2013 Conversation Themes & Topics: Share your feedback & ideas

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2013 Conversation Themes & Topics: Share your feedback & ideas

In this New Tactics community of practice, we host tactic-focused online conversations about once a month. We call these conversations, Tactical Dialogues. We have a basic formula (that we try to stick to) for each Tactical Dialogue topic: Doing x to achieve y. This formula helps us stay focused on the human rights actions as opposed to discussing the issue. These topics are meant to span many  human rights issues, regions and contexts. The idea is that human rights defenders will have an opportunity to connect to peers that are using similar tactics (but not necessarily working on the same issue or in the same context) so that these participants can learn from each others' experiences.

We have hosted over 60 online conversations so far, engaging over 1200 human rights defenders.

To ensure that this community and its online discussions are useful and relevant - we need your help to identify what topics you would like to discuss! What kinds of tactics would you like to learn more about? What kinds of tactics have you mastered that you are eager to share with others? What are you struggling with in your work that this community could help you with?

Share your ideas and feedback by adding comments below. Thank you!

Ideas for tactic-focused topics for August thru November 2013

Hello all,

I wanted to start this off by sharing the outcomes of the some of the efforts we've already done to get ideas for topics from the community. Back in late 2012, I put together a survey with a list of 19 topics and asked people to rate them in terms of which topics they would be most relevant and useful for their work. The highest rated tactic-focused conversation topics were:

  1. Using social media (we hosted this topic in May)
  2. Training activists on the strategic use of technology
  3. Sustaining the well-being and security of activists (we hosted this topic in 2012)
  4. Civic education to increase citizen participation
  5. Using humor (we hosted this topic in January)
  6. Visualizing data
  7. Empowering citizens to fight corruption (we hosted this topic in 2011)
  8. Monitoring prisons (we hosted this topic in April)
  9. Bridging the gap between police and community
  10. Using art to heal and strengthen communities

So here's what I'm thinking...

  • In August, I'd like to host a conversation on: Powerful Persuasion: Combating traditional practices that violate human rights
  • In September, I'm considering hosting a conversation on: Civic education to increase citizen participation
  • In October, I'm considering hosting a conversation on: Bridging the gap between police and community
  • And for our final 2013 conversation in November, I'm considering hosting: Visualizing data to harness the power of information

(Note: we will not be hosting conversations in July or December this year)

What do you think of these topics? Are there other topic ideas that would be more useful to you? Are there topics (these or others) that you would be willing to facilitate? Please share your feedback and ideas by adding a comment below!

If you do like these topics, we still need to find conversation facilitators and leaders for these topics so please let me know if you're interested!

Dedicating a series of conversations to a theme?

Another idea we've been exploring is having a theme for 3 months (or longer) and having all of the conversations during that time period, relate to that theme. Ideas for themes:

  1. Cultural Resistance (art, music, theater, humor, etc)
  2. Transparency (monitoring budgets, open data, citizen monitoring, etc)
  3. Civic Education (human rights education, democracy-building, monitoring elections, etc)
  4. Others?

Or, the themes could be connected to our tactical goal categories. Having conversations that relate closely to each other over the span of 3 (or more) months might encourage community members to participate in a series of conversations, as opposed to just one or two a year.


- Kristin Antin, New Tactics Online Community Builder

Thanks Kristin for these

Thanks Kristin for these great ideas!

I particuarly think that "Visualizing data to harness the power of information" is an interesting topic for future exploration. We recently released a report detailing the scope and landscape of global human rights grantmaking, which utilized infographics, charts, and other graphics to convey the current state of the field. http://foundationcenter.org/gainknowledge/humanrights/

Moving forward, we are exploring other ways to visualize data in order to show changes and trends in human rights philanthropy over time.

Looking forward to future conversation about this and other topics.

Christen Dobson, International Human Rights Funders Group


Who can we invite to a discussion on visualizing data?

Thanks for your feedback, Christen! The 'Visualizing Data' conversation topic is part of a series of discussions from September to November around 'Building Awareness'. There is more information on these series here.

We would be thrilled to have you and your colleagues from the International Human Rights Funders Group in this conversation in November! Do you know of other organizations that we should invite?

Thanks again for sharing your input on this topic. So glad it piqued your interest!

- Kristin Antin, New Tactics Online Community Builder

Conversation on visualizing information: Nov 2013

We just wrapped up our online conversation on Visualizing Information for Advocacy - be sure to check out the summary!

-- Kristin Antin, New Tactics Online Community Builder

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