Rachel Dobbs on Collective Organising
Rachel Dobbs shares a range of useful tools and resources from the perspective of a serial freelancer.
Quite a lot of my time is spent on collective organising and developing projects through initiatives I work with including CAMP, North Star Study Group, Jamboree, a-n Artists Council and the work I do as a freelancer for Take A Part. Here are some tools and resources that I use regularly in this kind of work.
NESTA have compiled an excellent free DIY toolkit of 30 tried-and-tested tools for social innovation, that help you work through developing a clear plan, clarifying priorities, generating new ideas and better understanding the people you are working with. This is great for anyone involved in group facilitation, or groups and individuals who would like to try out structured ways of thinking through what they are doing.
Along similar lines, the Community Canvas is a useful framework that will help you build a community (any type of group, collective or organisation that brings people together and makes them feel like they belong) by giving you a structure to ask the right questions and identify all the important areas you need to consider.
Seeds For Change have also developed an extensive collection of free downloadable guides in essentials like campaign skills, consensus decision making, facilitation, skills for working in groups, resources for co-ops and running workshops.
If you are new to working in groups or group leadership, I would also recommend reading “Swarmwise: The Tactical Manual To Changing The World” by Rick Falkvinge (founder of the Swedish Pirate Party). This was particularly influential for us at CAMP, in working out how CAMP might organise to “get things done”.