Blog Archives

Arwa Almari
Ralph Underhill

Ralph is quite loud but he genuinely means well. He prefers other animals to people but is trying his best to treat both equally. He works for the Public Interest Research Centre on Common Cause and is a Director of Ad Brake, a new organisation campaigning against advertising. He is also a cartoonist specialising in environment and political issues and has done work for Greenpeace and RSPB. He loves mountian biking and wild swimming

Amy Cameron

I work with the carbon cutting campaign 10:10, leading our Community Crowdfunding campaign stream. Having been involved in the formation of the Solar Schools project three years ago, I’m passionate about the use of crowdfunding as a way for individuals and communities to engage with issues and one another. I’m also a big advocate of the ongoing need to create climate change campaigns that resonate with wider social demographics and which foster ground up action led by less likely voices. Previous study of organising and leadership has furthered my commitment to effective volunteer participation and the need for non-hierarchical network structures within campaigns.

In my former life I trained as a vet, the skills from which have absolutely no discernible impact on anything I now do… Outside of work I’m mostly concerned with feminism, baking, gym-ing, eating and theatre. Not necessarily in that order.

Rebecca Falcon

For the last year and a half I’ve been a campaigner at 38 Degrees, working on campaigns that channel the power of ordinary people taking action together. I’ve had a lot of fun – organising big public meetings, travelling up and down the country, and thinking creatively about how to get the people at the top to listen to the rest of us. Before that I was volunteering at the Citizens Advice Bureau in Hackney. I’m keen on challenging nasty politics, and thinking big about how we can create a more equal, more happy, less consumerist society.

Susan Treadwell

Korean by birth, American by culture and citizenship, and an adopted European by choice and social values, I now live in Sitges, Spain which reminds me a great deal of where I grew up near San Francisco. My connection to Europe goes back to my final year in high school when I was lucky enough to spend a year abroad in Germany. I was able to witness up close and in real time the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989-1990. It was this historic event, among many others in those heady days that cemented my belief in the power of the people to change the world for the better. I worked for over a decade to support human rights and accountability activists in Central and Eastern Europe to make their societies more open and accountable until last year. Since then, with the European project in crisis, I have been focused on finding ways to tap into the widespread social protest movements across Europe to promote structural reforms that will make the EU more open, democratic, and accountable. The world badly needs Europe’s leadership on social, economic, and climate justice. No European country can shoulder that burden on its own.

Kara Moses

I’m involved in a number of groups and work mostly on environmental issues. My main organising context is Reclaim the Power which I’m involved in on a national and local level in Machynlleth, Wales where I’ve just moved to from Birmingham and where I’m also working on a new divestment campaign. I’m also Environment Editor for Red Pepper magazine, a radical political magazine. I’ve been a freelance writer and journalist for a number of years but am having some time out from that at the moment. I also work in the Biology department at CAT, and am a Forest School leader at a community ecocentre in Birmingham, which mostly involves climbing trees and running around in the woods with a bunch of kids.

Elena Blackmore

I’m a researcher at the Public Interest Research Centre and have been involved with the Common Cause initiative – a collaboration between a number of social change groups – for several years. I’m based in mid-Wales and my background is in Psychology and International Development (the latter of which left me pretty disillusioned with the development ‘industry’). I’ve co-authored a number of Common Cause reports – looking at how the role of values in entrenched political issues, environmental consciousness and social change. At the moment, I’m mostly working on understanding equality and intersectionality through the lens of values, and thinking about how to support a community of practice around values work.

Lianna Etkind

Lianna works at disability rights organisation Transport for All, bringing together older and disabled transport users to campaign for equal access to transport. Previously, she worked at Sustain; co-founded the successful Brighton Living Wage campaign and has joyously participated in various grassroots direct action movements. Lianna recently finished a Masters in Community Organising, and is interested in how community organising methodologies can be brought into the culture of the wider social justice and environmental movement. Her dissertation was on the potential for a campaign for a shorter working week. Aside from activism; she enjoys camping, sea swimming and cooking for friends.

Yuan Yang

Yuan is the co-founder of Rethinking Economics (rethinkeconomics.org), an international network of students and citizens organising to change economics. Rethinking Economics and its allied networks recently launched an international collaborative open letter (isipe.net), with signatures from 60 groups of over 30 different countries. They are seeking to make the economics curriculum more diverse, make economics more accessible in the public sphere, and enrich the marketplace of ideas within economics. Yuan studied Philosophy and Economics (PPE) at undergrad in Balliol College, Oxford. She then worked for a year at the Oxford University Student Union as a full-time Vice-President, working on gender equality. This opened her eyes to how much a small group of passionate can do, even in the face of long-established institutions. She has also worked for London Citizens, a community organising group.

Julie Prestland

I’m Jules. I work as a Community Organiser for Generation Rent. I begin my career as a CO last October, previously I worked for the Police service as civilian staff in the control centre, which I loved. However after suffering ill health and needing extensive hospital treatment I was no longer able to work, and was told by my consultant that I had to accept the fact I would not be well even to work again. But I wouldn’t accept that. I wanted to prove them wrong, and set about finding a job which meant I could do that and which meant I could go back to being able to say my work really made a difference. Then I found Community Organising. I fell in love with it, and the work ethic before it really struck a chord with me, ‘never give up’, ‘find your voice and be heard’ and lastly the one I could really relate to which was ‘don’t just accept things, challenge them’. I am a great believer in positivity, if you can change something for the better then never give up until you’ve achieved it. In my role at Generation Rent I will be driving forward a social movement for better rights for people in the private renter sector, and I cannot wait to see what happens next…

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