‘When we think about the word movement, what images come to mind? The US civil rights march on Washington, that ended with Martin Luther King, Jr. giving his ‘I have a dream…’ speech. But movements aren’t just about marches and speeches. They’re also about building trust, leaders and sustainable organizations that can win the solutions we want’. (350.org)

Although your campaign may not sway music stars or professional athletes, it’s still great if you can inspire other groups and individuals to join in with your activities or amplify them, or create high-profile champions to communicate your messages further and to new audiences. Some interesting examples are listed below:

Mr Godfrey Baluku Kima is Mayor of Kasese – a city with roughly 130.000 inhabitants in the West of Uganda. Mayor Kima has declared his city aims to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2020. Mayor Kima often give speeches and is quoted in the media linking 100% renewable energy with the sustainable development of his community, pointing out the increased energy access and reliability that can be achieved, which support new livelihoods and benefits citizens health within his city.

In 2015, Pope Francis took stance against climate change and fossil fuels in his encyclical letter, Laudato Si’ . You can use this example of leadership in your campaigns by either quoting from his Encyclical and emphasising the moral arguments to make a transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy.

How can you build champions?

Go back to your power analysis. Did you list any actors there that are influential and can be swayed to become a champion for you? Or are there popular members of civil society amongst your network that you can ask to give you quotes of support, or turn up to an event. Champions breed more champions, so invest some time in encouraging a champion who will be influential on other potential champions.

For more on this topic, please see 350.org’s brilliant toolkit on movement building.

If politics is the ‘art of the possible’, campaigning is the science and art of changing what is possible. Campaigning lowers the barriers and increases the incentives to take action.

Chris Rose

Director International Development at Canadian Red Cross