Networked campaigns get the goods!

Tom Liacas —  September 16, 2016 — Leave a comment

For the better part of 2016, I have been diving deep into research on new breakthrough social and environmental advocacy campaigns in order to find the common patterns that explain their success. Having taken a hard look at 47 campaigns with my colleague Jason Mogus, I can safely say that networks and networked approaches are where the power is at these past few years.

Network society, outlined decades ago by thinkers such as Manuel Castells, has come of age across the world and is now shaping flows of power. This is especially relevant to activists and advocates who need to channel power to achieve their policy-change or culture-change objectives.

While we have all witnessed “flash in the pan” instances of networked power – see Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring uprisings – a more durable hybrid approach is emerging, one that harnesses grassroots power while maintaining central control over framing, resource management and shared milestones.

This approach, which we call “directed-network campaigning,” is exemplified by the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, and the Fight for $15, all of which have punched above their weight to move the needle on progressive policy, climate justice and economic inequality.

Interested in learning more?


Tom Liacas

Tom Liacas

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An M.A. graduate in Media Studies, Tom Liacas is an experienced Social Network Strategist who first cut his teeth creating and managing advocacy campaigns as an activist.