The rise of the organisational movement builder

On a very cold and wet November evening this week, we launched CareerClub, an evening of honest, irreverent, cross examinations of all the careers in social change and how we got there, or got lost instead.

I put myself on the stand, next to Nick Gardener, the CEO of Semble, to be roasted about our career choices by our very own career coach Penny Wood and questioned by the 30 or so attendees that braved the weather.

One of the questions that came up from the floor was what kind of jobs do you think will exist in 5 years time, that don’t exist today? It was a great question. When I started the Social Change Agency in 2013, no-one really knew what movement building was. I had spent the past 15 years of my working life, trying to modernise campaigning departments of large NGOs, bringing together the grass roots, members, tech, policy, campaigning, membership, public affairs and communication to create change. By building deep alliances, supporting leadership and campaigning, we managed to change law, public opinion and behaviour in major areas.

From my experience, technological trends and the move towards distributed power, meant that Movement Building was the only way forward for large charities looking to create sustainable change with the assets they had.  In order to create a more equal future, everyone needs to play their part, and a movement approach meant that everyone could join. The only problem was that it didn’t exist as an approach let alone as a function in NGOs back in 2011.  Most organisations had no idea what I was talking about, which is what led me to set up The Social Change Agency in 2013, as a external organisation that could assist and help the sector to get there.

Fast forward 5 years and I am delighted to see Parkinson’s UK recruit for a Movement Building Lead. The job spec is bang on – combing technology, communication, membership and stakeholder management across the organisation that is looking to transform its approach to creating change.

It is interesting to note that the role doesn’t sit in the fundraising department, but reports to the Director of Digital Transformation and Communication.  We look forward to welcoming them to Losing Control – and hope that whoever gets this role is at the forefront of the next generation of movement builders.

Interested in movement building? If you, your team or interested stakeholders want to design and improve your movement for maximum impact, check out our Movement Building Canvas Workshop.

Download the free Movement Building Canvas

Free resources

Network Building Canvas

Discover how to create and manage successful peer networks and Communities of Practice using our handy canvas, perfect for both individuals and groups.

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.

See more resources