Sunday, February 6, 2011

Learn Online Organizing Strategies at Organizing 2.0 Conference, Feb. 13 at CUNY Murphy Institute

Learn Online Organizing Strategies at Organizing 2.0 Conference, Feb. 13 at CUNY Murphy Institute

Organizing 2.0 is an annual training conference in New York City for union movement organizers and social justice activists. It’s set for Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011 from 9am-5pm at the City University of New York (CUNY) Murphy Institute. One of our colleagues in the labor movement asked us to explain in writing who exactly our training conference was aimed at and why they should attend it. Here it is:

  • Do you work for an organization that does not use online tools except for some e-mail and a low-quality website? Join us for a hands-on training on relevant software, case studies on organizations in your situation and suggestions for best next steps that even under-resourced groups can realistically take. 
  • Do you work for an organization that pays for and uses online tools—just not very well? How can you make good use of what you are already paying for? Learn how to move from having an online presence, to using it effectively to achieve mission goals
  • Do you work for an organization that uses online tools quite well—but only in specific pockets of your work? We’re bringing together experienced union and organizing professionals figuring out (together) what works best to win campaigns, serve members and drive up individual engagement. Join us to learn—and to share your own knowledge.
 Now for another question. Why are we doing this?

Our experience is that in many organizations the introduction of technology is disruptive. At various levels, from the top to the bottom, questions about what works and why are often suppressed out of ignorance, fear and uncertainty. The gap between status power and expertise often leads to situations where anyone knowledgeable about online organizing doesn’t have the authority to make decisions about a campaign, and anyone with enough power to implement an online organizing strategy almost certainly doesn’t have training in online organizing.

But we’re organizers, so our solution is to organize. We must organize the decision makers and front-line staff of labor unions and community organizations that are fighting for economic justice. Victory for us means advancing an organization’s effectiveness through the appropriate use of online technologies.

We win when online organizers are hired with the power to implement real online organizing strategies, when the right kind of consultants are consulted and heard, when resources are spent wisely and when risk averse institutions embrace experimentation.

At Organizing 2.0, we are calling on people in the union movement who are conversant in online organizing to come together with our brothers and sisters who are new to the online world and work together to find solutions that we can implement at our locals, central labor councils and international unions. If you’re reading this and haven’t already embraced our vision, consider these questions:
  • Are Organizing 2.0’s trainers coming from labor, community organizing groups and progressive political organizations? Yes.
  • Have they done this before? Yes.
  • Are important organizations endorsing and participating? Yes.
  • Is the union movement doing so well that we can afford to continue with business as usual? NO.
So what are you waiting for? Click here to RSVP for Organizing 2.0, Feb. 13.

This is a guest blog from Charles Lenchner and Elana Levin, co-founders of Organizing 2.0. Levin also serves as director of communications for the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE).

No comments: