“In democratic countries, knowledge of how to combine is the mother of all other forms of knowledge; on its progress depends that of all the others.”—Alexis de Tocqueville
Urgent and escalating challenges to the promise of democracy, especially in the last few years, demand effective organized action now not just in the US but around the world. The most urgent challenge for many of us, however, is to turn the strong reaction to this threat into an opportunity create the civic capacity not only to “resist” but to “prevail”.


We urgently need to recruit, train, and develop skilled organizers; enhance their effectiveness through continual learning; and build the capacity for organizing practice rooted in communities, organizations, and institutions committed to progressive change. This is the mission of the Leading Change Network.
Rooted in social movement, community organizing, and labor traditions, the Leading Change Network (LCN) has been inspired by the work of Marshall Ganz with a diverse, committed and skilled core of practitioners, educators, and scholars. LCN is focused on developing leadership, improving practice, and building capacity through classrooms, distance learning, workshops, projects and campaigns. LCN associates have, in the last 6 years, led 448 workshops, reaching 32,184 people, in some 25 countries.
Working across boundaries we have developed organizing capacity for example, in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the UK, Serbia, Jordan, Kenya, India, Pakistan, Australia, China, New Zealand and Japan and have capacity in English, Arabic, Spanish, Danish, Swedish, French, Urdu, Hindi, Chinese and Japanese. We have been able to do this by supporting the development of local leadership in domains including health care, the environment, racial justice, education, economic justice, youth development, human rights, gender equity, workers’ rights, and political reform. And we have collaborated with organizations that include the New Organizing Institute, United We Dream, Institute for Health Care Improvement, California Teachers Association, Mothers Out Front, American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute and others in the US. We also supported local leadership in developing organizing training capacity with Ahel in Jordan, Serbia on the Move, SEED for Social Innovation China, Community Organizing Japan, Via Educacion in Mexico, Cevea in Denmark, Hayiyya in India, CSEA, District Health Board-Counties Manakau in New Zealand and elsewhere.
Our approach is rooted in a culture of dedication to craft, ongoing evaluation, and continual learning. By building organizing capacity across diverse contexts we deepen our understanding of core practices, learn adaptation within distinct cultures, and are building a network of practitioners whose diverse experience contribute to the strengthening of effort rooted in shared values. Thus far we have developed some 170 trainers, from 36 countries who have implemented training in 30 different languages.
Building on this foundation we can make a significant contribution to confronting the current crisis. But it will require greater intentionality, more effective structure, and reaching far greater scale to our work.
The shocking challenges of the last year reveal that there is much more to do, not only to resist, but to move ahead and that now is the time to do it. The motivation to act is evident. The challenge is to equip that motivation with the leadership, skills, and capacity to act effectively.


The unique contribution of LCN is a pedagogy that enables people to learn quickly, transfer their learning to others, and build organization in the process. This approach, which grew out of decades of organizing experience, the insights of social science, and the training on the ground is neither a “model” nor a “blueprint” but more of a “roadmap” – a way to locate the cultural, political, and social resources within one’s own experience, community and domain of practice to enable progressive change.


This approach is based on mastery of five core organizing practices: relationship building, storytelling, strategizing, structuring, and action.  By building relationships, we create the commitments, learning and solidarity for collective action that distinguishes organizing from mobilizing, the momentary aggregation of individual resources. By storytelling or public narrative, we can access shared values for the emotional resources to act by telling a story of self, us, and now: hope over fear, empathy over alienation, and self-worth over self-doubt. By strategizing, a verb, not a noun, we can turn resources we have into the power we need to get what we want. By structuring ourselves we can develop a shared purpose; create norms of self-governance and responsible roles. We focus on collaborative leadership teams that can distribute leadership deep within a constituency and, at the same time, avoid Jo Freeman’s “tyranny of structurelessness.” We enable action based on commitment and motivation to mobilize and deploy resources to create “facts on the ground” (votes, people). All this plays out in the form of campaigns, outcome focused streams of activityWe develop leadership as participants become coaches who become trainers who become coordinators who become organizers.
The mission of the LCN is to meet challenges to democracy in the US and around the world by identifying, recruiting and developing organizers, forming a community of learning among those organizers, and supporting the practice of those organizers in enabling the power of their constituencies to realize values of equality, solidarity, and dignity. 


