This is the first in what will be a series of reports, briefs, interviews and events for AdvocacyLabs, a new initiative from 50CAN and FutureEd focused on bringing fresh and rigorous perspectives to how change happens in education policy.
In this inaugural report, we ask: what can academics teach advocates about how change happens in our world? A lot, it turns out. If you are a little skeptical about that claim, this report is for you. We organize the results from the most significant quantitative and qualitative academic studies of the past 40 years with the goal of helping practicing advocates judge for themselves what is useful and actionable from the world of the academy to their daily work. Our goal is to provide better answers to the big questions that really matter to those who have devoted their lives to changing the world: How do you recruit people to your cause? How do you keep them engaged? What do you do when the political winds shift?
The answers we’ve uncovered may surprise you in their defiance of conventional wisdom and long-standing advocacy practices.