Social science research offers a wealth of insights related how individuals think and act – individually and en masse – and how those behaviors scale (or don’t) to create the conditions necessary to build political power and create lasting social change.
Watch this webinar recording with Jack Zhou and Carina Barnett-Loro of the Climate Advocacy Lab to learn some of the essential takeaways to improve your organizing with insights from social science.
You’ll find answers to questions like:
Many people are taking political action for the first time, but how do we keep them taking action?
What insights from research can help us structure volunteer programs that support leadership development and engagement with our organizations and campaigns for the long term?
How do organizations facing a surge of activism after the 2016 election convert it into a long‐term base of support?
The webinar focuses on examples from climate space, but we think the insights presented can be applied to organizing on other issues.
Send an email to email@example.com if you are you interested in joining the Climate Advocacy Lab community.
Carina Barnett-Loro I facilitate workshops and training for the Climate Advocacy Lab community -- everything from Facebook best practices to communicating with conservatives to designing campaigns that build political power.
Prior to joining the Lab team, I spent six years as an organizer on state-level climate and energy campaigns.
Jack Zhou I produce and manage the Climate Advocacy Lab's social science resources for our webinars, workshops, and other outreach engagements. My research interests include motivated reasoning, framing effects, and political polarization. In other words, how people think about climate change, how they process information on the issue, and what gets in the way.
Prior to joining the Lab, I worked as a postdoctoral associate in energy policy and survey methods. I received my B.S. from UC Berkeley and my Ph.D. from Duke University.
Randall Smith I am the founder of PowerLabs where I help people design and build people-powered campaigns using insights from social science. I specialize in training, coaching and strategic planning support to build the capacity of organizations, leaders and networks.
Clients I’ve worked with include Courage Campaign, Forward Together, Free Press, IfNotNow, and Movimiento Cosecha. I’ve also run capacity building programs for the grantees of the Four Freedoms Fund, Funders Collaborative on Youth Organizing and the Nellie Mae Education Foundation.
We recommend starting your reading with:
How People Become Pro-Life Activists by Ziad Munson
Why do people take action?
Contextual influences on participation in community organizing: a multilevel longitudinal study by Brian D. Christens and Paul W. Speer
The Influence of Climate Change Efficacy Messages and Efficacy Beliefs on Intended Political Participation by P. Sol Hart and Lauren Feldman
Legitimizing Nervousness Motivates People to Take Risky Political Actions by Adam Seth Levine, John Kotcher, Neil Stenhouse and Edward Maibach
Freedom Summer by Doug McAdam
Why do people keep taking action?
How Organizations Develop Activists by Hahrie Han
What is political power?
Lobbying and Policy Change: Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why by Frank R. Baumgartner, Jeffrey M. Berry, Marie Hojnacki, Beth L. Leech, and David C. Kimball
Additional readings about teams and working with volunteers
Leading Associations: How Individual Characteristics and Team Dynamics Generate Committed Leaders by Matthew Baggetta, Hahrie Han, Kenneth T. Andrews
What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team by Charles Duhigg
Organizations that can help you apply insights from social science to your work
Analyst Institute collaborates with progressive organizations and campaigns around the country to measure and increase the impact of their programs.
Climate Advocacy Lab helps climate and clean energy advocates run smarter public engagement campaigns.
Mobilisation Lab is a global learning and collaboration network powering the future of social change campaigns. We equip progressive movements and leaders to adapt and thrive in the digital, people-powered era.
PowerLabs helps organizations design and run people-powered campaigns.
Research4Impact connects research and practice by building relationships between researchers and practitioners.
The Scholars Strategy Network is a one-stop resource that connects journalists, policymakers, and civic leaders to America’s top scholars and their research.
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