Training for Every Step of Your Movement
Here’s a brief overview of the major areas Solutions Institute assists activists. For a full list, click here. Click on a step for more information.
Just Getting Started
Learn how to pick your issue, narrow your focus, and get in the activist mindset. Learn how to set up and run social media platforms, talk to other people about your issue, and how to navigate the existing political landscape.
Successes: Project Digital Privacy, People Against the NDAA, Grassroots Kodiak
Setting Your Goals and Planning Your Strategy
Learn how to set realistic, inspiring, and worthwhile goals, and discuss various strategies to achieve them. Plan legislative, judicial, and awareness actions, bring on volunteers, and learn how to manage an organization. Learn the true nature of politics and politicians.
Successes: Know Your Rights Toledo, Grassroots Kodiak, People Against the NDAA, Zebra Society
Designing Your Image
Learn how to improve your image, develop talking points, and design your web presence. Learn graphic, web, and video design tips, how to speak in public, and how to increase consistency across your organization. Learn how to communicate with your audience, including setting up email lists, designing campaigns, and optimizing social media.
Successes: Fydes, Earth Communities, Pontiac Tribune, The Voice of Idaho, Snohomish County Reporter, Teen Take
Raising Awareness and Getting Media Attention
Learn how to run targeted awareness campaigns, how to design effective press releases, and creative tactics for spreading the word. Learn how to take advantage of multiple online platforms to highlight a little-known issue, how to hold a press conference, and how to get almost any cause on the news.
Successes: Save our West Jefferson Pets, Toledo Know Your Rights, People Against the NDAA, Grassroots Kodiak, Stop the TPP – USA
Building and Managing Teams and Coalitions
Learn how to build a powerful team, how to manage burnout, how to reduce your workload, and how to take care of the people in your network. Learn activist etiquette, how to find other groups with similar interests, and how to build strong coalitions. Learn how build bipartisan or nonpartisan alliances, how to keep coalitions together, and effective damage control.
Successes: People Against the NDAA, Grassroots Kodiak, Project Digital Privacy
Negotiate, Pressure, and Win
Learn how to activate coalitions to achieve a goal, get people to government and decision-maker meetings, and use petitions effectively. Learn how to pressure some decisionmakers and negotiate with others, how to change decisions with less than 5% support, and the pitfalls that keep movements from crossing the finish line.
Successes: People Against the NDAA, Grassroots Kodiak, Know Your Rights Toledo
Events, Rallies, and Protests
Get the checklist you need before planning any event, learn how to bring in hundreds of people in just a few days, and how to bring in great speakers and artists. Learn how to choose a creative protest to gain attention, how to deal with agitators, why most rallies and protests are just activist parades, and why that’s important to understand. Learn how to record events to protect participants and inspire grassroots volunteers.
Successes: Shut Down Homan Square, Know Your Rights Toledo, National Adjunct Walkout, National Day of Action Against Torture, Freeze, Don’t Shoot
Developing a Consistent, Trusted, Media Source
Learn how to develop an activist radio show, alternative newspaper, or a TV show. Learn why mainstream credibility is important, traps to avoid, and how to develop a trusted media source. Learn the tricks of web traffic, common pitfalls for internet media, and how to stand out from the crowd.
Successes: Pontiac Tribune, Snohomish County Reporter, The Voice of Idaho
Crowd Psychology and Public Relations
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations. An understanding of psychology is the number one determining factor of success in activism. Learn how crowd psychology works, and how to work with the mentality of the crowd to achieve your goals. Learn how to counter mass propaganda, and how use the opposition’s own words against them.