Public Narrative Training

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We all have a story to tell, and in organizing, that story will influence your work from start to finish.

This training will include:

  • In depth workshop for developing your own story of self, including coaching on how to improve it and adjust it over time
  • Frameworks for how to incorporate your story into your organizing work
  • How to share your story of self both offline and online

Click here to register for this training hosted by Becker Digital Strategies and Organizing 2.0

 

Organizing 2.0 Conference 2017 – April 7-8

The next Organizing 2.0 training conference has a date:  April 7-8. And we’re proud to be returning to the site of our first conference ever, way back in 2009: The Murphy Institute. Once again, we’ll be bringing together the labor and organizing world’s most enthusiastic trainers in organizing, digital strategy, social media, grassroots fundraising and advocacy.

REGISTER NOW

The Organizing 2.0 Conference (our 9th!) brings organizers together for workshops, trainings, discussions, consulting and networking, visionary speakers, and thoughtful debates about our strategies and practices.

Over two days in Manhattan hundreds of people will come together to learn from each other, share stories and build our skills, organizations and movements.

Featured tracks include online to offline organizingdigital strategy on a budgetmember engagementand grassroots fundraising. (We are accepting ideas for speakers and workshops – let us know what you need and/or what you can offer.) CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT SUGGESTIONS!!!

REGISTER NOW

The event is absolutely FREE for the two full-days. This year’s conference is brought to you by our partners:  The Murphy Institute for Worker Education (CUNY)New York State AFL-CIONew York City Central Labor Council, and the New York Civic Engagement Table. Dozens of other organizations, sponsors, volunteers and donors will be announced in the coming days.

The conference will be held at the The Murphy Institute, 25 West 43rd St. Conference is wheelchair accessible.

See You There!!

Changes at the New Organizing Institute

Last month saw some big news come out of the New Organizing Institute, a major piece of movement infrastructure:

Eight senior staffers at the New Organizing Institute resigned after calling for the firing of President Obama’s 2012 data director. They took much of the rest of the staff with them.

As many of our supporters and past attendees know, Organizing 2.0 has had a close relationship with NOI from the beginning. Our founders attended early trainings for digital organizers at NOI. I was a trainer at a number of trainings. And our annual training conference in New York came about because NOI had never organized a training in New York and had stopped offering any trainings outside of Washington DC. In 2010 we held the local Rootscamp for our state as part of Organizing 2.0, and many of our trainers have also been trained at taught at NOI events.

So this matters. But first, what happened?

The entire senior staff of NOI wrote a letter demanding that the Board of Directors fire Executive Director Ethan Roeder. In the end however, they chose to resign when that demand was not accepted. A number of staffers protested and were fired, or left of their own accord in response. An additional number were laid off because of planned reductions in staff due to budget problems. By the end of the day, only 4 staff were left out of 21.

Since then, the community of progressive digital organizer community has been having two concurrent conversations. The first, to show love and support to the fired staffers by raising money to help them get by financially and help everyone get another job. The second, to help ensure the survival of NOI by raising $76,000 as fast as possible.

When NOI was founded, Netroots Nation was still called YearlyKos. Being a ‘digital director’ was barely a thing. Jobs, skills and talent were very concentrated in the Beltway. Today in contrast, the infrastructure for training is quite fast. Many cities have ongoing classes and trainings in coding, data, graphic design, social media and more, sometimes aimed explicitly at the nonprofit or progressive community. Digital trainings take place every year run by the PCCC, Netroots Nation, Organizing 2.0 and others. Consulting firms, issue verticals, trainings for specific constituencies, trainings offered by unions, capacity building entities and so on run unabated. Beyond that there’s a lot of crossover, where events organizing for one group (nonprofits, fundraisers) include the same kind of training sessions that would fit in an event designed specifically for progressive online organizing.

NOI is going to continue to offer trainings and being an important part of the our progressive infrastructure. And they will continue to operate in a crowded environment where many organizations and vendors have offerings that compete. We propose that going forward, the movement pause and consider a couple questions designed to help us evolve even further:

Who isn’t getting the training they need, at a price they can afford? Local campaign staff and candidates, staff at union locals labor organizations not based in DC, community organizing groups that aren’t part of national networks, grassroots groups that aren’t getting funding from the main backers of community organizing and progressive causes, staff working in local government, and the list goes on and on. In particular, we need training that isn’t restricted – that allows nontraditional attendees to show up and learn digital organizing skills.

Following the dictum that the medium is the message, how can we push harder to change our institutions in line with the logic of the internet? Networking organizing, distributed organizations, flat management, horizontal decision making, rapidly scaling movements and peer based knowledge networks ALL have implications that haven’t quite worked their way through our political and organizational landscape. And in some ways, the traditional training entities haven’t tried very hard to pose that challenge.

What are your questions?

Let’s Make A Digital Organizing Guide!

Open source software is a source of many innovations. One of is a response to a fairly basic problem: who creates the user manual for programs not owned and developed by a company?

In 2008 Tomas Krag came up with the idea of a book sprint. Get the right people to commit to 4-5 days of steady work, and end up with a top to bottom software manual for open source software. The book sprint has caught on, and dozens of books in multiple languages are available for free download or purchase.

In recent years, software methodologies like SCRUM and Agile have migrated to other parts of the business world – and beyond. Shouldn’t that be true for the book sprint? It got us thinking…

At workshops in digital strategy for labor organizers, we usually offer copies of various resources and guides to pass around. Folks are more likely to scan a physical copy than to look up a URL a few days later. But the information isn’t well organized – it’s always just a list of resources, with no taxonomy or easy to use locator for the right resource.

Instead, we should use the book sprint methodology to produce a guide for digital organizers in the labor movement in New York City. It would be available as a free download, though anyone could buy a printed copy. The bulk of it would be (authorized) reprints or links to existing resources from the usual suspects, such as the New Organizing Institute.

In addition, we would add more specialized resources that our target audience will find helpful:

  • List of organizations offering political, communications, or digital training in NYC
  • Calendar of events of importance to the organizing community
  • Lists of Twitter handles and Facebook pages for labor organizations and local elected officials.
  • A directory of labor communications staff in New York.
  • Articles about topics designed explicitly for a junior communications staffer to give to someone more senior in the labor movement to advance a particular point. (Ex.: digital should be part of early strategy discussions, not added as an afterthought.)
  • References to recent noteworthy efforts using digital tools, from New York based organizations.
  • A directory of trustworthy vendors and freelancers who offer relevant services.

After asking a number of our friends and advisory board members, we’ve decided to create such a guide during the upcoming Organizing 2.0 conference (April 10-11). It might even spark the creation of more such guides for other regions. If you have suggestions or want to participate, get in touch with us. At the moment we have a facilitator, we’re looking for 3-4 volunteers to take a lead role in producing this guide.