In a fantastic development, the good people at OneNW have joined the small chorus of rock solid seasoned field people to challenging the current "template" approach to planning and supporting the advocacy movement. In a smart paper, Gideon and the staff have taken the network-centric approach into some new and exciting directions. Their work is a significant contribution.
These guys (like GMT) are in the desktops, systems and offices of lots of environmental groups. They have years of hands on campaign experience and a great staff (Jon and Gideon are in that class of trusted good guy gurus). They are smart and they are "on our team". (I will save my dissent with specific points for another day). Today I highly recommend you download and read the paper
Great stuff! I love the clarity of statements that I needed to dance with for several months. Environmental movement is a Network!
Organizations need to focus on what they do best, and outsource the rest.
The majority of local environmental groups work on niche issues and solutions that will never attract large membership bases.
Funders need to help free the most important of these organizations from focusing on this distraction.
These statements have been in the works for a long time. OneNW is going to start working to building the new movement as a network. I look forward to helping them in any way I can.
It will be difficult to remain focused on the main arguments and there will be push back from funders, organizations and old guard organizers. However, the stakes are really high (future success of the advocacy movement) and the early converts to network-centric advocacy need to not only preach about the strategy but work miracles as well.
"If we don't fight hard enough for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we don't really stand for them." - Paul Wellstone