Campaign strategy: a global call for sharing

STWR
04 December 2014

Below is an overview of STWR’s ‘global call for sharing’ campaign strategy for the next five years, including an outline of our main objectives and activities, as well as a summary of the key individuals and organisations that the campaign is aimed at. 

Contents:

Overview

The ‘global call for sharing’ campaign by Share The World’s Resources (STWR) aims to promote the role that a call for sharing can play in uniting citizens and progressive organisations across the world in a common cause.

As explained in STWR’s preliminary campaign report, Sharing as our common cause, the principle of sharing is already central to diverse calls for social justice, environmental stewardship, global peace and true democracy. Whether expressed in implicit or explicit terms, all of these urgent demands relate to the need for a fairer sharing of wealth, power or resources throughout our societies - from the community level up to the international. For this reason, STWR is making a case for sharing to be more widely promoted as an ‘umbrella issue’ or common cause that can help connect civil society organisations and social movements under a united call for change.

To help achieve the campaign’s overall goals, STWR has launched a sign-on statement to encourage engaged citizens and progressive groups to explicitly acknowledge and embrace sharing as a common cause. Those signing up to the statement also commit to engage in this emerging debate on sharing through their work and campaigning activities. As individuals and organisations increasingly frame their work directly in terms of this all-embracing political demand, diverse forms of sharing and redistribution could gradually become more widely accepted as central to resolving the interconnected global crises we face.

Below is an overview of STWR’s ‘global call for sharing’ campaign strategy for the next five years, including our main objectives and activities as well as a summary of the key individuals and organisations that the campaign is aimed at. Further promotional tools will be developed over the course of the campaign, including videos, articles and blogs, reports and other initiatives that can help communicate our message to a wider audience.

The campaign forms a key part of STWR’s organisational activities over the period ahead. Our broader work centres on raising awareness of the need for wealth, power and resources to be shared more equitably and sustainably, and on promoting the many ways in which this can be achieved – particularly at the national and global level. The ‘global call for sharing’ campaign is therefore supported by STWR’s ongoing research, writing and outreach work. 
 

STWR’s vision      

A global community that works cooperatively to maintain a sustainable and peaceful world in which wealth, power and resources are fairly shared within and between nations.
 

The campaign goal     

A dramatic shift in public debate and policy discourse whereby the principle of sharing is regarded as an integral part of any agenda for social justice, environmental sustainability, true democracy and global peace.
 

Objectives for the campaign

In order to achieve the above campaign goal, STWR seeks to achieve the following objectives by the end of 2019:
 
• 25,000 individuals sign in support of STWR’s global call for sharing.
 
• 1,000 organisations (corporate, private, non-profit, political and civil society) sign in support of the global call for sharing.   
 
• 100 internationally prominent and respected individuals speak out (in speeches, debates, media articles, blogs or through social media) explicitly in support of sharing as a solution to pressing social, environmental, political or economic issues.
 
• 50 publications written by STWR that explore the concept of economic sharing in relation to critical social, political and environmental crises, which thereby directly support the global call campaign.
 
• 50 reports, briefs or campaign initiatives by NGOs and advocacy groups that specifically frame their recommendations in terms of sharing wealth, power or resources.
 
• 5 prominent articles published by commentators for national newspapers in every G20 country that set out the case for sharing in unequivocal terms and are either neutral or positive in tone. 
 
• 10 prominent articles published by commentators in respected international media (e.g. Time, the Economist, etc.) that set out the case for sharing in unequivocal terms and are either neutral or positive in tone. 
 
• As a result of the campaign, STWR’s website will be increasingly seen as a hub of accessible information on the social, political and economic aspects of sharing, as demonstrated by; 
  • 50 links to STWR’s website / citations of STWR publications are made each month. 
  • STWR’s website (www.sharing.org) receives 10,000 page views per day, and receives a Google page ranking of 6/10. 
  • STWR’s Facebook page has 100,000 likes, and STWR’s Twitter account has 10,000 followers.
     

Approaches and activities

1. The ‘global call for sharing’ sign-on statement 

STWR has launched an online sign-on statement that calls for sharing to be recognised as a common cause of engaged citizens and progressive campaign organisations across the world. By signing the statement, disparate campaign groups, activists and social movements can explicitly acknowledge the need to move beyond single-issue platforms and embrace a common vision of change based on a more equitable distribution of wealth, power and resources. As more individuals and organisations sign the statement, STWR will be able to track the growing level of support for the concept and practise of sharing among our target audiences.

The campaign statement is available in multiple languages in order to garner as many signatories as possible in different countries, and endorsements will be displayed on STWR’s website. Support from organisations and key individuals will also be highlighted in our communications and represented on the website. 

