Reflections from Geneva

Last week I ran an advocacy campaigns workshop in Geneva. When I run this training I am always interested to observe where I am challenged on certain approaches. As I have delivered this training around the world over the last decade or so, one constant feature has been my pitch that you need a burning desire for change to run an advocacy campaign; I have often said that a mild irritation with the current situation is just not enough to get a campaign up and running.

So I was intrigued when I was challenged last week for the first time ever on this point. I was told that you did not need a ‘burning desire’ to be able to run an advocacy campaign. I was fascinated by this challenge. In my view even when you have that burning desire for change, it can sometimes be really hard to run a campaign, especially if you are in an organisation with all of the obstacles that you may encounter, and without such a desire I can only see that it would be highly difficult to sustain the motivation to drive a campaign forward.

And on that point we agreed: namely, that motivation to run a campaign was important and a vital ingredient for its success. And we agreed to differ on whether that motivation needed to be a ‘burning desire.’ But what do you think? Do you think that you need a burning desire for change to be able to run an advocacy campaign?

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