Our guest speakers include Molly Swenson from advocacy-news agency “RYOT” and award-winning journalist, Will Potter. They have taken immersive storytelling inside a Syrian war-zone, into the skies looking over factory farms and on the ground post-Nepal earthquake. To learn more, visit the recap page.
Open-Sourced & Distributed Organizing
Thursday 6 August 2015 : Watch / Full story
More and more we hear the term “open campaigns,” but what does it mean and how is it changing the way we build movements? For some this means online petitions, for others it’s organizing a day of action, or adapting principals of “open-sourced” principals into campaign work. While there are no hard and fast rules with open campaigning, essentially this type of distributed organizing allows more people to lead and champion causes. Such as with the Keystone Tar Sands movement or #Not1More anti-deportations movement. Yet for many there are a lot of unanswered questions and challenges around this new model of organizing. Joining us to answer some of these questions is Jason Mogus, the senior adviser to the Tar Sands Solutions Network, and Marisa Franco with the #Not1More movement in the United States. To learn more, catch the full recap.
Beyond Vanity Metrics: Towards Better Measurement of Member Engagement
Thursday 14 May 2015 : Watch / Full story
In trying to create social change, we often ask ourselves: how do we know what works? This simple question can be alarmingly tough to answer. Typically in online engagement strategies, we measure our member’s engagement with petition sign-ups, list sizes and followers on social media. These kinds of “vanity metrics” often sound big and impressive — but they can be misleading, and ultimately lead to flawed decisions that doom membership-driven organizations. So how can you go beyond vanity metrics? To start the conversation, the Mobilisation Lab at Greenpeace and Citizen Engagement Laboratory gave a summary of our new report “Beyond Vanity Metrics” on MobLab Live. To learn more, catch the full recap.
Security Culture: A People-Centered approach to Privacy Tech
Wednesday 8 April 2015 : Watch / Full story
In the wake of the “Snowden files” that exposed the mass surveillance program by the CIA – creating better security and privacy has been a top question for many non-profits and media agencies. But often the focus of security has been on the technical side, with mysterious acronyms like PGP and OTR. The missing ingredient for many groups is the culture itself, creating a culture of security. Allen Gunn of Aspiration, shares his tips for success on how NGOs can foster a culture that makes security accessible and meaningful. To learn more, catch the full recap.
Mobile Activism: Tools & Trends in People-Centered Technologies
Monday 2 March 2015 : Watch / Full story
Over 90% of the human population either own or have access to a mobile phone. That’s more than all the active social media accounts or Internet users in the world combined. For the NGO world, strategic uses of mobile technology can open the floodgates for millions, if not billions, of people to help scale campaigns and engage the world in crisis moments. In a special live event from Kenya, we talk with Ushahidi and FrontlineSMS about emerging tools and trends empowering citizens and activists via mobile technology. To learn more, visit our recap page.
People-Power: Grassroots Leadership & Organizing in 21st century
Thursday 29 January 2015 : Watch / Full story
Since the Obama 2008 election and the rise of online groups like MoveOn.org – mobilizing people to help campaigns win big has been a central focus for civil associations and non-profits. But what do buzzwords like “People-Power” and “Mobilisation” really mean?
Author Hahrie Han of the book How Organizations Develop Activists spells out how the public can rise out of apathy and into activism by organizations developing strategies that build leadership. Showcasing a real-world example, Anna Keenan of Greenpeace’s Greenwire will share success stories of a new social media platform for volunteers that provides tools to self-organize actions and play a role in campaigns. To learn more, visit our show recap page.
What do you want to hear more about? What are working on? We welcome any new ideas and interesting topics for discussion. If you have a topic you would like to suggest or present, please contact MobLab.