To view the statement, visit: www.sharing.org/global-call

2. Sharing as our common cause report

A new report titled Sharing as our common cause was launched in conjunction with the campaign statement and outlines how a call for sharing underpins many existing initiatives for social justice, environmental stewardship, true democracy and global peace. As the report argues, a global movement for sharing is already in existence – even if it has yet to affirm its collective identity or purpose. In this light, we all have a great opportunity and challenge to build upon our common cause for sharing, and to play a role in strengthening this worldwide call for transformative change. The report will be widely distributed among engaged citizens, civil society organisations and other target audiences that STWR will contact in the period ahead (see below for more information about the individuals and organisations that STWR will be targeting). 

To read the report, visit: www.sharing.org/common-cause

3. Ongoing campaign initiatives

The common cause report and the campaign statement are only the first in a series of STWR initiatives related directly to the global call campaign. Together with future blogs, publications, videos and other advocacy tools, STWR will communicate the campaign to a wider audience and make an increasingly comprehensive case for supporting a global call for sharing.

4. Social media, newsletters and STWR’s website

We actively use our social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, to initiate and maintain a conversation about sharing. Through daily updates, social networking is a valuable tool for promoting the campaign and our work, and connecting with and informing our supporters on sharing-related news and information. Those who endorse the campaign sign-on statement will also receive regular newsletter updates on our work and progress in relation to the campaign objectives (see above). For example, we will occasionally inform our subscribers about any internationally prominent individuals who speak out in explicit support of sharing from a relevant perspective; we will highlight any reports, briefs or campaign initiatives by NGOs and advocacy groups that specifically frame their recommendations in terms of sharing; and we will draw attention to prominent articles published by commentators for national newspapers that set out the case for sharing in positive terms. By highlighting this progress through STWR blogs and publications for the duration of the campaign, we also aim to develop our website (www.sharing.org) as a hub of accessible information on the social, political and economic aspects of sharing.

5. Media coverage

STWR has already established a moderate level of coverage in alternative media outlets in the UK, North America and other countries. We also seek coverage of our global call campaign (including the common cause report, the sign-on statement and future initiatives) in the mainstream media, particularly national newspapers and international magazines. Through these media-focussed activities, we hope to influence public perception and shape popular opinion on issues that directly relate to sharing in its many political, economic and social forms. 

6. Networking and mobilising support

There are numerous groups in existence already working towards goals that relate to an aspect of our campaign – from tax justice activists to anti-austerity groups, Occupy and other protest mobilisations, or the commons and new economy movements. Where appropriate and possible, we support the work of such groups in order to help amplify their causes and reinforce a relationship with STWR. Furthermore, we seek to encourage these groups to endorse the global call for sharing and actively promote the principle of sharing in their various activities. Strengthening links with organisations and movements that support sharing in this way helps to establish a global network with a common cause, enabling disparate organisations and individuals to connect and learn more about issues that they may not be working on directly, but that generally align with their main activities.    

At relevant events and conferences, we distribute information highlighting our work and actively network with those present to encourage people to join the global call for sharing. We seek to meet regularly with key individuals and organisations, and also give talks, presentations and workshops to raise our profile and further highlight the campaign and our work. We also appeal to the organisations and individuals that support us to highlight our work and promote the principle of sharing in their own activities, newsletters or websites. 

 

Engaging our target audience

As outlined in the ‘Sharing as our common cause’ report, there are numerous initiatives, campaigns and individuals directly or indirectly calling for sharing within the social justice, environmental, democracy and peace movements. The success of STWR’s global call campaign depends on a growing level of support among a wide range of existing campaigners and organisations working within these movements, as well as from concerned citizens more generally. Our target audience can be split into two categories: 

1. Organisations 

Particular emphasis is placed on engaging NGOs, organisations and social movements, especially those who are explicitly or indirectly calling for a fairer sharing of wealth, power or resources, as well as those that might be in a position to promote the campaign to their members. In general, we seek to meet with individuals within these groups directly in order to ascertain their organisation’s support and endorsement of the global call for sharing, as well as to explore ways of further strengthening our relationships. The following list highlights the key groups within this category: 

International development and environmental NGOs (local, national and international): The concept of sharing is something that many of these groups already support in their own advocacy work. For example, there are many campaigns for more aid, fairer trade and debt cancellation that are predicated on a more equal distribution of the world's resources. Sharing is also central to environmental concerns, and many progressive analysts argue for a ‘fair shares’ approach to resolving the impasse in global climate change talks. 

