The thinking behind the 48hr Campaign Competition

Public attention is a limited resource and frustratingly fickle, which means most progressive campaigns tend to focus on issues that are urgent and already salient. That doesn’t mean campaigns on the housing crisis, cuts to essential services and worker safety should be avoided; it just means that topics that are “slow-burning”, structural and long term get overlooked until they reach a crisis point.

We fail to make real progress when new ideas don’t make it out of their think tanks. A divide exists between the researchers who develop new ideas and the activists and campaigners on the frontlines of the progressive movement. Fixing a structural problem like this isn’t simple and no one project or organisation can do it on its own, but we’re hoping to make a start with the 48 Hour Campaign Competition. We’re aiming to bridge that divide by bringing together those at the leading edge of progressive ideas with the hundreds of campaigners that work or volunteer in major political parties, unions, large NGOs and small community groups.

How it works is simple. Teams of upto five participants could apply to enter the competition. They would randomly receive one of these 12 big progressive issues to work on. And backing them up would be experts on each of those issues from our partner organisations, namely the Morgan Foundation, the PSA and the JR Mackenzie Trust. In addition to this we’ll provide free training in specific campaigning topics in the month before the event. (e.g: building websites, writing campaign emails and press releases, etc).

The campaigns would be judged based on popular vote and a panel of experts made up of representatives from the partners organisations as well as highly experienced campaigners from around New Zealand.

As for the prize we have a total of $10,000 and two paid internships at the Morgan Foundation. Oh, and bragging rights with your counterparts in other activist groups. So go on, chat to your mates, pull a team together, sign up now and have a go at creating a campaign on some of the biggest issues facing NZ and the world in the 21st century!

Posted by Kirk Serpes

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