Our favourite movements of 2017

As 2017 comes to a close, we want to take a look back to some of the powerful movements we’ve had the pleasure of encountering in the past year. It may be been a turbulent year politically – but where there is power there is resistance. This piece is dedicated to those movements.


Back in April, we ran Losing Control – an event exploring the practical realities of building social movements for change. Here we had the pleasure of having Dina Ariss from CHAYN discuss how to run a global volunteer movement – and we were blown away.

CHAYN is an open-source movement that empowers women against violence and oppression. In the wake of the #MeToo movement we recognise that we need all kinds of resources to tackle this. We love CHAYN because they leverage technology to address the problems women face today. Running solely on the dedicated work of over 300 volunteers across the world, CHAYN reminds us how movements are built and sustained through passion, networks, and a sharing of power.


The political events that have happened in the last two years have often felt life-destroying. And, not just in a long-term ‘what’s going to happen in the future’ kind of way, but also in our day to day lives and interactions with the people we love. But a movement of young people is paving the way for future conversations around Bexit. UNDIVIDED are a movement of young people fighting to get their voices heard in Brexit negotiations. They’re gathering all young people’s demands – from whichever end of the spectrum – to move the debate away from ‘leave’ and ‘remain’ and into the sphere of negotiations. They’re getting young people’s voices on the table.

3. Justice.Period

This year we ran an event in conjunction with the House of St Barnabas around access to free sanitary products, the tampon tax and organic sanitary products.

There is a movement surrounding period justice, and it’s growing stronger and stronger year on year. We predict that in 2018, it will take on radical new shape, bringing together unlikely allies in the fight for justice. In particular we would like to congratulate Amika George, a 17 year old schoolgirl campaigning to have free sanitary products in school, who organised a protest outside Parliament Square on 20 December. She brought together a range of speakers and she is leading a movement around accessibility to free sanitary products in schools in the UK. We were lucky enough to have Amika join us at the Justice.Period event, where she discussed her motivations behind the campaign.

Ellie Goodchild, who co-ran the Justice.Period event with The Social Change Agency, wrote about her take on period justice. You can take a read of it here: The future of menstrual justice

Community business movement

This year we have seen the community business movement flourish. Community businesses are a radical (yet historic) way of giving power to local communities. Community businesses are locally rooted and driven by a philosophy of community benefit, enterprise, inclusiveness and community control. But how do you foster an environment for a successful community business? Over the past year we teamed together with the help of Power to Change to create a community of practice for community managers.

So, that’s the SCA round-up of some of the most inspiring movements of 2017! If you’re having an awkward conversation with an uncle over Christmas dinner, start to meander the conversation towards one of these movements and before you know it you’ll be talking periods, power and passion.

Have we missed a movement you think should be in here? Send us your ideas and we’ll add them to January’s newsletter!

Sign up to our newsletter for the latest news, insights and trends

Free resources

Movement Building Canvas

The Movement Building Canvas is a practical framework and printable worksheet to help you or your organisation design and build a social movement.

Power Mapping Canvas

The essential, practical tool for campaigners – If you want to influence change you need to understand who holds the power.

See more resources