Campaigning Forum 2018

Campaigning. Fundraising. Volunteering. Leadership. Media. Digital. Where thought leaders come to learn.

At the Campaigning Forum, you set your agenda and we help you find others who share it. Speakers and panels are there to provoke thought. Result: you learn more and connect with more people. This is the way events should be.

Theme: Campaigning against the current

There has been a dramatic change in tone in countries around the world as political leaders are elected who may undermine decades of progress. One analysis of this is that growing numbers of people have been left behind and are expressing their frustration via the ballot box. Most campaigning groups have also be content to engage those already converted to their causes. This needs to change. At the 2018 Campaigning Forum we'll be exploring how to get better at engaging the rest!

Focus on participants, not speakers

Most events used speakers as bait to attract paying 'attendees'. ECF is participant-focused: it is designed to be the most effective and natural learning and networking environment for the participants. This means you should focus on three things in deciding to participate:

  1. Your learning goals: What do you want/need to learn?
  2. Who is coming (see the latest list): Are there other people coming to the event who you can learn from?
  3. Your contribution: What experiences and perspectives are you bringing and do you wish to present them?

The role of the organisers is to create the right mix of people for amazing learning to occur and to ensure this process is well facilitated. The role of speakers is to stimulate you and provide a common experience for discussing with others.

Who should come?

21st campaigning is increasingly shown to be successful not because a team of campaign experts run it, but by project teams with diverse expertise, often campaigners, fundraisers, volunteer managers, media officers, policy experts, digital experts/innovators and beyond. The Campaigning Forum is one of the few events that brings this mix of people together to connect, share and learn from each other on how to influence change.

The Campaigning Forum runs on ‘Chatham House Rules’ (= nothing is attributed without permission) so everybody can freely talk about their failures and successes.

If there is a topic you’re itching to learn about or to share, come along and suggest the session. The Campaigning Forum is the place to find others who share your interests.

Draft Agenda

Mon Apr 9

Pre Event Courses

Oxford & London



'Open Space Leadership' briefing

This informal pre-dinner session will offer the chance to get the ball rolling and start to gather ideas and proposals for Open Space sessions. Join us to:
  • share ideas and tips on successful Open Space groups
  • review the potential agenda topics and themes that emerge from the participant questionnaires with a fun topic-sorting exercise
  • help start to shape the Campaigning Forum agenda, working in groups to start developing session proposals.
Open to all, though a working knowledge of Open Space methodology will be assumed.
19:30-20:30 Dinner: Kick-start connections and conversations with Campaigning Forum participants (Keble College dining room)
21:00+ Connect to kick-start connections and conversations (Keble College pub)

Tue Apr 10

Campaigning Forum 2018 Day One

Sponsored by
Engaging Networks

More Onion

Time Summary
07:30 A morning walk or run for early risers in beautiful Oxford or Oxford University Parks. Meet at Keble College main reception
08:00 Participants in on-site accommodation: Breakfast & registration & discussion (dining room)
08:45 Participants in off-site accommodation: registration, coffee/tea, informal discussions
09:00 Welcome, introduction and agenda review (Room: Arco)

Warm-up activities and speed networking


Introduction to Open Space

10:15 Open Space Knowledge Exchange A
11.15 Coffee/tea break

Plenary speaker (Room: O'Reilly Theatre)

- To be confirmed shortly
12:30 Lunch (dining room)
13:30 Peer Presentations
  • Reframing to reach the 'movable middle', Victoria Lane (IPPF)
  • ...more to come (participants can propose a presentation in the application or later)
14:20 Open Space knowledge exchange B
15:30 Coffee/tea break
16:00 Skills marketplace
17:00 Ignite talks (7 minutes each):
  • Ethical campaigning with and on behalf of individuals at risk, Rebecca Dallison and Katherine Voss
  • Intimate activism, Sarah Corbett
  • Campaigning by numbers, Amber MacIntyre
  • How people with a learning disability are involved in Mencap's campaigns, eve Jackson and Victoria Wright
  • Reflective practice and group dynamics, Marcela Lopez Levy
  • Crossing the valley of death - why charities struggle to innovate and what to do about it., Patrick Olszowski
  • ...more to come (participants can propose an Ignite talk in the application or after)
18:30 Speed Pitching & Apero
Service providers and consultants tell you what they offer, answer your questions and/or take your feedback. 5 minutes per table then rotate. Free drinks (wine, beer, soft drinks)
  1. Engaging Networks
  2. more onion, Florian Engel and Claire Donner
  3. Glyn Thomas
  4. FairSay, Duane Raymond
  5. ...more to come (participants can book a place in the application or after)
20:00 Dinner (Dining room)
21:00+ Keble College Pub

Wed Apr 11

Campaigning Forum 2018 Day Two

Time Summary
07:30 A morning walk or run for early risers in beautiful Oxford or Oxford University Parks. Meet at Keble College main reception
08:00 Participants in on-site accommodation: Breakfast & registration & discussion (dining room)
08:45 Participants in off-site accommodation: registration, coffee/tea, informal discussions
09:00 Day two agenda review, pulse check and agenda setting
09:30 Peer Presentations
  1. Challenging power - and challenging the way we think about power, Michaela O'Brien
  2. Consensus decision making in activism - power, perils and pitfalls - Inka Stafrace
  3. Design! Tips & tricks to know what to look for when you're working with designers/ or designing like a pro yourself, Jean O'Brien
  4. ...more to come (participants can book a place in the application or after)
10:15 Open Space knowledge exchange C
11:15 Coffee/tea break

Plenary speaker (Room: O'Reilly Theatre)

Reaching beyond the choir, Léane de Laigue is Head of Communications at Climate Outreach
Campaigning usually requires engaging and mobilising a broad range of people across multiple communities. Join Leane de Laigue, Head of Communications at Climate Outreach, to hear about how we’re reaching beyond the choir, in particular through our work with centre-right audiences and our Climate Visuals project.

12:30 Lunch (dining room)
13:30 Open Space knowledge exchange D
14:30 Teach In: share skills or knowledge with others.
  • Harnessing the creative power of play, Amber MacIntyre (Royal Holloway)
  • Gentle protest, Sarah Corbett (Craftivist Collective)
  • ...more to come (participants can propose a teach-in in the application or after)
15:45 Coffee/tea break
16:15 Ignite Talks
  • Ethics and professionalisation. Is professionalisation - the NGO-isation of social change - at the heart of its problems?, Michaela O'Brien
  • I was a regular donor to 25 organisations and here's what happened, Glyn Thomas
  • View from the other side: a prospective parliamentary candidate's view of being a campaign target, Benali Hamdache
  • Digital campaigning for marriage equality, Lawrence Muskitta
  • ...more to come (participants can propose an Ignite talk in the application or after)

Closing Session (Room: O'Reilly Theatre)

17:30 Event formally ends
19:00+ Dinner and drinks in Oxford: Self-organised for those staying around

Thu Apr 12

Post Event Courses



  • Story as theory of change (London)

How the agenda works

Many times when you reflect on the conference you realise that the best bits were chatting to people during the coffee break or in a pub. So at Campaigning Forum, slots (time and room) are provided to have your own discussions with other people at the conference without feeling that you are missing scheduled sessions. In fact, that is the majority of the event. Its called open space (see the methodology).

2018 participants so far

Campaigning Forum History

Campaigning Forum started as the eCampaigning Forum (ECF) event in 2002 organised by Duane Raymond, then Oxfam's eCampaigning Manager. It evolved a highly anticipated and influential annual event plus a dynamic and highly active ECF global community that grows daily and has inspired similar events around the world like ECF Europe in Berlin, re:campaign in Berlin, Fwd in Australia and Camp16 in The Netherlands

Over the last decade, digital has shifted from a specialist role and an essential tool in campaigning and organisations. Campaigning Forum has consistently been ahead of this shift, and in 2018 is organised around key aspects of modern organisations: digital leadership, campaigning, fundraising, volunteering, media engagement and policy research and looking to the emerging trends. The aim is to bring together increasing diverse participants who share broadly similar goals around improving our world and connect them, help them learn from one another and inspire them to think beyond their current practices, roles and plans.

by Duane Raymond published Oct 23, 2018,