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Power Shift: Online Training for Change 2020

A two week online training open to all young people who want to shift power from big business and elites to people who believe that another world is possible. 8 - 22 July

Every year Power Shift brings together student organisers from across Europe. We aim to strengthen networks, share experience and gain or sharpen tools to campaign for social justice within universities. We’ve decided that although we can’t come together physically as we usually do, we’re bringing Power Shift online.

Universities aren’t working as we are used to and some of these changes might be longer-lasting, but that makes it more important than ever to re-group, to think creatively and strategically. We can’t afford to lose sight of what we continue to work towards in the long-term. Workers’, migrant and climate justice are at the very heart of the world we must build from here - join us in collective struggle for that future.

Power Shift 2020 will be a two week series of digital workshops, events and other opportunities to build radical student networks. Join us to talk media, campaign strategy, facilitation skills, direct action and so much more. Registration information is below.


Why join Power Shift?

Before the pandemic hit, the past year was rocked with mass uprisings against the neoliberal order. From Chile to Iraq to France, hundreds upon thousands - students prominent among them - rose up demanding a different kind of world.

The pandemic has dragged injustice into even starker light. The most precarious workers have been abandoned in favour of big business, while those in healthcare toil to plug the gaping holes left by austerity. Conditions in refugee camps and detention centres make a farce of social distancing. Meanwhile, the same governments that have abandoned people year after year, telling us there is no money for our schools, our hositals, our communities, that migrants are the real threat to jobs and services - those same governments find an endless pool from which to bail fossil fuel companies out of their current plummet.

Now we are urged to return to business as usual. We have already begun to refuse. Unions are agitating - not only for their own members' safety, but for the closure of the detention and deportation estate. Renters have moved to strike at unprecedented scale. Black Lives Matter protesters have thrown a slave trader in the river, and are demanding the abolition of the police. Everywhere, political organisers are thinking hard about what to fight for, and how. We can't just take the beaten track, because there isn't one. We have to hold on to all the things we've fought for, and open up new paths.

To win, our organising needs to be strategic, creative and coordinated - and it needs to take root everywhere.

Join us at Power Shift to strengthen the fight at your university.

what will your power shift look like?

Individual Tickets

Individual tickets are now available (see below for description of threads and for booking individual campaign workshops).

Please note all events are free, but if you would like to donate to the costs of Power Shift 2020, you can do so here. 

July 8th  4pm Map of Injustice (CORE) Register here

July 9th 4pm Power and Privilege in organising spaces (CORE) Register here

July 10th  1.30pm Transformative Facilitation Thread 1Register here

July 11th 4pm Fishbowl: The Pandemic University as Battleground (CORE) Register here

July 12th  4pm Campaign Strategy Threads 1 & 4  Register here

July 13th 4pm  Building a Sustainable Group Threads 1& 2 Register here

July 14th  1.30pm Campaign Strategy Threads 2 & 3 Register here

July 15th  1.30pm Burn Out and Collective Care Threads 1 & 4 Register here

July 15th   4pm Research for Campaigns Threads 2& 4 Register here

July 16th 1.30pm Escalation Threads 3&4 Register here

July 16th 4pm Know Your Rights Threads 2&3 Register here

July 17th  4pm University Governance Structures Threads 2&4 Register here

July 18th  4pm Press Threads 3&4   Register here

July 19th 1.30pm Digital Security/Online Actions Thread 4  Register here

July 19th 4pm Action Planning Threads 2&3 Register here

July 20th 1.30pm pm Social Media Threads 2&3 Register here

July 20th 4pm Working with Student Unions Threads 1&4 Register here

July 21st 4pm Building A Movement Threads 1 and 3 Register here

July 22nd 4pm Final  Event (CORE) Register here


Thread Tickets

We've arranged the Power Shift programme into 'Threads' to help you get the training that suits your experience and needs, without the schedule being too packed.

Every thread includes 5 Core Sessions that we strongly recommend for everyone.  The introductory video will give you all the information you need for the event. The Mapping Injustices (8 July) and Pandemic University as Battleground fishbowl discussion  (11 July) sessions will provide a structural understanding of issues that the two weeks of campaign and skills workshops will build on. The Power and Privilege (9 July) session will ensure you approach the rest of Power Shift, as well as future organising, in a way that is reflective and doesn't impinge on others' space to learn.

