A workshop for progressive organisations and movements to improve the effectiveness of their communications, campaigning and advocacy.


During this workshop, progressive civil society and political organisations gain insight into the secrets of effective communication on progressive issues and reflect on how to apply these strategies in their work.


The participants learn what cognitive scientists have discovered regarding framing and why presenting facts alone is an ineffective strategy to change people’s views. They also learn why self-interest is an astoundingly poor predictor of people’s voting behaviour.


The workshop uncovers what it really takes to convince someone and how to build narratives to garner support for progressive proposals for change. By learning how to shift from fact-based to value-based communication, the participants can immediately start shaping their messages in a way that persuades the unconvinced.


This helps organisations and movements become better at influencing the public and policymakers and at steering public discourse, and thus become more successful in fighting for their cause.


    • › communications training
    • › campaign and PR development
    • › organisational capacity-building
    • › staff and volunteer up-skilling

  •      Useful for:

    • enhancing your organisation’s communication strategy
    • designing effective campaigns
    • refining messaging to gain public support for a cause
    • garnering support for progressive agendas
    • › moving the needle on progressive issues


Why and how are the conservatives and the right-wing able to capture hearts and minds in the public discourse?


Throughout recent decades, we have been witnessing radicalisation and a shift of the political spectrum towards the right. The conservative politicians are the ones setting the tone of the public debate, whilst the progressives are mostly reactive and on the defense.


The progressives, who seek social and environmental justice, equality for all, sustainable living, respect for human rights and saving humanity from the effects of global warming are at loss: they have facts, science and reason behind them and their agenda would benefit many, if not all. Yet their messages are slow in gaining traction.


Meantime, the right seems to have figured out how to get an upper hand in political discourse and is even able to convince people to vote against their own interests.


This workshop is based on the pioneering work of George Lakoff, who helps uncover why this is the case. He has applied to politics and public discourse what cognitive science knows about how people process information and form ideas and concepts. The secret lies in activating the right frames in the minds of those who receive our communications.


The progressives can – and need – to learn how to shape their communications so that they persuade those who could be persuaded, in order to increase the progressive support base. This workshop uncovers how this can be done.



During the workshop the participants discover:


  • what the conservatives do right when it comes to political communication and what the progressives can learn from that;
  • what are some key mistakes the progressives make when shaping their messages;
  • what is framing and bi-conceptualism and how to leverage them for communicating the progressive agenda effectively;
  • how to choose words and phrases that persuade.


The interactive format is centred on ample examples in conservative and progressive communications, and joint reflections with the participants on why and how they work.


    • Duration: 4h*
    • Modes of facilitation: on-site or remote
    • Number of participants: max 12
    • Organisational suitability: progressive civil society organisations, citizen’s movements, grass-root organisations, informal groups, progressive political groups and parties
    • Inquiries: contact@activismincubator.eu

* in remote facilitation, workshops are usually divided into two parts



The workshop can allow additional time to directly apply the learnings to the topics that an organisation or a movement works on. Whilst some reflections on issues specific to the audience will always be included in the workshop, the extra time allows for a deeper facilitated brainstorming that follows and builds on the theoretical part.



For organisations to become more effective in delivering their mission, check out ‘Technologies of Change’ workshop.

Next training

Occasionally we run workshops that are open to individual participation, in an online version. Register your interest here:


Capacity-building, Strategy & planning

awareness-raising, change-making, communication, effectiveness, influence, power