Power Agility for Advocacy and Public Affairs - European Activism Incubator
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For effective advocacy or public affairs, being aware of the power dynamics in interacting with policymakers and other external stakeholders is key. This workshop is designed to support advocacy and public affairs professionals to identify and counter behaviours that inhibit power, to create more functional and impactful exchanges with stakeholders.


    • staff training, team away day, capacity-building

         Useful for:

    • ›  exploring and improving power dynamics with internal or external stakeholders
    • ›  recognising and counteracting power suppression in relationships with stakeholders and policymakers
    • ›  assisting organisations’ efforts to be heard


This workshop identifies the dynamics of power in human interactions with a specific focus on advocacy and public affairs. This advocacy training is designed to increase the efficacy of organisations (NGOs, private or public sector) wanting to put themselves in the best possible position to be heard and interact in a way that benefits their issues and values their stakeholders.

The workshop helps to understand how to take action in settings where advocating and convincing is important.

The negative behaviours (or ‘power suppression techniques’) may consciously and unconsciously perpetuate negative relationship dynamics – identifying them deprives them of their effectiveness and helps develop counter-strategies, thus building the power agility of those who are seeking to influence. Raising awareness of these mechanisms is also important to create inclusive meetings and debates, and safe negotiation spaces.


The Power Agility workshop builds on the work of Berit Ås, a Norwegian politician and the first woman leader of a political party, who was also interested in behaviours leading to unequal participation in decision-making processes and structural exclusion of minority voices (called master suppression techniques).


As a woman entering male-dominated political power structures, Berit Ås observed and described domination behaviours designed to exclude, disempower, and silence. Whilst her findings originally focused on gender relations, understanding power suppression helps to improve relations and effectiveness in a broad context of advocacy and public affairs.



This interactive workshop focuses on relationships of power in meetings, debates, or negotiations, and on power suppression techniques used consciously or unconsciously by stakeholders, which make it more difficult to get your points across.


It will introduce the participants to the concept of power suppression and describe the behaviours it can be identified through, in a policy-making and advocacy context. It will also provide tips and practical examples for counteracting them, thereby building power agility.


Key elements:

  • observational exercises
  • an interactive presentation with a facilitated discussion
  • practical exercises to integrate the learning

    • Duration: 3h*
    • Modes of facilitation: in-house or remote
    • Number of participants: 5-15 persons
    • Organisational suitability: private, public, and third sector, citizen’s movements, grass-root organisations, informal groups
    • Inquiries: contact@activismincubator.eu

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

Further learning opportunities


To further build capacity in your organisation, the Technologies of Change workshop is designed to enable change by supporting an organisation to develop a shared vision, goals and priorities for action. It includes a process of mapping and analysing sources of power and power structures that will need to be influenced to instigate the desired change.



change-making, communication, effectiveness, empowerment, influence, power, relationships