Intersection between organizational goals and actions against Trump

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How to enable productive coalition building across communities with differing politics

Participants’ focus

  • Debt collective
  • Artists making living while also being socially engaged
  • Coding for science and society
  • Free software
  • Environmental justice community

Big Questions

  • How do we not try to solve everything at once?
  • How do we create an economy of time/energy that keeps us from burning out?
  • How do we participate in politics beyond personal belief and across strong ideological difference?
  • How do I deal with dissent? How do I bridge divides?
  • How do we bridging the development space and progressive movement?

The participants in the group came to this session curious to learn about coalition building and where they might start. So, we created a list of what we think we would need to build coalitions.

What we need for a coalition to work


  • A desire for a goal (for or against) that is greater than the differences in the room that divide us
  • Understanding of how bad things are in other places
  • A clear commitment of what we are against / a clear commitment of what we are for (in the context of the context of this coalition – we may not agree in other areas)
  • Determine the bridges we need to build first
  • Common project that enables a shared value
  • Understanding long and short term goals
  • Be able to differentiate the difference between general collaboration and a coalition build task force that is based on a specific project


  • Commitment to an explicit document/principles for working (with protocols, behaviors, tools, etc)
  • Creating a system and culture for people to ask for things when they need them
  • Systems for participants to help deal with dissent. (How do I bridge divided views?)
  • Human connection
  • Efficiency
  • Clear context that allow us to build connection across difference
    • Young/old, tech/nonprofit, left/right, etc
  • Enable systems to teach new incoming people (skill share, shadow, mentorship)
  • Facilitation that fosters shared systems of communication and builds capacity to communicate going forward
  • Economic model of time/energy/intention that we can share to get our work done
  • Reciprocity
  • Practices that enable survival of the individuals and the collective

Resources that we wish for?

  • Tools to mobilize people who care (a shared document or system)
  • A map of how to have a conversation on common ground
  • Template with key categories for groups to build a coalition (goals, what we want to solve, what we are for/against, commitment, etc)
  • Tips and tools for working through conflict
  • If not then that (not that) map to determine if and how to build a coalition