What does it take to build a sustainable movement?
The Undivided movement was created in the wake of the EU Referendum to fight for young people’s interests in Brexit negotiations. Since it was launched in October 2016, it has seen unparalleled success in its engagement of young people in Brexit. They have engaged over 10,000 young people through crowdsourcing their Brexit demands, and they have had over 250,000 votes by young people on their favourite demands.
We had the pleasure of working with Undivided at our two day hackathon co-hosted with Practical Governance, Losing Control. I caught up with Charlotte Gerada, one of the founders of Undivided, about what it takes to create a sustainable movement for change.
Don’t limit yourself to one platform
Charlotte Gerada: “We’ve used both digital and non-digital strategy in parallel in order to bring as many young people together through as many different avenues as possible. On an offline level, we’ve recruited young people in every nation and region in the country to roll out a national programme of events. We’ve developed toolkits for teachers and young people to set up an event in their area to talk about Brexit. In the digital sphere, we’ve developed a crowdsourcing platform where young people can post what they think their post-Brexit priorities should be’.”
The Social Change Agency: Undivided’s success as a movement is rooted in its ability to offer meaningful engagement to the movement makers – one of the key components of the Movement Building Canvas. Once you have identified your people and the shared goals and purposes, the movement must offer varied and multifaceted actions to its members.
What Charlotte’s shown is that, through the use of multiple platforms of engagement, young people part of Undivided feel a sense of ownership over the movement. People within this movement are given a level of autonomy. The ability to use the resources from the central body but without much imposition from that body is what makes the Undivided movement so strong. Being able to let go of control is something Undivided have mastered, and many organisations can learn from this.
Keep it moving and be nimble
Charlotte Gerada: “Once we release some of our findings, we want to enter into Public Affairs mode. We want key people in Parliament to commit to considering young people’s voices. With the upcoming General Election, we’re going to encourage as many young people to register to vote as possible, whichever way they want to vote. We’re then planning on creating spin-off campaigns, so that individuals interested in particular areas can campaign on those things, even past Brexit.”
The Social Change Agency: Another component of the Movement Building Canvas that Undivided have successfully developed is their method of organising. The final tier of the Movement Building Canvas reminds movements that a strong organisational model is key to the success of any movement. Undivided are never static. Their organisational strategy of being nimble has allowed them to react quickly to a turbulent political climate. The organisational model rests on ensuring the movement members are at the core of its movement, and that’s what makes it so powerful.
Work together and collaborate
Charlotte Gerada: “One of our strengths has been through working with partners in the Youth sector to reach the widest range of young people possible. Undivided have managed to bring together 50 partners who have supported us in various ways, and we’re keen to bring more organisations on board.”
The Social Change Agency: The final lesson to be learned from Undivided is collaboration. This is something found at the core of the Movement Building Canvas. Working together and building networks with those who have a shared purpose will give your movement maximum impact. Making change doesn’t happen with one individual, it’s about creating networks of change, with every individual feeling empowered. Undivided have done just that.
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