by | Mar 13, 2024

Introducing the Changemakers’ Toolkit: your go-to, free training resource

Sheila McKechnie Foundation (SMK) in collaboration with Wikimedia UK, have launched an open access toolkit which empowers people to campaign effectively. 

Across the UK people are working to change things for the better. Campaigners, activists, and changemakers of all types are stepping up to address injustices, improve conditions in their communities, and draw attention to neglected issues. From the Post Office Horizon scandal, housing issues such as mouldy homes, to fighting the closure of local libraries, changemakers are grafting away on many vital issues, and are often at the forefront of holding those in power to account.  

Change is possible, but it is not easy work. It requires extraordinary courage, resilience and persistence. Changemaking is made tougher still because of the lack of good quality, freely available, knowledge on how to go about it. From our many years of working with changemakers we know that it can be a struggle to know where to start. Today, we launch a toolkit to address these challenges and support those at the forefront of making change happen. 

Through this unique collaboration, SMK and Wikimedia UK (WMUK) are committed to making knowledge open and freely available, so it can help people campaign effectively. That’s why we’ve launched the Changemakers’ Toolkit, a free online training resource for campaigners, activists, and changemakers.   

Three introductory modules; Introduction to changemaking, Analysing the problem and planning for Change, and Communicating for Change, will enable you to develop your understanding of campaigning and change-making, providing you with tools that allow you to reflect and plan. Our aim is to support you to campaign more confidently straight away, and to give you a framework to build more knowledge in the future.  

The Toolkit is based on our Campaign Carousel which draws on nearly two decades of experience training hundreds of campaigners and activists.  

‘SMK’s Campaign Carousel is a cutting-edge training programme shaped by expert campaigners. We provide practical tools and approaches that allow new campaigners to hit the ground running. Our training supports these new campaigners to make powerful, impactful change by giving them the guidance they need across all of the different aspects of campaigning. From social media, to understanding social change, to working with the legal system, and much more- our Campaign Carousel supports campaigners to become powerful forces for change’. Kathleen Christie, Head of Programmes, SMK

Wikimedia UK are the experts on knowledge equity, and they are committed to the ideal of a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. With thousands of contributors to open knowledge through Wikipedia and its sister projects, theirs is also a network of supporters who will benefit from a better understanding on how to campaign on the wide variety of issues that are important to them. 

Within the Wikimedia movement sits a great potential for making change in the world, across a huge range of societal issues: misinformation, shrinking civic space, decolonisation and knowledge equity. Members of the Wikimedia movement are, or have the capacity/ aptitude to become, changemakers – if supported with the right tools and knowledge. This project brings together two communities – Wikimedians, and changemakers, so they can benefit from each other’s expertise. Wikimedians get access to social change knowledge to increase their effectiveness, SMK is able to support changemakers with the tools, knowledge, and confidence to work effectively and create change.’ Daria Cybulska, Director of Programmes and Evaluation 

The overlapping interests between our organisations are clear, and at SMK we’re grateful for Wikimedia’s financial and practical support with making a long-standing ambition a reality. It’s a modest start, but an important one and a foundation we intend to build on. 

‘Working with Wikimedia UK on these new resources has been a fantastic experience and fascinating to combine our different perspectives on social change and develop this Toolkit. It’s never been more important to find new ways to support those who are working to create change in our communities, and we are thrilled to share our tools and approaches with a wider audience. It’s the first step towards a long-held ambition for SMK. Shaan Sangha, Knowledge and Insight Manager, SMK 

The ambition is to add to the Toolkit over time, providing changemakers with a comprehensive library of free campaigning resources. We’d love your feedback on how the Toolkit works for you and what else you would like to see added. You can email us at [email protected] 

Let the change begin.

Rob Abercrombie, Deputy Chief Executive, SMK 

Daria Cybulska, Director of Programmes and Evaluation, Wikimedia UK 

Further information 

The Changemakers Toolkit includes: 

Introduction to Changemaking – Provides an introduction to how change happens and the many routes through which campaigning and activism can have an impact. Covers foundational tools including the Social Change Grid, 12 habits, and introduces the topic of social power. 

Analysing the Problem and Planning for change – Digs further into how to understand the problem you want to address and your solution, using the Problem Tree tool. Introduces approaches to planning campaigns, and identifying your allies and people you need to influence. 

Communication for Change – How to achieve an impact with your communications by understanding who you’re speaking to, what you need to say to connect with them, and how you can reach them. 

Emma Boyd

Emma Boyd is the Head of Marketing and Communications at SMK



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