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Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Topics/Social movements

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This page documents a topic of interest to the 2017 movement strategy process. The information it contains may come from various sources, including research and community discussions. You are invited to contribute to summarizing the sources on this page.


The high-level summary of this topic, for inclusion in the briefing.

Social movements[edit]

We're starting a movement-wide discussion. But what exactly is a movement? What are some examples of well-known movements of different types (political, social, local/global, empowerment-based)?

Movements are purposeful & powerful ecosystems

Mobilized groups, noticing inequity, organizing & taking action to seek change

Some good examples include:

  • Social - the environmental / climate preservation movement
  • Political - the US civil rights / Black Lives Matter movements
  • Empowerment - self-help, do-it-yourself, and microfinance movements
  • Fizzles (more like specific protests): Occupy Wall Street)

Movement frameworks[edit]

Transformative Movements

v. incremental change

  1. Lead with bold vision
  2. Embody core shared values through practice
  3. Deepen community connections
  4. Embrace strategic navigation
Collective Impact Framework
  1. A common agenda
  2. Shared measurement systems
  3. Mutually reinforcing activities
  4. Continuous communication
  5. Backbone support organizations

Social Movement Theory

  1. Collective behavior (of individuals, orgs, groups & resources)
  2. Relative deprivation & change-seeking
  3. Resource mobilization
  4. Political opportunity
  5. Social Impact

Here are 3 different approaches for evaluating movements. They are each grounded in research and experience but with different lenses.

The 1st is from the Movement Strategy Center (Oakland, CA, USA) and has a very local, community-oriented approach; it is interested in inspiring participants to push for big transformative approaches (as opposed to smaller, more incremental activities) in order to disrupt and potentially eliminate systematic exploitation.

The 2nd is a very current approach among established organizations for looking at - and harnessing - the value of their separate (and potentially isolated) activities in order to coordinate efforts and have a much larger collective social impact.

The 3rd is a somewhat more academic approach for evaluating common aspects of social movements, with the notable political angle called out. All 3 of these “models” of movement evaluation can help us see important elements of our own “free knowledge” movement and help inspire ways to potentially optimize it.

Sub-topic 2[edit]

See also[edit]

Related topics


Further reading[edit]

Other works and sources particularly relevant to this topic, including external links