A quick summary

Meet the OPEN Family

In the past 4 years, the OPEN network has almost quadrupled in size. Below is a brief summary of the groups involved in our sisterhood and their collective power globally.


The OPEN network is growing rapidly and now includes some groups facing serious political repression. Therefore,  this site does not reflect all current members of the network.

 

The Overview.

 
 

In 2013, the original five member organisations gathered together for the first time. Recognizing the enormous potential for further collaboration, they came together to launch OPEN.

 

Despite the vast differences of geography, governance, and language, their shared values and unique approach to organizing - making engagement simple and accessible for every citizen -  became a multiplying force for other activists and groups around the world looking to create change at home.
 

In 2017, only 4 years after the initial 5 decided to band together, OPEN has grown to 19 groups in as many countries with 17 million supporters worldwide and a past year full of people-powered victories.


The OPEN network is becoming a supercharger for collective energy and learning globally, it is growing in leaps and bounds and we cannot wait to meet the challenges ahead.

 

6

continents

19

countries

 

17M

member supporters

1 in 15

domestic voters

The Full Members.

 
 

Full members form the core of our network and the primary governance body of OPEN, making OPEN fully accountable to its members.

The combined number of citizens of the five founding organisations is equivalent to one out of every 15 voters in their country’s federal elections.

 

network membership growth


 

click on a logo to find out more

 

The Startups.

 
 

OPEN’s new class of startup organisations are leaping forward at a record pace. They are leveraging small staffs and budgets to mobilize tens to hundreds of thousands of supporters, with most already scoring national wins mere months after launch. Meet a few of the startups making change around the globe.

 

Plus new startups in the Netherlands and France launching soon! 

the 2016 startup summit in berlin

 

Shared Strategic DNA.

 
 

Each OPEN organisation is completely autonomous and adapts methodology to match the unique context. However, all OPEN groups share eight common ways of working: a common DNA that allows them to work as a coherent and productive network.


Multi-Issue

People and nations, unlike most organisations, focus on and care about many different issues based on their set of values. While people choose some issues as the most important, the daily news presents them with a range of topics that will inflame their support or ire. The energy produced in response is what OPEN organisations engage in order to grow and to create change wherever change is most urgent and possible. OPEN organisations bring a surge of power to single-issue campaigns when it matters most.

People-Powered

OPEN pursues an outside power theory of change, which primarily relies on the collective force of large-scale citizen participation to move public and private sector decision-makers towards just outcomes. This is distinguished from an inside access theory of change, which relies on a special set of inside actors to win change through elite channels. Both theories have their place, but the network chooses to prioritize the former because it is more durable over time, and it more closely matches OPEN’s values regarding power distribution in a democracy.

Independent

OPEN groups remain fiercely independent from any political party. Praise or criticism, support or opposition, are granted purely on the basis of issue performance. This independence also means that OPEN organisations must ultimately be financially beholden only to the members themselves through small individual contributions. All five founding OPEN organisations achieved this mark within 3.5 years of launch.


Progressive

OPEN members move society towards greater economic and social equality, environmental sustainability, peaceful coexistence, and democratic freedom. OPEN groups do not demand adherence from all members on all points. They weave a values-coherent community through many different topical campaign opportunities, allowing campaigns to cross-pollinate organically.

Digital

OPEN organisations communicate and organise digitally because digital technology allows for accessible, scalable, and rapid engagement. They prioritize investing in the best possible platforms and innovation. At the same time, each new tool is evaluated from the perspective of strategic utility and accessibility to individual members, who are generally not early adopters.

Nimble

When news stories, upcoming legislative decisions, or other events make action urgent, OPEN groups give their members a means to take immediate action. Groups must be decisive and act quickly. OPEN’s member organisations therefore operate in a low-bureaucracy, high-empowerment management model.


Full-Spectrum

Full-spectrum campaigning allows members to put all of their assets to work for the social and political change they believe in. These include opinions, talents, social networks, specific knowledge, votes, and material resources, including money. OPEN organisations use digital means such as email, web platforms, social media, and SMS to present information and engagement opportunities. However, their tactics frequently draw people into offline action.

Member-Led

OPEN organisations’ agendas are set by the members themselves. Organisations achieve this through rigorous testing, response benchmarks, polling, voting, and anecdotal inputs. Member participation and the cultivation of a strong member experience generate the level of affinity and participation necessary. Many groups also equip members to start and run their own campaigns, and then assign organisation resources to promote those campaigns.

