Culture, Systems, and People to Support Change
Asking the Right Questions: Methods for Breaking the Technical Frame of Reference in Strategic Technology Planning
Many observers will agree that common complaints about technology projects -- resistance to change, long sales cycles, inappropriate technology, unexpected costs, unused tools -- are often the inevitable result of technocentric planning. The only way to unravel this problem is to go to the source and challenge the questions we ask - our actual planning methods, not just our intent. This session will include a short presentation of the core concepts of an alternative frame, followed by a group discussion exploring specific tactics that have worked and which help flesh out the alternative model.
People, Processes and Power: The Art of Building the Right Team
This session will take the case study approach in unpacking what it actually takes to deliver on a complex, web-based technology project. We’ll present best practices and guidelines for how to assess what’s needed, assemble the appropriate resources, navigate politics, manage people and clients, and avoid common trouble spots. In addition, we’ll briefly review current technologies that support managing virtual teams. Bring your own examples and stories to share.
Building and Maintaining Integrity and Political Credibility in Developing Technology Projects
This session is about engaging in technology projects in a way that is holistic, upholds organizational integrity, and furthers the movement. In this session we’ll explore a collaborative comprised of 3 unique website projects: Future5000.com, MyBLOC.net, and YouthMediaCouncil.org, all developed by the innovative company Tumis. We’ll look at the historical development of these three projects, especially focusing on our values-based model and how we maintain integrity and political credibility in our process, tied to our overall theory of change. We will use this example as a jumping off point for a discussion around key questions and considerations, successful models, and lessons learned/best practices in creating and implementing a technology-organizing project.
Values-based Project Management
In this session we'll talk about what it means for a project to "not go well", explore the ways in which the absence of shared values may contribute to this, and work together to come up with strategies for ensuring the successful and effective management of social change projects through the establishment of work environments based on personal empowerment, group trust, respect, commitment and open communication.
Session Lead: Rob Purdie, Important Projects
Online Collaboration – Quantifying the Problem, Designing a Solution
While we increasingly have the tools to make possible online collaboration what, if anything, are we doing to enable collaboration? With an increasing number of online projects being supported by volunteer communities how well people work together is critical question. It will determine the size, make-up and effectiveness of your community. Participants will leave the workshop with a framework for guiding their strategic thinking and tactical actions when engaging with their online community and designing the community’s interface.
Session Lead: Dave Eaves, eaves.ca
Reproduce & Revolt: The Role of Design, Art and Culture in Community Transformation
There has never been a movement for social change without art and visual communications being central to that movement. Graphics in particular are powerful living reminders of struggles worldwide for peace and justice. Recognizing that we play a vital role in countering the propaganda of the right, we want to foster communication, sharing and collaboration between like-minded activist-designers and cultural workers. The goal of this session is discuss the role of design, art and culture in community transformation and movement building. How do artist-activists, designers, and technologists, strengthen our ability to provide the social justice movement with effective visual communication?
Session Lead: Favianna Rodriguez, Tumis
Campaign Strategy and How to Leverage Technology within it
We will take a look under the hood at the process used by campaigners and organizers to design their advocacy and political campaign strategies. Often technologists are brought in after the strategy has been developed and asked to supply specific tools. This approach can lead to strategy being developed in a vacuum, separated from Communications and Online Strategies rather than having them inform and leverage one another. This session is an opportunity to learn about the campaign strategy process from leading organizers and consultants and to participate in a discussion on the intersection between strategy development and technology implementation.
Technology and Innovation
Email: We Hardly Knew Ye?
This session will explore the reasons behind dropping email rates—how it’s impacting the work of online organizers and development folks (i.e. are they hindered in their efforts to execute campaigns online? Raise money?) We intend to look broadly at trends around declining open rates, and how organizatins are looking to address it. Is our goal to try to help email open rates stabilize at a certain percentage? Or should we start thinking about email as most folks think about Direct Mail—it’s a generational communications tool that a certain demographic responds well to, but that the EchoBoomers won’t respond effectively to?
Session Leads: Joe Baker and Heather Holdridge, Care2
Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) as Strategy: Moving from Lists to Relationships
In the past decade, online organizers have learned how to build big lists, and then squeeze donations and activism out of those lists. But are we ready to move to more individualized, deeper, Web 2.0 relationships with constituents? If we had robust data on our constituents, what are innovative ways to use that data to increase participation and decrease spamminess? Better CRM technology should soon allow organizers to capture very robust data about their constituents ... and then what? It's time to develop CRM as an organizational strategy, not just a tech buzzword.
Beyond the Click of a Mouse: Using online organizing to create offline action and activists
This session will discuss the principles, strategies, and examples of using online campaigns to create real world action and long term volunteers. We have perfected the use of online organizing that stays online to great success. For many campaigns we need to take our online work and integrate with our offline campaign needs in order to achieve our goals.
Session Leads: Liz Butler, Forest Ethics
Gen-Y Affinity and Organizations versus Causes: What’s Going on and How to Respond?
This session will deconstruct some of the “web 2.0” activity going on out there—how is Gen-Y learning about and engaging on issues. We’ll present a brief analysis that Care2 did of the Facebook Causes app and some 35,000 foot case studies of how the US Presidential campaigns are operating in this space and look to tie that back to the non-profit sector generally.
Session Leads: Joe Baker and Heather Holdridge, Care2
The Art of the Story: Attracting Funding, Volunteers, Employees and the Media
Without a great Brand Story you can’t have great fundraising or great PR. Current web trends have changed the way consumers communicate and engage. Is your story hitting the right mark for today’s environment? In this session we will discuss the making of a great brand story and how to determine if your story measures up. How to make sure your story resonates with your primary audiences (i.e. donors, media, partners, employees, etc..) and how to use the web to tell your story well.
Session Lead: Jacqueline Voci, Voci Communications
Media that Moves
Storytelling is the backbone of how individuals and cultures express themselves and move one another to action. We are living in a transformational moment in history. How do we use new media tools to bring about big social and political change? How do we create campfires across issues, beliefs and values that move people to understanding and action? This session will present a holistic picture of new media tools married to tried and true narrative and storytelling techniques. We will explore how they can express complicated ideas in more accessible ways to move large groups of people to action.
Session Lead: Julie Sender-Bergman, Balcony Films
Human-Centered Design Practices: Five Common Myths
Our success in communicating with and motivating a response from any audience online is directly related to how well we understand them. It seems fundamental, but when we create digital media, we often abandon this principle to the pressures of time and budget. The session will be tailored to the experience level of the audience and will explore the five common myths: Cost – “We can’t afford it.” Time – “We don’t have time.” Expertise – “We don’t know how to do it.” Ideation – “We know the answer already.” Strategy – “It doesn’t fit our plan.” Impact - “It won’t make that much difference.” In addition the session will provide a brief introduction to a simple framework for Human Centered Design (HCD) and discuss key values.
Session Lead: Dave Robertson, Critical Mass
LAMP Project: Transformational Organizing through youth led media arts projects
Session Lead: Jenny Lee, Detroit Summer
Click here to view last year's agenda.
Questions? Email info AT webofchange DOT com.
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