Sharing lessons from people power

I’ve just finished a project with Greenpeace New Zealand (GPNZ) which combined two of my current obsessions – people-powered campaigning and good organisational learning. GPNZ asked me to evaluate a mass civil disobedience at an oil industry event. The action, called for by Greenpeace, had been the first time the office had invited  members of the public to participate in a non-violent direct action without necessarily having had any prior contact with GPNZ or undergone its NVDA training programme.

This was a big step for GPNZ. And it reflected a shift by Greenpeace towards more people-powered and open campaigning. Given its experimental nature, GPNZ wanted to ensure that lessons-learned from the evaluation weren’t lost in a dense report. So as well as the ‘official’ evaluation, we produced a shorter, more accessible lessons-learned document to be shared across the organisation.

Finally (and most excitingly) we published an in-depth blog on Greenpeace’s MobLab platform. MobLab is a space for sharing stories of innovation in people powered campaigning across the wider movement. This was a brave step for Greenpeace. Firstly because it meant publicly sharing information about how it organises NVDA – a subject usually somewhat shrouded in secrecy. But the organisation also opened up about what didn’t go well on the project as well as what did, courageously allowing others to see how it’s learned from its mistakes.

You can read the MobLab blog here. I’d love to hear what you think.

Cover photo: Greenpeace/Nigel Marple

Emily Armistead

Emily Armistead is a campaigns consultant currently based in London. She blogs about how to make our campaigns and organisations more effective.

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