People Power Manual

The People Power Manual is a resource for activist educators. It is a collection of participatory and experiential processes and handouts organised around six themes:

1. Campaign Strategy (1st edition launched 2015; 3rd edition 2020)
2. Community Organising (October 2016)
3. Civil Resistance (forthcoming)
4. Working with Groups
5. Returning to Strength: Movement Resilience in the Face of Repression
6. Educating the Activist Educator

The People Power Manual has been created to support facilitators and educators working to help local action groups and social movements win environmental and social justice goals. The manual is published electronically as a series of guides. Hard copies of each guide are also available. All funds generated by the sale of the manual go back into supporting grassroots social movement education projects.

The manual has been written primarily for educators, trainers and facilitators who are looking for processes to use in their activist education work. We don’t expect people will read the guides cover to cover like a book. Instead, we imagine most people will dip in and out of these pages. We’ve written the guides for readers who already understand the concepts and theory that the processes and handouts are based on. For those interested in further reading, each guide recommends our favourite books, manuals and online resources.

Each guide also includes detailed workshop schedules. However, because we recognise that each group and context is unique we have mixed feelings about including ‘off-the-shelf’ outlines for generic workshops. We believe that education is much more than following instructions for a particular process. The process of becoming an educator, facilitator or trainer is ongoing; as much craft and art as it is science. We encourage ourselves and our peers to continually hone our skills through practice and reflection.

The People Power Manual is not a cookbook; it is a menu of options. Even so, the processes and handouts contained the Manual’s six guides are no substitute for experience and the skill of listening, creating a sense of safety and trust in a group, and creatively responding to the needs of participants by adapting and designing new processes in situ. We hope the People Power Manual will enable transformative education and dialogue.

So far, we’ve published the first two guides in our six-part series. The Campaign Strategy guide was the first instalment, in late 2015. It was revised and republished in 2017, then again in 2020. Our Community Organising guide was published in October 2016. Purchase them as downloads or in hard copy below.

If your postal address is outside Australia, please email James to confirm the full cost including international postage. I’ll email you an invoice that reflects the actual postal cost.

Full details and reviews of the Campaign Strategy Guide here.

Gerakan sosial lahir ketika nilai-nilai yang dipegang luas dilanggar atau ditekan. Dan ia menjadi kuat ketika nilai dan semangat dipandu oleh strategi, struktur, dan hubungan timbal balik. Panduan Mengorganisir Rakyat…

$20.00 – Add to Cart Includes 10% tax

Strategi kampanya tidak perlu dimitoskan atau membuat kita tertekan. Gerakan sosial menjadi kuat ketika orang-orang yang terlibat mampu menganalisis konteks politik mereka dan mengetahui cara untuk mempertimbangkan dan menciptakan jalur…

$20.00 – Add to Cart Includes 10% tax

In a democracy there are only two types of power. There’s organised people and organised money. Organised money only wins when people aren’t organised. -- Benjamin Todd Jealous The Community…

$80.00 – Add to Cart Includes 10% tax

In a democracy there are only two types of power. There’s organised people and organised money. Organised money only wins when people aren’t organised. -- Benjamin Todd Jealous The Community…

$20.00 – Add to Cart Includes 10% tax

'How-to’ guides and training resources to demystify campaign strategy. Purchase in hard copy and also receive the electronic version. Click on the thumbnail or title to read more and purchase.

$50.00 – Add to Cart Includes 10% tax

'How-to’ guides and training resources to demystify campaign strategy. Purchase as a download (Acrobat pdf). Click on the thumbnail or title to read more and purchase.

$20.00 – Add to Cart Includes 10% tax

What are people saying about us?

Julie Lyford

Julie Lyford, Groundswell Gloucester

Such a long fight. Without you and the Change Agency we would be floundering. Thank you so much for your energy, passion, wisdom and guidance and for all that you do in changing the world.
The Change Agency
2016-09-30T13:24:47+10:00
Julie Lyford
Such a long fight. Without you and the Change Agency we would be floundering. Thank you so much for your energy, passion, wisdom and guidance and for all that you do in changing the world.

Isaac Astill, Divestment Campaigner, 350.org Australia

It would take years of fumbling along for me to learn what the Fellowship has taught me in a few short months. I feel more powerful for it, and I’ve walked away with the ongoing skills and relationships I need to build a more powerful movement.
The Change Agency
2015-03-17T19:37:41+11:00
It would take years of fumbling along for me to learn what the Fellowship has taught me in a few short months. I feel more powerful for it, and I’ve walked away with the ongoing skills and relationships I need to build a more powerful movement.
Nick Aberle

Nick Aberle, Environment Victoria

Learning the theory and engaging with such practical implementation in such depth will definitely make me a more effective and successful campaigner and organiser. I’m looking forward to practicing my new skills in being more rigorous, thinking more strategically, and communicating more effectively. The strength of the bonds formed within the group has already strengthened the climate movement in Australia.
The Change Agency
2014-05-10T21:42:00+10:00
Nick Aberle
Learning the theory and engaging with such practical implementation in such depth will definitely make me a more effective and successful campaigner and organiser. I’m looking forward to practicing my new skills in being more rigorous, thinking more strategically, and communicating more effectively. The strength of the bonds formed within the group has already strengthened the climate movement in Australia.

