“Amongst the best was Andrew Boyd’s compendium-like Beautiful Trouble which brought together some of the most imaginative elements of a movement influenced by a mix of non-violent direct action and the public drama of situationism.”Mark Perryman, The Substantive
BEAUTIFUL TROUBLE offers cutting-edge trainings in creative campaigning that we’re happy to customize to meet your needs. However, we may not be quite what you’re looking for, or too busy to help you. Not to worry, there’s a host of other fine training outfits that might be a better match. Most of the groups below are already a core part of our network, and we can’t recommend them highly enough. Please consider:
RUCKUS SOCIETY – When it comes to banner hangs, blockades, and other high-profile creative direct actions, nobody does it better. Ruckus’ primary offering is weeklong training camps, occurring a few times a year, or upon request.
CENTER FOR STORY BASED STRATEGY – Train with the folks who invented the “Battle of the Story.” Their multi-media, interactive curriculum combines storytelling, critical media analysis, and narrative strategy with organizing and movement building.
CENTER FOR ARTISTIC ACTIVISM – The School for Creative Activism and the Art Action Academy offer participatory workshops infusing community organizing and civic engagement with culture and creativity.
NEW ORGANIZING INSTITUTE – Looking for a creative toolbox that’s focused more on online organizing and the nuts and bolts of winning (electoral) campaigns? Look no further. NOI is best in the business, and many of their trainings are available online for free.
YESLAB – While not offering official trainings per se, the Yes Lab is an incubator for Yes Men-style pranks, helping activist groups carry out media-getting creative actions focused on their own campaign goals.
ALLIANCE OF COMMUNITY TRAINERS – This Austin TX-based collective includes Lisa Fithian, one of the most experienced mass direct action trainers in the world, and Starhawk, facilitator, healer, and well-known eco-feminist author. They offer a diverse range of trainings from campaign planning to conflict resolution.
TRAINING FOR CHANGE – This national network of experienced trainers specializes in training trainers — aiming to create a ripple effect that improves the quality of activist training. Request a workshop now.
OTPOR – The folks who overthrew Serbian dictator Milosovic have turned their leanings into a weeklong training to spread the word of “people power.” Operating across the globe and in several languages, their C.A.N.V.A.S. trainings demonstrate the power of nonviolent struggle for achieving freedom, democracy and human rights.
ACTION AID – Operating in 43 countries, with 8 global training platforms, Action Aid is a worldwide network of training hubs for empowerment and activism. They provide innovative trainings and capacity building for organizations and young individuals who wish to take positive action in their societies.
GREENPEACE – Defenders of the natural world and promoters of peace by working to investigate, expose and confront environmental abuse, and champion environmentally responsible solutions. Experiential education is at the core of the Greenpeace Training Program. The curriculum is dynamic and challenging in order to give participants the skills and experience needed to be effective advocates for the planet.
NEW TACTICS IN HUMAN RIGHTS – helps human rights defenders work more effectively so they can achieve their goals and better address human rights violations around the world.
THE WILDFIRE PROJECT – Trains, supports, and networks grassroots groups to help build a broad and powerful movement for social, political, economic, and ecological justice. Using democratic, experiential methods, the Wildfire Project fuses political education, skills training, group development, and direct organizing support in a curriculum tailored to specific needs of groups in action.
THE CHANGE AGENCY – An independent social movement education initiative. We work with community organisers and activists in the Australia Pacific region to help people win social and environmental change.
ORGANIZING FOR POWER – Based on notes the author uses for the training and split into “building blocks for change,” each with analysis, tools, and resources to help you apply these concepts to your organizing work. They reflect lessons from over 30 years of organizing with the student, environmental, labor, immigrant, anti-war and global justice grassroots movements.