SMK Training

Masterclasses and specialist workshops

 

SMK’s masterclass and specialist workshop series invites highly experienced campaigners and others to share their knowledge and expertise about campaigning. These workshops provide detailed technical information and insight about strategies and tactics. The masterclasses and specialist workshops are designed to provide campaigners with:

  • Practical information and advice about effective campaigning tools and tactics.
  • Ideas and advice about how to overcome specific challenges facing their campaign.
  • A peer network of campaigners and an opportunity to learn from each other.

Specialist workshops

14 or 16 March – Learn how campaigns are won in the 21st Century

2016 was a difficult and sobering year for many campaigners and it feels that a radical rethink of our approaches will be needed to have an impact in 2017. Last year a ground breaking report by NetChange Consulting in Canada identified a powerful new model, “directed-network campaigning”, running through high-impact campaigns, such as the Bernie Sanders grassroots mobilisation campaign and the Fight for $15.

SMK is very pleased to announce that we will be hosting NetChange strategist Tom Liacas in March for two full day training sessions. This is the first time that NetChange has been over to the UK. Collectively they have designed and led over 75 campaigns that changed laws, elected governments, raised millions of dollars, and mobilised tens of millions of people. At the sessions, you will learn how directed-network campaigning can radically boost your impact.

You can select a session on either 14th or 16th March. The sessions will be a hands on full day sessions that will outline the strategic patterns and operational practices common to campaigns that have punched well above their weight. Both sessions will be limited to 15 participants each to make sure that attendees can get in depth support from Tom and SMK to forensically evaluate their campaigning. At the end of the session, participants will come away with concrete plans for implementing networked approaches into their campaigns, will be aware of the skills and resources required to do so and will learn new ways to increase influence without spending more.

The cost of the day-long training is £325 per place. To book a place on this workshop click here

There is also a separate two hour seminar with Tom at 3 – 5pm on 15 March at the Foundry in London. During the seminar Tom will share an overview of the NetChange report and how it’s lessons can apply to UK campaigners. Places for the seminar are just £25 and can be booked here. Free places are available for groups with no or limited income, email info@smk.org.uk to request a free place.

Masterclasses

28 February – Putting service users at the heart of campaigns.

In this masterclass we will be looking at how organisations can put their service users and beneficiaries at the heart of their campaigns. We will explore ways of creating campaigns that are truly led by your service users and beneficiaries from beginning to end and tips for ensuring that you involve individuals in a sensitive and non-exploitative way.

Our expert speakers are:

  • Rossanna Trudgian, Head of Campaigns and Activism at Mencap. Mencap are campaigning to make the UK a better place for people with a learning disability, their families and carers. The involvement of the people that use Mencap services is central to their campaigning.
  • Sara Browne, Campaign Officer at the Iranian Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation. IKWRO’s mission is to protect Middle Eastern and Afghan women and girls who are at risk of ‘honour’ based violence, forced marriage, child marriage, female genital mutilation and domestic violence. A key part of their work is campaigning for better laws and policies to protect women’s rights.

To book a place on this workshop click here

7 March – Influencing business.

Campaigners are increasingly focusing their efforts on the practices and behaviours of companies and business. The last 12 months has seen campaigns to improve the employment conditions of staff at Sports Direct and others and national campaigns on corporate tax evasion. In this work shop we will explore ways in which campaigners can best influence companies and employers on their campaign goals.

Our expert speakers are: 

  • Lisa Nathan and Mara Lilley, the campaigns assistant and campaigns manager from Share Action. Share Action have spent the last ten years building the movement for responsible investment. One of the charities most effective tactics is shareholder activism, which has been instrumental in changing the practices of BP, McDonalds, Marks and Spencer and many others.
  • Lola McEvoy, Campaigns and Communications Manager at the Living Wage Foundation. The Foundation is at the heart of the independent movement of businesses, organisations and people that campaign for the simple idea that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. The Foundation has influenced over 2,900 employers including Nestle, Aviva and GSK. Lola will also talk about the Foundation’s experience of the Living Wage being co-opted by the Government. 

To book a place on this workshop click here

These masterclasses will take place between 3 – 5pm at The Foundry, 17 Oval Way, London, SE11 5RR. The fee is £60 to cover our costs, but we always hold back a small number of free places for smaller groups and local campaigners. There will be limited places available, so book now.

Sign up to our e-bulletin to be the first to hear about future masterclasses as they are announced.