Grassroots social movements and civil society coalitions: Many of the new social movements are already focused on the need for social and economic justice, and often in a non-ideological way such as in the Occupy or Indignado mobilisations. Coalitions of individuals and organisations also form at large civil society events, such as the alternative summits at global talks on climate change, sustainable development, or food security. Since their perspectives are often very much in line with the concept of sharing, all of these groups may potentially support the notion of sharing as our common cause. 

The anti-war movement and peace activists: Given STWR’s focus on preventing resource wars and redirecting military spending to fund essential social/environmental programs, these groups are likely to be supportive of our key message on sharing.

Marginalised communities and their political movements: A call for sharing wealth, power and resources is a cause that can clearly appeal to marginalised communities and the many movements that represent them, such as indigenous peoples, small farmer associations, landless labourers, and shack/slum dweller organisations. 

Political organisations and societies: Even though STWR’s core message is neither explicitly anti-capitalist nor aligned to any political ideology, many political parties or organisations may be open to our message and willing to support the global call for sharing, especially those that lean to the left of the political spectrum. 

Trade Unions: Given their traditional focus on solidarity, universalism and redistribution, trade unions are potential allies in a campaign for sharing. They also tend to have an internationalist perspective that is similar to STWR’s. 

Faith and interfaith groups: The need for greater sharing is essentially a moral or spiritual concern that relates to the perspective of many faith and interfaith groups throughout the world. There are many reasons for these groups to support STWR’s campaign, especially considering that sharing is inherently linked to the principles of compassion, equity and justice which have long been at the heart of religious teachings. 

Progressive businesses and social enterprises: There is already a growing interest in the ‘sharing economy’ in some of these sectors, and many such organisations support the need to strengthen and scale up economic sharing in order to address the social and ecological crises that concern them. Furthermore, many businesses that operate as cooperatives, social enterprises or not-for-profits may also support a call for sharing wealth, power and resources.
 

2. Individuals

The second target audience group relates mainly to individuals who we seek to approach through public events that we attend or convene, including conferences, activist meetings, festivals and civil society gatherings. In some cases we also aim to contact specific individuals directly, especially those who are particularly influential or whose perspective already aligns closely with the aims of this campaign. There is a natural overlap with the organisations and social movements mentioned above as many of these individuals will already be engaged with them. The following list highlights the key groups within this category:

Politically engaged citizens: There is an increasing number of citizens across the world who are willing to support worthwhile causes and partake in campaigning activities. This group includes those who attend global justice events such as protests, demonstrations and meetings, or those who support established campaigns and organisations working on social, economic or environmental issues. Winning the support of this growing body of engaged citizens in different countries is central to the success of STWR’s global call for sharing.  

College and university students: Given their high level of engagement with social and political issues and their proven ability to mobilise in support of a cause and influence public opinion, this group is a key focus for STWR. 

Academics, writers and specialist journalists: It is particularly important for STWR to engage with these groups since they have a significant influence on public opinion. 

Well-known public figures: Public intellectuals and politically-minded celebrities often have the power to influence the public at large, and their potential support could be helpful in raising awareness about the need to share wealth, power and resources more fairly within and between countries. 

Officials within multilateral organisations: Our research and reports illustrate the relevance of economic sharing to a wide range of regional and global issues, and could generate interest among individuals within this influential group.  

Politicians: Although it is more difficult to rally support from mainstream political leaders, many politicians in green or marginal and progressive parties could be persuaded to support the global call. 

* * *

Given that a call for sharing is already a fundamental (if often unacknowledged) demand of a diverse group of engaged citizens and progressive organisations, there are a number of reasons why such individuals and groups should embrace this common cause and advocate more explicitly for sharing in their work and activities. As explained further in the report Sharing as our common cause, a call for sharing holds the potential to connect disparate campaign groups, activists and social movements under a common theme and vision. Such a call represents the unity in diversity of global civil society and can provide an inclusive rallying platform, which may help us to recognise that we are all ultimately fighting the same cause. It also offers a way of moving beyond separate silos and single-issue platforms, but without needing to abandon any existing focuses or campaign priorities. 

A call for sharing can also engage a much broader swathe of the public in campaign initiatives and movements for transformative change. Many people feel disconnected from political issues owing to their technical complexity, or else they feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the challenges that face us and ill equipped to take action. But everyone understands the human value of sharing, and by upholding this universal principle in a political context we can point the way towards an entirely new approach to economics – one that is integrally based on a fair and sustainable distribution of resources. 

In this way, the principle of sharing represents a valuable advocacy and educational tool that can help to generate widespread public engagement with critical global issues. There are many other reasons why it makes sense for citizens and campaign organisations to support a global call for sharing, which STWR will continue to explicate and promote in our work and activities.

Photo credit: Susie Blackburn, Studio Blackburn