 

 
 

Case Studies of Collaborative Campaigns.

 
 

Defunding Big Coal: Abbot Point and Save Our Reef 

 
 

GetUp, 38 Degrees, Campact

OPEN’s Australian affiliate, GetUp, has been running a multi-year campaign to defend the Great Barrier Reef against a massive proposed new coal export facility, called Abbot Point. In 2015, the group exhausted their current domestic political channels. They shifted their campaign to financiers of the project. And that’s when OPEN’s international ties made a whole new level of campaigning possible.

Deutsche Bank, over which Australians have little leverage, was a major funder. OPEN’s German member, Campact, stepped up to the plate. Germans and Australians signed a joint petition to Save the Reef and jointly crowd-funded an ad in the German edition of the Financial Times. The ad coincided with a massive petition delivery at the Deutsche Bank Annual General Meeting. The next day, Deutsche Bank announced they were no longer considering funding the Abbot Point project.

Several weeks later, 38 Degrees in the United Kingdom partnered with GetUp. Shortly thereafter, Barclays Bank also took Abbot Point financing off the table.

01_Aktion_Frankfurt__c__Kai_Loeffelbein_Campact_WWF.jpg

Fighting Bad Trade Deals Like TPP, TTIP, CETA and TISA 2014 to present

 
 

MoveOn, Leadnow, GetUp, ActionStation, 38 Degrees, Uplift, Campact, Akcja Demokracja, Skiftet, Operation Libero, Progressi, De-Clic

OPEN member organisations and their allies are growing and engaging their membership to oppose bad trade deals – and it’s working. Millions of individuals have turned these complex and secretive agreements into attention-grabbing news events and the centers of a storms of mass mobilization.

OPEN’s community of campaigners shares best practices, resources, language, and intelligence. It creates a global laboratory that’s building the best tools to take bad traded deals down. Trade deals are not easy issues to organise around. Their complexity and secrecy can make them seem removed from citizens’ lives. They don’t fit well on a poster. But the combined innovation and experience in the OPEN community enabled groups to fire up the grassroots and mobilize members on an unprecedented scale around the issue of trade.

A few examples from throughout 2015: In March, ads appeared in Hawaiian papers with a message from groups in Australia, Canada, the US, New sealand, and multinational partners. “To the negotiators in Hawai’i: More than 2 million citizens from around the world say ‘No Deal’.” On April 18th groups in Germany, the UK, Sweden and Ireland took part in a global day of action – the Swedes’ very first offline event. In the fall, Romanian startup De.Clic launched their first anti-TTIP campaign just weeks after the OPEN Startup Summit’s lively trade planning session with seven OPEN members and two partners. The group successfully reached the Romanian quorum for the independent European Citizens’ Initiative on TTIP.

Campact in Germany has become OPEN’s trade powerhouse, sharing tactics, funding, resources and strategy while mobilizing hundreds of thousands of people in the streets at home. Their members have held flash mobs at official events. Their marches attracted 50,000 people in January, 40,000 in June, and a record breaking 250,000 in October. Campact also held a successful matching fundraiser to support the Action Station’s trade campaigning, linking the TTP and TTIP fights.

In June, when the European Parliament delayed its vote on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, European Parliament ministers told media that massive pressure from citizen groups was responsible for that break-down. People power had won a landmark victory over corporate power - one that lays the groundwork for future wins - and OPEN groups were an important part of the equation.

gettyimages-523459638.jpg

The People’s Climate March: Global Action Summer and Fall 2015

 
 

MoveOn, Campact, GetUp, 38 Degrees, Leadnow, ActionStation, Uplift, Skiftet

OPEN members supercharged the global plan for a global climate mobilization around UN Climate Summit in September, 2014. OPEN facilitated each member organisation’s role. Planning started with a joint strategic mapping exercise. OPEN sponsored a joint staff position with ally 350.org to bring transnational climate expertise to domestic groups.

GetUp took lead responsibility for a 40,000+ person rally in Melbourne. 38 Degrees sent thousands of members to the London rally. MoveOn and Leadnow both organised major boost in turn-out for the flagship event in New York and also drove first ever physical climate rally on the United States-Canada border. Even startup groups organised or supported events.

Members were able to seamlessly exchange key mobilization resources, such as core issue messaging, high-performing turn-out email copy, graphics, and ride- sharing technology. OPEN collected images and video from all members and piped them instantly into the global press stream and video projections in New York City.