1. Develop the Leadership with depth, diversity, and skill for building power, organizing action and creating change
2. Improve organizing practice through shared learning, adaptation and development.
3. Build organizing capacity on the ground in diverse communities, organizations, and institutions in which it is most needed.
There are three main programs through which LCN aims to achieve its objectives. Each program is designed to contribute to all three of the objectives.


1. Learning organizing
The best way to learn organizing is to practice it. However, years of experience in organizing allowed us to learn some basic principles. We understand it’s our responsibility to pass it on to the new generations so they learn faster and more effectively.
This program aims at using and perfecting the craft of teaching organizing to create the structured learning environment for the most effective absorption of organizing skills.
Activities include, but not limited to:
a) Online and in-person training on Public Narrative and Organizing (other modules to be developed)
b) Improving the curriculum based on improvements from the practice of organizing and teaching
c) Building a resource centre for organizing and teaching organizing
d) Developing the capacity for teaching organizing (i.e. enabling series of people to teach Public Narrative and Organizing, create a database of all trainers around the world, develop a certification process for trainers, create leadership ladders, improve the practice of teaching).


2. Community of Practice
This program aims at building community of practitioners – leaders doing organizing on the ground. We aim at creating online and in person spaces to bring those leaders together to share their experiences, learn from one another, connect and work together to amplify the impact.
Activities include, but not limited to:
a) Deepening our knowledge – sessions focusing on specific challenges in practicing organizing
b) Capturing learnings from practice – Campaigns showcasing
c) Sharing new ideas and tactics


3. Building capacity on the ground
This program aims at supporting the leaders on the ground to build additional capacity in their communities to enable long-term and sustainable change. We do this by setting up coaching and mentoring programs for those leaders, their teams and organizations.
Activities include but not limited to:
a) Mentoring and coaching leaders/organizers to create/set up their own teams, campaigns, movements
b) Mentoring and coaching leaders/organizers in their work on the ground
c) Mentoring and coaching leaders to create/set up their own organizations on the ground
Mentoring and coaching already existing organizations in their work and learning
LCN governance structure contains of Board, Advisory Committee, Leadership team chaired by the Executive Director


Marshall Ganz – Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at J.F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Jennifer McCreaSenior Research Fellow at the Hauser Institute for Civil Society at Harvard University and a Faculty Chair for Exponential Fundraising Course at Harvard.
Rebecca Henderson – the John and Natty McArthur University Professor at the Harvard Business School in the General Management and Strategy units.
Ian Simmons – impact investor, Co-Founder and Principal of Blue Haven Initiative


Art Reyes III – Director, We the People
Benjamin Naimark-Rowse – Topol Fellow in Nonviolent Resistance and a D. Candidate at The Fletcher School at Tufts University
Elizabeth McKenna – PhD candidate in sociology at UC Berkeley, co-author “Groundbreakers: How Obama’s 2.2 Million Volunteers Transformed Campaigning in America”
Jacob Waxman – Leadership Development Coordinator, SEIU United Healthcare Workers West
Kathryn Perera – the Head of Transformation, Horizons Group, NHS England
Lara Ayoub – Digital Media Consultant, TV Producer, Co-Founder of NGO SADAQA
Predrag Stojicic – Director, Resident Engagement for Health Systems Transformation project, ReThink Health

Ana Babovic, MPA 

Ana began her career working as an advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia and has since been engaged in politics, public policy and government, continuing to work with the Federal Government of Germany, and Legislature of the State of Massachusetts. In 2012, she took the position of Executive Director of a national organizing and change-making nonprofit, Serbia on the Move, which she also co-founded. Ana launched and led several national campaigns engaging thousands of citizens, resulting in introduction of innovative tools for increasing transparency & accountability, creation of opinion shifts and policy changes in areas of anticorruption, healthcare, labor rights of women, and other.

Most recently, two case studies featuring the successes of Serbia on the Move achieved under Ana’s leadership have been published. The first, published by Harvard Kennedy School of Government focuses on the Organizational and Capacity Development, while the second one, published by the World Bank Group, focuses on the SOM’s achievements in the fight against corruption in healthcare in Serbia.

In 2016, Ana obtained her Master’s Degree in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where she was awarded the Ford Foundation Mason Student Fellowship from the Ash Centre for Democratic Governance and Innovation, and a Gleitsman Fellowship in Social Innovation from the Centre for Public Leadership. During her time at Harvard, Ana was an Assistant Professor and Head of the Teaching Team with Professor Marshall Ganz, where she taught and managed leadership courses focused on Public Narrative and Community Organizing.