The Choice: maximising the Tibet movement’s global impact & visibility

At the Network’s 2017 Regional Meetings, we talked about how to increase the impact and visibility of our movement and our campaigns, and the idea that we try hard to build consensus amongst Tibet Groups to commit – in principle – to participate in one or two global, recognisably linked campaign actions a year. These wouldn’t be set days, like 10 March, but would change according to campaign priorities and opportunities that emerge year to year.

There are lots of reasons why such global campaign actions could be beneficial to the movement. Here are some of the ideas that campaigners at the Regional Meetings came up with.

i. Shows reach and demonstrates that Tibet is an issue of global concern and has global support.

ii. Could increase our chance of campaign success – more visibility attracts more attention from decision-makers, media and the public.

iii. Can help us reach new audiences (and increase support) by creating a starting point for people to talk about Tibet.

iv. Builds our capacity and motivates the movement – bringing momentum and positive energy and providing a focus, especially for smaller Groups.

v. Strengthens our relationships and cohesion as a movement – to work more closely together we need to communicate more with each other.

vi. Inspires Tibetans in Tibet, and in exile.

We made a great start in the Regional Meetings, with:

* 44% of participants fully endorsing this idea across all three regions.
* 42% of participants were happy to support this idea with maybe some minor reservations. 
* 14% of participants were positive about this idea but had some strong reservations.
* No one was opposed to the idea.

But of course it’s not that simple to “just do it”; we need to make a choice. The Network has been encouraging Groups for a number of years to come together around big campaigns, but we recognise that it is challenging and that there are many reasons why Groups find it hard to do. It might be a question of capacity, or that Groups have different agendas and ideas of what the priorities should be, or perhaps it’s a fear that we might look weaker if we fail…….

So there is more work to do before we can find the solutions, and the Network Secretariat has created a Working Group to generate some practical proposals that will enable us all to buy-in to the benefits and overcome our obstacles.

While we make progress on these solutions, please discuss “The Choice” within your Group, and consider what steps you could take to free up your capacity and increase your global cooperation. Please also think about what you might need from us, in order to able to choose to take part in global campaign actions once or twice a year.

In January we will come back to you with more information on how we intend to take this forward. Watch this space!