Whilst a People & Planeter in UCL, I was always rather oblivious to the way that People & Planet was run nationally. Partially this was because I didn’t really know much about the network (we had just started a group the year that I joined) and partially it was because the idea of taking part in a national decision-making group was rather daunting. Luckily, in my final year, I decided to take a little of a risk and ended up going along to the Forum in Manchester.
Forum is a strange place. It brings all of the key people and planet individuals across the network together to discuss key issues. Overall, you end up having massive discussions, debates and decisions over the future of People & Planet and students involved. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn how campaigns work, how they are managed and how you can really build and develop your own strategy.
Too many times in university, we organise our campaigns without strategy and without order. We play the campaign by ear rather than by trying to meet deadlines. The fact is we need to put the too together and we need to do that at a national and local level. It is so much easier to influence Oxford if you say ‘well, Cambridge/UCL is doing it, and we have the opportunity to beat them too it’ or if you show how the particular changes can be implemented within a given time and resource framework. This method also shuts up the nay-sayers in the university who may say that they do not have time/money/resources to deal with these challenges.
The Forum is the place to be if you want to create effective change, now and in the future. It is the place to be to take on a campaign and make it suitable for your university. It is also the place to be if you want to have a great party and be challenged by a very relevant quiz.
If you want to take campaigning further, go to this year’s Forum – this weekend (19 – 21 March) in Camden, London. There are going to be MASSIVE decisions made, so make sure you’re there!
Book online for FREE here: http://peopleandplanet.org/forum/10