2_FrontOfMarch_RobertVanWaarden_3888x2592.jpg

Coordinated Support for Refugees Fall 2015

 
 

Campact, Aufstehn, Operation Libero, MoveOn, GetUp!, Action Station, Leadnow, 38 Degrees, Uplift, Skiftet

In the fall of 2015, we all watched as the crisis in Syria and the growth of ISIS dominated headlines and conversations around the world this fall.

In September and November, OPEN groups turned a flood of emotion into meaningful policy change and support for refugee families. They raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for relief efforts. They took a stand against hate crimes and campaigned successfully to raise caps on the numbers of refugees their countries agreed to take in. They connected volunteers to aid projects, and welcomed refugees with critical resources and messages of solidarity. And when people felt helpless and hopeless, OPEN groups across the globe brought them together in community to light the darkness.

  • Campact in Germany campaigned hard against anti-refugee hate speech and violence, taking the lead in Europe on this issue. They launched an interactive map of local initiatives that help refugees, connecting volunteers all over Germany.
  • Aufstehn in Austria mobilized members to write to mayors to increase intake, which correlated remarkably to where intake was subsequently raised. Members sent welcoming postcards to each refugee in Austria.
  • Operation Libero in Switzerland issued a stirring call to Parliament to welcome more asylum seekers and fought a deportation initiative in Parliament.
  • MoveOn in the USA raised more than $200,000 for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and launched #AmericaWelcomes pressing the government to welcome 100,000 Syrians. MoveOn members made over 7,000 phone calls to Congress, helping stop an anti-refugee bill in the Senate. The group gathered 150,000 signatures, called, and held rapid-response events when governors declared their states closed to refugees. And Thanksgiving-week dinners brought together refugee families, Congresspeople, and MoveOn members.
  • Leadnow in Canada turned out supporters to #RefugeesWelcome rallies across Canada and integrated demands for better refugee policies into their successful #VoteTogether election campaign.
  • GetUp! in Australia brought together tens of thousands of Australians at #LightTheDark vigils that made front page news around the country, helping push the government to grant permanent protection to 12,000 refugees, additional to Australia’s humanitarian intake.The group led the push for a humane conditions in camps for asylum seekers.
  • Action Station in New Zealand ran a successful campaign to double the national refugee quota, including helping members organise vigils across the country. The group supported GetUp’s detention center campaign by calling on New Zealand’s government to send journalists and consular support.
  • 38 Degrees in the UK organised over 600 local, member-led campaigns asking local Councils to accept more refugees. Those petitions also led to the formation of local refugee welcome action groups. Members raised more than 300 thousand pounds for a Refugee Welcome Board connecting citizens with ways to help and refugees to services.
  • Uplift in Ireland’s members pledged 14,000 beds for incoming refugees, crowd-funded a full-page ad in the national paper, and led the successful push to make the government up their intake cap from 600 to 4,000. Uplift’s membership doubled during this campaign.
  • Skiftet in Sweden organised a candlelight that drew 2,000 people, and gathered more than 15 thousand signatures in support of welcoming refugees. They delivered more than 20 thousand kronor to the Red Cross.

Standing Together for Peace: Coordinated Action after Paris and Beirut November 2015

 
 

MoveOn, Leadnow, ActionStation, 38 Degrees, Campact, WeMove

We are shocked, saddened, and in deep mourning after the terrorist attacks in Paris. We stand in solidarity with the victims’ families, friends, and loved ones. 

We express the same solidarity to all of the victims of ISIS across the world, including those in Ankara, Beirut, Syria, and Iraq, and to all of the refugees forced to flee their homes to escape the very terror that hit Paris. Today, we stand together for peace. We stand together for liberté, égalité, fraternité.

These words, backed by 542,044 signatures and 11 OPEN member organisations, ran in Le Monde on November 23.

Earlier that month, OPEN European member organisations and a pan-European ally, WeMove, took part in a training on values-based campaigning at the OPEN European Executive Directors Summit.

Days later, the attacks in Paris and Beirut happened.

The groups quickly designed a petition in response, asking members to sign on to the message. Soon MoveOn in the US, Leadnow in Canada and Action Station in New Zealand joined in as well. 38 Degrees in the UK, Campact in Germany, and MoveOn funded the ad, WeMove designed it, and groups shared email language that went out to millions.

As emotions ran high across the world, OPEN groups responded quickly and decisively as an international community. Their members affirmed their values and presented an international message of compassion and peace.