We’ve been having a bit of fun lately using our Movement Building Canvas to predict the staying power of movements, using the three fundamentals of shared identity, meaningful journey and empowering enablers.   Prepare for sporting analogies galore as we pitch Team Blair against This Girl Can.

False start

Tony Blair’s attempt to rally an anti-Brexit movement ‘which stretches across Party lines’ faced a false start in February.  Even if you did identify with the cause there was no journey to go on, nothing to enable you to get organised and take action – just a bland call to ‘sign up to receive the latest news about TB’s work and forthcoming Institute’. When you do sign up, there are just four interest areas to choose from (Effective Government, Counter Extremism, Middle East Stability and Policy Solutions), blowing the whole identity thing by assuming the interests of movement members will align perfectly with the interests of the Office of Tony Blair.

Perfect 10

Sport England’s This Girl Can made to move beyond a ‘marketing moment’ to a ‘genre-defying movementas it launched its new wave of activity.  The campaign to close the gender gap in sports participation has already built a smart, strong identity, shaped by authentic voices, and Sport England claim that 2.8 million women have taken part in sport as a result so far (albeit with the help of a premier league marketing budget).  It’s made members of the community the star players and taken women on insight driven journeys around different sports and motivations.  And the whole raison d’etre for the new push is enabling, giving women ‘a platform to talk about their experience to kick-start broader conversations’.  It’s also provided tools and resources for women to organise their own grassroots activities.  If we were being picky, we’d suggest more hands-on support for women who want to step up and take on more formal leadership roles in their communities.  But This Girl Can comes  close to a perfect movement building 10.

The Final Analysis

Team TB scored a pretty spectacular own goal – staking the lot on a star player is always a high risk strategy and a rallying cry simply isn’t enough, however impassioned or well informed.  Whereas This Girl Can looks set to go the distance, showing us that organisations and institutions can play a highly effective role from the sidelines, providing the resources and infrastructure that enable movements to grow, connect and thrive.

Download the Movement Building Canvas to help you check if the infrastructure behind your movement is fit for purpose.