Over the weekend, I was lucky enough to hang out with a fine bunch of rabblerousers. We talked about movement building, and the kinds of things that make some campaigns successful in attracting big, unruly crowds, and the kinds of things that turn those big, unruly crowds into game changers. We workshopped a set of questions worth asking if you want to gather a storm crowd and generate some lightning.
1. Can you tell the story of our campaign to a 7 year old? Who are the bad guys? How are they vanquished? Who saves the day? Even better, can you describe our campaign in a tweet?
2. I support you. Why do you need me? How can I make a difference? How can I be part of the story? How can I bring it into my own community? How can I make my friends care about it? What have you got for me to do that’s more than a petition and less than getting arrested? Are you willing to let go some of your control, and let me have some responsibility?
3. Have you got objectives for which large numbers of people are going to be essential? How will we make a difference?
4. What are your key moments? When can people intervene and make a difference?
5. How are we a threat? How do we provoke the pushback that creates movements — where Goliath goes after David, when Gandhi or Mandela or Rosa Parks got thrown in jail?
6. Can we reach the decision makers directly? If not, what are the leverage points or power constituencies that we CAN reach that have the ear, or some other part of the anatomy, of the decision maker?
7. What makes our campaign cool and sexy? What makes it witty? What makes it hilarious?
8. How can we get others to carry our message? Who are the Third Party Validators who can say exactly what we say, but won’t be dismissed by the people we need to sway?
9. What parts of our work can others do better? What part of the work are we uniquely suited to do? How do we focus on those things, and let others do what they do best?
10. How do I know that others are involved? How do we create the sense of collective, of community, of movement? What are the signals by which we recognise each other, where are our gathering points, where are we counted?