Campaign Lab 3

/ Return of the movement

NOVEMBER 2014 - APRIL 2015

The course is made up of 6 sessions (including two retreats) over 6 months. Each session is supported by visiting speakers and coaches with expertise in economic, political and systems change: from experienced campaigners to former establishment insiders.

Between sessions, participants also undertake reading, homework and attend action learning groups (small groups helping each other solve practical problems).

By the end of the course you’ll be able to:

  • Explain and analyse the political and economic system
  • Place events and campaigns in this broader context
  • Describe a clear vision of the world we’re working towards
  • Build cross-cutting campaigns with a network of activists you trust
  • Develop strategy for campaigns that build movement power and tackle the root causes of the issues you work on
  • Recognise your role as a leader (including your style and approach)
  • Identify a strategic direction for yourself, your work and the wider social, environmental and economic justice movement
  • Better plan, facilitate and convene meetings
  • Be able to pass this knowledge onto others

The course structure, criteria and cost are outlined below…

Programme Structure
6 sessions over 6 months

The course is based on a belief that participants can teach each other as much, if not more, than the “teachers” can! So we design all of the sessions for maximum participation – where every voice is heard and where we learn from one another’s experience. There are certain topics that the facilitation team is passionate about bringing to the course. Beyond that, we are open to suggestions from participants on course topics and course design.

Session 1: November 5-6th in London

What’s the problem & how does change happen?

How are the economic, social and environmental problems we face connected? And what can we learn from theory and past experience about how meaningful change happens (both for better and worse)?

Session 2: December 5-7th outside of London

What leadership do we need & what’s our vision? (3 day retreat)

What world do we want to see? How might we get there? And what kind of leadership would empower us and others to create sustainable change? What kind of leader do I want to be?

Session 3: January 8th in London

How do we work together on strategic campaigns?

What do effective strategies look like for tackling these big messy problems? What are the economic, political and cultural changes needed to move us towards our vision? What are the effective, practical campaigns that can help get us there?

Session 4: February 5th in London

How do we make our organisations more effective?

How could we run our organisations to feel like open, friendly and effective places to work? How do we overcome the competitive nature of many of our organisations? How do we effectively collaborate?

Session 5: March 5th in London

How do we build a strong & diverse movement?

What is our movement? What is it currently getting right – and getting wrong? How do we strengthen and diversify it? How do we take power and privilege issues seriously?

Session 6: April 11-12th outside of London

So what do we do next? (2 day retreat)

Where do we go from here? How will we work together to build the campaigns and organisations we need to win?

So who are you looking to apply?

Programme Criteria

We are looking for 24 participants from 12 organisations or groups.


We are looking for pairs of campaigners, organisers and activists who:

  • Can exercise leadership – formally or informally – within their organisation or group (it doesn’t need to be a paid role or a formal organisation).
  • Want to try out new methods of organising for change and come to the course with an open mind.
  • Are ready to invest in their personal growth and leadership development.
  • Have networks either personally or through their workplace.
  • Will commit to attending each of the 6 course sessions (dates).

We’ve found this process works best when your organisation or group works with you on your project and supports the programme. Therefore, although not essential we favour applications that include:

  • A named manager (of your choosing) to work with you in your organisation (1hr meeting once a month and attending a session). Or, if you’re the most senior person in your organisation or not part of one, a trustee or other mentor to support you in the programme.
  • An organisational interest in collaboration with fellow participants and with NEON more broadly. In previous rounds some participants benefitted from having colleagues who help lead other NEON projects.
  • Actively work on the root causes or are interested in building the power of movements, or both!

So does it cost anything?

Programme cost

A place costs us around £2,500 for the six month programme (staff costs, travel, food, venues, accommodation, guest speakers, materials).

Where possible, we ask organisations to cover these costs:

  • £2,500pp (expected from larger organisations budget £1m+)
  • £1,500pp (expected for medium sized organisations budget £500k+)
  • £500pp (expected from smaller organisations budget circa £100k+)
  • £0pp (if you’re not from an organisation or a grassroots group with little external funding)

In the application process it is up to you to choose your price banding. We don’t want to exclude any participants from the programme (even those from larger organisations). We can also provide some support for those without the funds to travel to London. Please speak to us about this if you have any questions.

Why should your organisation fund your place?

The course gives participants access to a set of skills, knowledge and connections that you can’t get elsewhere. Graduates are better able to lead strategy, design campaigns and projects and run the sessions that develop them. They have a better understanding of how movements work and how to lead change. They come back more confident, passionate and better connected.

Finally, sending your campaigners on Campaign Lab is also a way of investing in a wider movement. In the kinds of skills, ideas and processes that we all need – as the testimonies show.

Register now ...

Stay in the loop

Get updates about the programme.