LCN history

Leading Change Network (LCN) was established in 2012 under the leadership of Professor Marshall Ganz, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University, and the main creator of the unique framework for Community Organizing and Public Narrative, an approach that has proven its effectiveness around the world including the most recent success of the French movement “En Marche”.

LCN today is a global nonprofit registered in USA 501(c)(3), gathering leaders, activists and organizers from all over the world, around shared values rooted in democracy, social justice, human rights, moral courage, resilience, leadership and stewardship.

 LCN is a community of organizers, educators and researchers, not a platform disseminating knowledge. Our programs are built and led by our staff and our members alike. It has been dormant for the past two years, but is now preparing for relaunch.

What is LCN

Leading Change Network:

  • is a community of those engaged in organizing for social and political change around the world;
  • develops leadership and enhances the way collective action is organized;
  • creates online and offline space for its members to meet, learn and improve their community organizing practices;
  • keeps track of new trends, innovations and latest research,making them available to its community.
The mission of the LCN is to bring together those engaged in collective action for social and political change around the world, and create a global community around learning, practicing, and enhancing organizing to achieve resilience and impact. All for justice, rights and stewardship.
Our objectives

LCN has three main objectives:

    1. To become a Home Base for Community Organizing by introducing it to new people, developing leadership capacity of those practicing it, and evolving from practice;
    2. To become the widest and strongest global community that comes together to learn from each other, achieve impact, and maintain resilience;
    3. To develop leadership in the community necessary for building power, organizing action and creating change
Our design principles

Recognizing what our members appreciate the most, the LCN:

  • Implementing majority of its activities online, to enable people from around the world to attend (accessibility)
  • Hosting in-person regional gatherings and field trips (in-person relations)
  • Supporting LCN members in organizing their own spaces for learning, coaching and solidarity (belonging-by-leading initiatives)
  • Links members on the basis of their interests, resources and needs (nurturing relationships)
  • Hosts annual in-person events to celebrate members’ achievements and launch next year’s program (celebration charge forward).

 

Programs

To achieve its mission and objectives, the LCN will create three spaces and provide the needed scaffolding.

  1. Home base for Organizing LCN’s added value lies in having a specific methodology to community organizing, with a large number of trained people, who want to share their knowledge and pass it on to others. They have a constant drive to better understand, deepen and improve the methodology, in addition to spreading the knowledge further. The LCN will facilitate this process.

 

LCN will be a home base for learning organizing, by providing online trainings, workshops & deep dives on:

  1. Intro to organizing – an online training on basics of leadership & organizing
  2. Beyond the basics – trainings and seminars to develop leadership & go deeper in the practices
  3. Teaching organizing – becoming a better coach, facilitator, trainer
  4. Enhancing organizing methodology – sharing good practices and troubleshooting challenges
  5. Enhancing our curriculum – case studies, research, latest from practice

 

  1. LCN Community in Action LCN will provide scaffolding for its members to take initiative:
    1. To meet in smaller groups to further discuss topics relevant to them, ranging from understanding and framing change to motivation and action design (e.g. strategizing around opposition, motivation and urgency, collective action and democracy),
    2. To organize and plan actions together to achieve and amplify their impact in their causes (e.g. Planning and implementing solidarity actions to support the Paris agreement, Organizing for Public Health in US (gathering many organizations performing the work in the field and creating joint action etc.), and
    3. To coach one another and groups around challenges faced on the ground.

 

  1. LCN Forum This will be an open space where LCN will host speaker series, panel discussions, and presentations to capture and share the latest advancements in the field of organizing (new trends, tactics and initiatives), as well as latest trends and developments in research and theory. This space will be open for a wider public (members and non-members) to attend and will be a place for attracting new members and encourage engaged members. These events will also be used to capture learning material short stories, videos, blog posts for future dissemination.

 

Global Gathering

Global Gathering deserves special attention. It crowns the previous year’s efforts and launches next year’s programs. It is an in-person event to which the LCN members are invited for 3-4 days. The main components of the GG will be:

  1. Celebration – The best events or learning from the previous year will be showcased and shared in the gathering. The best organizing and the hardest organizing in our community will be celebrated;
  2. Learning – people will learn from the experiences in the gathering and, from coaching each other, they will also be trained on new dimensions in organizing;
  3. Planning and kick off – The LCN will announce and launch its next year’s program and the members will kick start some of the next year’s “community in action” activities.

 

Our leadership

Nisreen Haj Ahmad, MPA – Co-Director

For the past ten years, Nisreen Haj Ahmad has invested herself in enhancing organized collective action for justice and equality. In 2012, she co-founded and became director of Ahel.org, a nonprofit that coached 16 campaigns and trained over two thousand people in organizing in the Middle East, namely Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon and Syria. She was also involved in supporting the organizing of the BDS Movement and together with other women started its chapter in Jordan. Nisreen is very committed to creating learning and solidarity spaces that inform and sustain leaders and activists around the world. In 2012, she coordinated the Leading Change Global Gathering, bringing together more than a hundred organizers from around the world, and in 2014 organized a similar gathering of the Network’s Affiliates in Serbia. NIsreen is  an advisory board member of Beautiful Rising. Trained as a lawyer, Nisreen obtained a law degree from the University of Jordan (1995), Masters in Law from Edinburgh University (1997), Masters in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School (2007), and most recently finished a research fellowship at the Ash Center at Harvard Kennedy School. With Professor Marshall Ganz, Nisreen taught “Social Movements Today: Critical Questions for Critical Times” in the Spring semester of 2017 at HKS. She has produced several publications, including a documentation of Stand with the Teachers Campaign for fair pay, published by the International Labour Organization, and her work is the subject of a Harvard case study. Before entering the world of community leadership and organizing in 2007, Nisreen spent 6 years working as a legal advisor for the Palestinian team in the peace talks with Israel.

Ana Babovic, MPA – Co-Director

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.