Blog post

From single issues to systems thinking with Common Cause

“Maybe the single-issue campaign doesn’t work anymore because we’re not single-issue people.”

Since the publication of Common Cause, campaigners have been asking themselves, ‘what does this mean for us and our work?’.

This month, twenty seven campaigners got together at Development House to hear more about some of the case studies we’ve profiled,  to build community, and start to think about what we’d like to be doing differently to align our campaigning with a values-based approach.

We heard from Morgan and his work with Waste Watch and from Guy and his work on advertising, then broke into smaller groups to dive into:

  • What do we campaign on? Can we choose more systemic targets?
  • How do we campaign? Is the way in which we’re working us preventing us from shifting power more successfully?
  • Values and Frames theory and research – an in-depth conversation.

What did we learn?

  • Applying systems-thinking can help us plan campaign strategy. (Thinking In Systems is a great first read.)
  • Community development work has a lot to teach us when we’re thinking about building a community of activists or a network of supporters. Campaigning from a distance doesn’t allow us to build relationships well.
  • The complexity of neuroscience – ‘the brain is mental!’

Questions that we raised

  • Is it possible to work with a values-approach online?
  • How can we break out of our comfort zones/issue bubbles?
  • What would a campaign plan look like when using a values approach?

We’d love to have you join us next month – we’re meeting again at 6.30pm on Wednesday 15th February in London. Other groups are also starting up in Oxford and Bristol – get in touch if you’d like to be involved – caspertk@gmail.com[email protected]

Thanks to Tim and Morgan for hosting us, and Laurie for the fantastic home-made curry!

Tasty things to nibble on

 

 

 

 

Casper ter Kuile

About Casper ter Kuile

Casper is a campaign strategist and consultant, and the co-founder of the UK Youth Climate Coalition. He has worked with Avaaz, Oxfam, and Futerra Sustainability Communications and joins the Common Cause team after touring through Europe his with vocal ensemble 'Northern Harmony'. He graduated from the University of Warwick with a degree in History and Sociology and was named a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum in 2011.