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How social change is happening today: key trends shaping UK campaigning

Campaign Network
Available On-Demand

Free for all CharityComms members
£20pp + VAT for non-members

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This on demand event is free for CharityComms members.

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It goes without saying that campaigning is a key area of work for many charities in the UK. But with the current, dramatic, and ever-shifting landscape, those of us working in social change are struggling to find steady ground to work from.

This seminar will explore some of the key trends influencing the way change is happening today and look at how we can dream for a better future.

On the agenda

  • How civil society is driving change today
  • The models and wider trends that are changing the way the sector campaigns
  • How people think and form opinions and what opportunities exist to seed more progressive narratives
  • What we can learn about change from Black Lives Matter and other successful movements
  • How do campaigning organisations see their supporters strategically and what are the implications for how they work? 
  • Peer-to-peer learning – come armed with your campaign challenges

Who is this for?

This seminar is for anyone with an interest in campaigning. It will suit all budgets.

Have a question about the content? Please get in touch with Emma. Have a question about the event in general? Please get in touch with Vanessa.


A few days before the event we’ll be sending delegates a link to a pre-recorded talk (see below). Please watch this ahead of time and get your questions ready for speakers as they will appear on our live panel session on the day.

Pre-recorded talk for you to watch ahead of the event:
Strategic communications in the time of Covid-19

Drawing on evidence from cognitive science, this session will give an overview of how people think and form opinions and how we can use this knowledge in our social change work. We’ll also explore some of the narratives in play around Covid-19 and discuss the opportunities that exist to seed and build new, more progressive narratives. There will be an opportunity to pause and consider how the theory applies to your own work.

Kathryn Quinton
communications director, Equally Ours

Alice Jennings
head of digital and strategic communications, Equally Ours

Live Event Programme:

Adeela Warley 
CEO, CharityComms


Vanessa Weddell 
head of events, CharityComms

How is change happening today?

In her opening talk, Sue will set the scene by sharing SMK’s analysis of how civil society is driving change today and their concept of ‘Social Power’. She will explore different campaign models, and consider how wider trends are changing the way the sector campaigns. She will also share some case studies of effective campaigns, including a guest appearance from Katy Styles, winner of the ‘best digital campaign’ at the SMK National Campaigner Awards.

Sue Tibballs OBE
CEO, Sheila McKechnie Foundation

Katy Styles
Founder, We Care Campaign

Understanding social movements and dreaming the future we want

What a time to be alive! It’s a turbulent time for everyone, and those of us working for social change are struggling to find steady ground to work from. We have always needed to flow, adapt and respond to the shifting context – but in these uncertain times this is more important than ever. In her talk, Natasha will reflect on the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement. She will explore what it teaches us about how change happens, and the importance of dreaming the future we want. 

Natasha Adams
campaigns and activism consultant and director, Organising for Change

Grounding your campaigns in lived experience

So often campaigning presents charities as the agents of change, with the stories of those impacted by the issue adding authenticity. Through his activism at Charity So White and campaigning work with mainstream charities including Save the Children, Jonathan will challenge that traditional campaigning model and demonstrate why we should centre our work on the experiences of those closest to the issues. He will speak to the power balances between grassroots activists and big organisations, and the fine balance between using our platform and brand to build up activists/movements and how brands can sometimes take over.  

Jonathan Cornejo 
organiser , Charity So White

What can we learn about change from the ice cream business?

With real life examples from her work at Ben and Jerry’s, Rebecca will share her thoughts on the role of activist businesses in social change. She’ll offer ideas for how charities can best work with the commercial sector in this area and give us the inside story on how they develop their campaigns. Plus, we’ll hear about how they are using framing to develop more progressive and effective narratives.    

Rebecca Baron 
head of activism and social mission, Europe at Ben & Jerry's

'Ask the Speaker' session

This is your chance to ask questions – so please have them ready. Speakers from our previously launched, recorded talk will join us too.

Understanding the strategic role of your supporters

Drawing on recent research, this session explores the importance of articulating the role and impact of your supporters in your campaigning. In this talk, Shelter will share how they have identified their need for a supporter strategy that goes beyond day-to-day campaigning priorities to consider the supporter base it needs to be building in the long-term to influence change –  and how they’re starting to approach developing one.

Rebecca Turner
senior strategy consultant, more onion

Jonathan Smith
head of campaigns, Shelter UK

Post-event breakout discussions

As always, CharityComms events are packed with delegates who know their onions when it comes to communications. This is your opportunity to bring challenges to a small group for brainstorming.