Campaigners join forces to discuss the future of engagement
Campaigning Forum (ECF) is a 2-day event for digital campaigns to come together to connect, share, and especially learn. I attended ECF in Oxford last month, on behalf of New/Mode, and was immediately struck by the passion, collective energy and willingness to collaborate. I wanted to share a few personal insights since this event is already shaping my approach to campaign strategy.
What sets ECF apart — and makes it an effective and valuable opportunity for campaign strategists — is the open agenda. Keynote speakers inspired great ideas and discussion, but the other topics were set by participants in “open space” sessions. The format encouraged each of us to think about our respective successes (what we want to share to help others) and the challenges we face (where we need help). It also brought out powerful impact stories and case studies, elevating our collective progressive voice.
During the “pitching” session, I had the opportunity to share campaign stories from the New/Mode community (many, in collaboration with Small Axe). I highlighted great work by Safe Passage, using our One-click email and Storm Social tools, OpenMedia’s powerful Letter to the Editor campaign, and a targeted Call Your MP action used by the The National Education Union’s SchoolCuts campaign. These are inspiring campaigns and it was nice to be able to share them with other leading campaigners from many countries.
I also enjoyed hosting a dialogue on emerging Full Spectrum Engagement framework, which is an open and collaborative resource project that we intend to share with progressive campaigners soon.
Most importantly, in this shared space, we found alignment and agreement on many of the issues, problems and solutions we all face in our respective campaigns. If you ever feel like you’re facing uphill issues alone, it’s helpful to remember that there are so many of us working together, heading in the same direction.
I’d like to give a shout-out to really informative presentations from The Social Change Agency, MoreOnion, 54 Degrees and Forward Action. These are groups to watch if you’re campaigning in the UK or globally.
Lastly, if you can make it to Berlin in October, I definitely recommend registering for the next ECF. It’s a well organized event that’s valuable for new campaigners and veteran strategists alike, and when more and more people involved in shaping important discussions about our future we all win.
Steve Anderson, Co-Founder & Chief Strategist