4. A new global movement – from fragmentation to cross-sectoral collaboration

Organisation of a grassroots movement is currently not top on the agenda of most mainstream environmental and developmental CSOs.

In addition, there is a lack of cross-sectoral CSO networks putting forward a rigorous and inclusive global alternative with an integrated program for fundamental change. With its current focus on special interests, CSOs have serious limitations in articulating a unified vision of change, and coalescing disparate groups for coordinated action.

According to Paul Raskin (director of Tellus Institute, “The global transformation will require the awakening of a new social actor”.  A Global Citizens Movement (GCM) engaging masses of people, “nurturing values of human solidarity, ecological resilience and quality of life” is necessary and possible. This movement would “embrace diverse perspectives and movements as separate expressions of a common project”.

Civil society activism needs to evolve in a way that will allow it to play a pivotal role in assuming a leadership function in giving life to a GCM (Raskin 2010a: 3). In order for a Global Citizens Movement to materialize, civil society has to rise above the current ‘politics of opposition’ and develop new models of leadership and collaboration.

The Great Transition offers a real opportunity for collaboration and a broad movement as it is inclusive and is aimed at tackling the root causes of issues campaigners fight for across the board. But it also means that CSOs need to learn new ways of leadership and ways of collaborating…

A new global movement is a key leverage point for more effective CSO strategies: Read more.
Further Readings
Listening to the Stars: The Constellation Model of Collaborative Social Change - Mark Surman and Tanya Surman (2008)
Imagine All the People: Advancing a global citizens movement - Tellus Institute (2010)
Dawn of the Cosmopolitan The Hope of a Global Citizens Movement - Orion Kriegman (2006)
Planetary Praxis: On Rhyming Hope and History - Paul Raskin (2009)