Every thread also includes 5 Socials, where we hope to be able to hang out together a little bit and build friendships!

Once you pick your Thread, you will need to register via one of the links below. Please only register for ONE thread.

Thread 1: Building or Rebuilding a Strong Group
The first and most on-going step of organising is building your core group. If you're new to organising, and wondering how to begin, this thread will help you build a strong base for a powerful campaign. If you have quite a lot of experience, but your group is struggling with capacity, burn-out or effective collaboration, these are vital tools to help you rebuild.

Register for Thread 1

Thread 2: Core Toolkit
If you're looking for an all-round boost to kick-start your campaign, this thread is for you. This is a comprehensive toolkit of core skills and concepts - from research and understanding university governance structures to action planning and social media. 

Register for Thread 2

Thread 3: Lobbying Stalemate
Has your campaign hit a rut? Are you looking for new angles? When discussions with decision-makers are stagnating, it may be time to think about new action-focused strategy. It's often necessary to back our arguments with a harder push. This thread will build your confidence to escalate pressure through action as well as building broad support through your university.

Register for Thread 3

Thread 4: Introduce more strategy
Has your group been going for a bit, but you feel there isn't enough focus? Maybe there are ideas, but it's hard to put them into practice - or you're involved in a lot of things but they don't seem to build in one particular direction. Here are some tools for targeted planning and ways to ensure you move systematically towards your goals - and win!

Register for Thread 4

Campaign Tickets

Alongside the threads, we will also be delivering workshops for each of our Fossil Free, Undoing Borders and Sweatshop Free campaigns. Following each workshop will be a 'campaign chat' - an opportunity for organisers involved in the campaign at different universities to put their heads together and share experience, as well as strategise for future collaboration.

You will need to register for these separately from the threads. You can register for as many of these as you like.

Register for Sweatshop Free Workshop and Chat 
Register for Undoing Borders Workshop and Chat 
Register for Fossil Free Workshop and Chat 

Everyone is welcome - and fossil free organisers are particularly encouraged - to join the Climate Campaigns democracy session, Where Next for Climate Campaigns, a discussion of proposals for the future of the climate change campaigns. People & Planet is a democratic organisation, in which students themselves shape our strategy. Even if you don't want to input yourself, it's valuable experience to listen in a national strategising discussion, and a sense of how a campaign might make fresh plans in changing circumstances.

Register for Climate Campaigns Democracy Session

help us make power Shift Free

This year, because it's online, we're delighted to be able to deliver Power Shift for free

However, it will still cost money to arrange and deliver. If it's possible for you, we would hugely appreciate a solidarity donation in place of ticket price. There will be a donation link on the eventbrite when you register. To give you a rough sense of how you might support us: each workshop will cost us around £3 for each person. Please donate to cover as much of your attendance as feasible for you - but of course come to all the sessions you can, regardless of what you have donated!

what will you need for power Shift?

Usually, we would ask you to bring camping equipment. 

This year, you'll need a bit of simple tech instead. All Power Shift workshops will be conducted on Zoom. You don't need to download the software on your laptop, you can just click the invitation links you will receive once you register. It's pretty simple to use, but we will give a basic intro to the various buttons and functions at the start of every workshop in the first week. You can also check out their video tutorials or information on their website beforehand if you are more comfortable doing so. We will someone offering tech support for each workshop, to help resolve any of your issues with connectivity, sound or tools.

If possible, we recommend that you use a laptop rather than a tablet or phone to join the workshops, so you can make the most of the participatory tools of our workshops. We also recommend that you use earphones.

Our workshops are all designed to be participatory, and encourage learning from each other, so please do try to set aside time and focus to join in. Of course, we recognise that people have unavoidable calls on their attention, and we'll adjust to your needs - particularly caring responsibilities. We're working to make workshops accessible - let us know your particular access needs on the eventbrite registration, and any ways we can support you.

Keep a notebook and pen handy, and keep an eye out for your Power Shift Journal! Everyone who registers by 28 June should receive a physical copy in the post, and others by email.