Distributed organizing activates a network of self-starting supporters/campaigners in multiple locations, which can spread across geographical boundaries, interests and cultural groups. It draws on the initiative and energy of volunteer organizers to start groups and lead teams with varying degrees of autonomy.
In comparison, traditional NGO-led campaigning and party-led political organizing tends to rely on more command-and-control leadership and paid staff and organizers to mobilize others to take action and raise awareness.
Though more horizontal when compared to traditional command and control leadership, distributed organizing often relies on a central coordination group to launch the network and to drive it towards common goals and milestones. When done properly, it can help a movement or campaign scale rapidly and channel huge amounts of collective power.
Input and resources for this draft were provided by:
Thelma Young and Jon Warnow from 350.org, Emily May at Hollaback!, Marisa Franco, B Loewe and Tania Unzueta, Jamie Bridge at Support. Don’t Punish., Nicole Fairall with ACLU’s People Power program, Tania Mejia at Jolt, Kunoor Ojha with Indivisible, Tasha Adams, Becky Bond and Zack Exley (via Rules for Revolutionaries), as well as Mobilisation Lab, Umme Hoque, Mary Alice Crim and Sarah Ali
This draft was prepared and reviewed by: