This was the title of our annual National Conference this year, held on 15 and 16 July. On Saturday, day 1 of the conference, we heard from a wide range of perspectives what developing a better world through advocacy might look like.
RESULTS’ mission is to create the public and political will to end poverty by enabling people to exercise their own personal and political power for change. But in a world in which many organisations and individuals are using their voices to speak out on a myriad of issues, what can we learn from each other, and how can we stand in solidarity with those with different but related causes?
One of the things we’ve been asking ourselves is how we can relate to anti-poverty activism in the UK, alongside our global focus. Our keynote speaker, Deana Bamford from Coalville CAN, a community organisation in Leicestershire, spoke about their campaign to use assets such as disused buildings for the benefit of the community. The ‘community power’ she spoke of is no different from the power we need to see in the hands of communities right around the world as they gain access to their rights to education, health and economic opportunities.
We also heard about the importance of free school meals, both in the UK and around the world, highlighting the vital role of nutrition in educational attainment. This is something we advocate for at RESULTS, through our partnership with the International Parliamentary Network for Education (IPNEd).
Another vital topic of conversation is environmental justice, without which no international development efforts can succeed sustainably. A very high-powered panel could barely dent this subject, but we know that at RESULTS it’s something we want to prioritise more in the future.
Bringing new people into campaigning for global justice is a big part of RESULTS’ role, and we were delighted to host a lively discussion on campaigning by young people. Our panellists broke some of the stereotypes about youth engagement with issues, and we were also grateful to the Send My Friend to School Campaign Champions for contributing to a workshop on the topic of creative campaigning.
In our last session, we also had the chance to hear from movements around the globe who campaign for a better world on the most diverse issues, from education equity to rural workers’ land rights, sparking excellent conversations on what we can learn from their advocacy efforts and strategies. You can watch their video contribution here.
A huge thank you to everyone – old friends and new – who attended the conference. We know that you inspired each other, and helped us build our energy as advocates for the coming year. Watch an overview here!
We’ll post a separate article about day 2 of the conference, where we reassembled in a reflective mood to discuss how to grow our power as advocates for global justice.