Previous masterclasses

Legal Masterclass

 

  • Matt Downie, Director of Policy and External Affairs at Crisis. Earlier this year Matt and his team secured a significant change to housing policy by intervening in a case before the Supreme Court. In 2014 Matt and his team at Action for Children secured new legislation to protect children from emotional abuse.
  • Steve Broach, Barrister at Monckton Chambers. Steve has worked on successful legal challenges against the Department for Work and Pensions, Islington Council, Devon and Cornwall Police and at the European Court of Human Rights. Steve has worked in senior campaigning roles for the Every Disabled Child Matters campaign and TreeHouse, the national charity for autism education.
'Securing election manifesto commitments'
This session looked at strategies to secure election manifesto commitments. Ed Matthew is the coordinator of a major alliance campaign, the Energy Bill Revolution, which is trying to get manifesto commitments from all the major UK parties to the world’s most ambitious home energy efficiency programme. The aim is to end fuel poverty and reduce UK carbon emissions at the scale and speed required. Ed set out the strategy that has been developed to achieve the manifesto commitments in support of the Energy Bill Revolution. He will drew on his campaign experience to set out the key elements of a successful charity campaign to influence election manifestos, including how to build an effective political strategy, build powerful alliances and develop a successful communications strategy. Ed also discussed where the different political parties are on the road to the 2015 election and identify some of the key politicians who will influence the manifestos.
Shelter - 'Shaping Public Opinion'
Britain is in the midst of a housing crisis. Since the mid 1970s, we’ve not built enough homes. Yet the looming shortage of homes hasn’t been a big political issue for years. Until now. Antonia and Jon from Shelter spoke about how the charity has helped moved public opinion on housing, to make sure the next government builds the homes Britain needs. From being a low priority for voters, housing has risen up the political agenda and is now consistently one of the top five issues of concern for the general public. The session featured how Shelter developed a theory of change, using research and insight, and how Shelter uses both elite and mass communications campaigns to highlight the issue and make the case.
The Campaign for Real Ale's Beer Tax Campaign
In March 2012, CAMRA embarked on a year-long campaign to persuade the Government to scrap the damaging beer duty escalator. Their campaign included a 108,000 strong e-petition, three Parliamentary debates and a Mass Lobby of Parliament attended by 1,000 people. They secured the support of over 300 MPs. As a result of our campaign, the Government scrapped the beer duty escalator and introduced the first beer duty cut in 50 years – saving beer drinkers £1 billion over five years
Changing behaviours and attitudes

The focus of this masterclass was on using campaigning to change people’s behaviours and attitudes. Our main speakers were:

  • Helen Halls and Jo Bullock from RoSPA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents). For almost 100 years, RoSPA has been quietly working behind the scenes to change both legislation and attitudes surrounding accidents. From the compulsory wearing of seatbelts and the campaign to stop drink driving, to the Cycling Proficiency Test and to the more recent ban on handheld mobile phones behind the wheel, RoSPA has been instrumental in shaping our society for the better, preventing millions of deaths and serious injuries along the way.
  • Claire Everett and Lizz Brocklesby from Rethink mental illness. Rethink are a partner in Time to Change. Time to Change was one of the first projects in England that aimed to change behaviour, rather than just attitudes. As a result of the campaign in the past 9 years more than two million people have improved attitudes, and more people than ever are able to be open about their mental health problems. 
  • Professor Peter John, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at University College London. Peter is currently using experiments to study civic participation in public policy, with the aim of finding out what governments and other public agencies can do to encourage citizens to carry out acts of collective benefit. This work came together in a book with Bloomsbury Academic, Nudge, Nudge, Think, Think: Using Experiments to Change Civic Behaviour which was published in 2011.

 

Using the law to secure campaign wins

The focus of this masterclass was on using legal processes to secure campaign wins. Our expert speakers for the masterclass were:

  • Matt Downie, Director of Policy and External Affairs at Crisis. In 2015  Matt and his team secured a significant change to housing policy by intervening in a case before the Supreme Court. In 2014 Matt and his team at Action for Children secured new legislation to protect children from emotional abuse.
  • Steve Broach, Barrister at Monckton Chambers. Steve has worked on successful legal challenges against the Department for Work and Pensions, Islington Council, Devon and Cornwall Police and at the European Court of Human Rights. Steve has worked in senior campaigning roles for the Every Disabled Child Matters campaign and TreeHouse, the national charity for autism education.

 

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