Campaign Lab 4

/ This is getting serious


The course is made up of 6 sessions – including two retreats – over 7 months (there is no session in August). Each session is supported by visiting speakers and coaches with expertise in economic, political and systems change.

Between sessions, participants undertake reading and attend action learning groups (small groups helping each other solve practical problems) and will keep track of their own learning. We are also considering additional short sessions for participants to dive into critical issues in more depth, for example on the financial system or on framing and narrative building.

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

  • Make a deep and powerful analysis of the political and economic system
  • Place political events and campaigns in this broader context
  • 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
  • Build new kinds of leadership skills that empower others
  • Identify a strategic direction for yourself, your work and the wider movement
  • Better plan, facilitate and convene groups
  • 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. Each session builds on the last and the time between sessions allows participants to implement their learning. It is therefore essential for participants to attend all sessions. There are certain topics that we have learnt from Campaign Labs 1-3 are essential and these form the backbone of the programme. However, we are open to suggestions on other topics and on course design from participants, especially as the course progresses.

Session 1: May 10th & 11th 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 (for better and worse)?

Session 2: June 10th – 12th outside of London (3-day retreat)

How does power and privilege affect our movements and what leadership do we need?

How do we take action in ways that place liberation of  marginalised people at its core? How do we avoid reproducing the oppressions that we seek to overcome?  What kind of leadership is needed for this?  What kind of leader do you want to be?

Session 3: July 14th in London

How do we work together on strategic campaigns?

What do effective campaigns strategies look like for tackling these big messy problems? What are the effective, practical campaigns that can help get us there?

Session 4: September 8th 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 make them accessible to people from all backgrounds? How do we overcome the competitive nature of many of our organisations? How do we effectively collaborate?

Session 5: October 13th 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 tackle power and privilege seriously?

Session 6: October 28th (pm) – 30th outside of London (2-day retreat)

So what do we do next?

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 want to break the dominance of white, middle-class, straight, able-bodied, cis-gendered men in our movements.  We actively encourage and provide support to people not currently represented in campaigning communities; in particular women, people with disabilities and people of marginalised cultures, faiths and ethnicities.

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 from organisations that:

  • Support you to participate in all Campaign Lab sessions and provide you the space to implement what you learn from the course
  • Have an interest in collaboration with fellow Campaign Lab 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 £3,000 for the six month programme (staff costs, travel, food, venues, accommodation, guest speakers, materials).

Where possible, we ask organisations to contribute to 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.

Applications closed – Register interest

Stay in the loop

Get updates about the programme.