Alycia Gawthorne, GetUp! organiser

The Fellowship has challenged the way I previously thought about campaigning and community organising, and made me rethink how I approach my work. It’s afforded me the space to take a step back and look at the entire movement. I feel like the skills I take away from the Fellowship will be invaluable, but far more important will be the deeper understanding I have about my role and how it fits within a larger movement.
The Change Agency
2015-03-17T19:33:28+11:00
The Fellowship has challenged the way I previously thought about campaigning and community organising, and made me rethink how I approach my work. It’s afforded me the space to take a step back and look at the entire movement. I feel like the skills I take away from the Fellowship will be invaluable, but far more important will be the deeper understanding I have about my role and how it fits within a larger movement.

Harry Jennens, The Climate and Health Action Network

The Fellowship has increased both my skills in community organising and my confidence in sharing these skills with others.  The immersive workshop format has provided precious space for face-to-face learning, sharing ideas with facilitators and other delegates, and building strong relationships with current and future collaborators in the climate movement.  I am confident that our entire cohort will go on to empower others in our communities, and that we’ll continue to support each other in this work.  The Fellowship will be instrumental in helping us build a broad, diverse and powerful movement.
The Change Agency
2015-03-17T19:36:21+11:00
The Fellowship has increased both my skills in community organising and my confidence in sharing these skills with others.  The immersive workshop format has provided precious space for face-to-face learning, sharing ideas with facilitators and other delegates, and building strong relationships with current and future collaborators in the climate movement.  I am confident that our entire cohort will go on to empower others in our communities, and that we’ll continue to support each other in this work.  The Fellowship will be instrumental in helping us build a broad, diverse and powerful movement.

Peter Archer, World Vision

I have shared with my friends and family that this workshop was the most valuable training I have done. It came at a time when I had become aware of my passion for grassroots activism. The follow-up support equipped me quickly and powerfully to put my learning into practice and age my confidence a huge boost.
The Change Agency
2014-03-30T08:11:05+11:00
I have shared with my friends and family that this workshop was the most valuable training I have done. It came at a time when I had become aware of my passion for grassroots activism. The follow-up support equipped me quickly and powerfully to put my learning into practice and age my confidence a huge boost.
Denise Cauchi

Denise Cauchi, CEO, Doctors for the Environment 2020

The Change Agency helped us build the campaigning muscle of our members and develop concrete strategies. James worked closely with us to prepare the weekend workshop, making sure it was fine tuned to meet the needs of our organisation. He was great to work with and the workshop received very positive feedback.
The Change Agency
2020-02-25T11:27:45+11:00
Denise Cauchi
The Change Agency helped us build the campaigning muscle of our members and develop concrete strategies. James worked closely with us to prepare the weekend workshop, making sure it was fine tuned to meet the needs of our organisation. He was great to work with and the workshop received very positive feedback.

Thea Ormerod, Australian Religious Response to Climate Change

Whereas I had been working intuitively and reasonably well as a part of with a team of dedicated volunteers, the Community Organising Fellowship is providing a range of easy-to-understand useful tools which will help ARRCC to be much more effective. The training is carefully crafted to maximise skills development so we can use our limited resources in a way which will deliver results far more strategically. I already have quite a clear vision of how to successfully motivate our volunteers into participating more actively in the change effort.
The Change Agency
2015-03-17T19:24:22+11:00
Whereas I had been working intuitively and reasonably well as a part of with a team of dedicated volunteers, the Community Organising Fellowship is providing a range of easy-to-understand useful tools which will help ARRCC to be much more effective. The training is carefully crafted to maximise skills development so we can use our limited resources in a way which will deliver results far more strategically. I already have quite a clear vision of how to successfully motivate our volunteers into participating more actively in the change effort.
Richard Yin

Dr Richard Yin, Doctors for the Environment Australia 2020

We had the privilege of working with James Whelan and The Change Agency over two days to clarify our understanding of campaigning and advocacy. With over 20 doctors and medical students from varied experiences in advocacy work present and a very complex and full agenda, the workshop was a huge success made possible through a very thoughtful and professional facilitation process from James. I can only commend the quality of his work and thank him once again for the weekend.
The Change Agency
2020-02-25T11:16:05+11:00
Richard Yin
We had the privilege of working with James Whelan and The Change Agency over two days to clarify our understanding of campaigning and advocacy. With over 20 doctors and medical students from varied experiences in advocacy work present and a very complex and full agenda, the workshop was a huge success made possible through a very thoughtful and professional facilitation process from James. I can only commend the quality of his work and thank him once again for the weekend.
Catherine Delahunty

Catherine Delahunty, Kotare Centre, Aotearoa

This was the most effective movement building workshop I have participated in. It focused the people on breaking the barriers to participation in social movements in a very practical way. They had some excellent participatory processes for defining mobilisation and also some great methods for getting diverse people working together.
The Change Agency
2014-04-25T06:04:55+10:00
Catherine Delahunty
This was the most effective movement building workshop I have participated in. It focused the people on breaking the barriers to participation in social movements in a very practical way. They had some excellent participatory processes for defining mobilisation and also some great methods for getting diverse people working together.
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The Change Agency