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On any social issue, the community will be divided across a ‘spectrum of allies’ depending on where they stand. It’s easy to get caught up in focusing on those who are already actively engaged in your cause, but what about those who aren’t?

It can be difficult not to get distracted by trying to argue with those who are actively opposed to your issue, and to spend time trying to convince them of the reasons that you’re right. It’s just as easy to focus on others who actively support your cause, and get distracted by deep discussions about your frustrations that others don’t understand the issue in the same way you do. These approaches can fail to engage with the bulk of the community; active supporters and active opponents only make up a tiny proportion of society, so what about everyone else? By looking at your spectrum of allies, you can find ways to shift passive or neutral community members towards active engagement in your issue. Michael Pulsford works as a community organiser at the Australian Conservation Foundation, and was a speaker at Organise 2015. He has prepared a collection of resources that will help you to analyse the spectrum of allies involved in your cause. Take a look, and get inspired for your own workshops and training.

 

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