Netroots UK 2012 workshops listing

The workshop programme forms the core of Netroots UK, with a choice of sessions ranging from small practical tutorials through to large campaign strategy discussions.

Thanks to everyone who’s sent in ideas and suggestions for workshop sessions, and volunteered to help present them. We’re pretty much finished with this list now, but will be making any more updates to this page if we get them, so check back for the latest.

Morning session (11am-12:30pm)

The new ground rules for activism
The last years have seen a flourishing of new groups and new methods of organising, online and off. What ideas are likely to be sustainable? What has worked in getting wider engagement? And what can we expect to see in this space in the next couple of years?
Chair: Rowenna Davis (journalist and councillor) Speakers: Paul Mason (Journalist and author of “Why it’s kicking off everywhere” – global economic crises pending!), Naomi Colvin (Occupy activist), Adam Ramsay (Bright Green), Marie Campbell (38 Degrees), Dani Paffard (UK Uncut).

Campaign strategy
Learn new techniques to plan and structure your campaign, which will help you attract and engage as many people as possible. A session for people new to organising campaigns, or who want to learn more structured approaches to it.
Facilitators: Mary Rickles (Netroots Nation), Duane Raymond (Fairsay)

The 84%: Starting the digital fight back
Cuts have resulted in massive unemployment for women, 193,000 out 231,000 made redundant since they came into effect, are women. This has been given little to no airplay by traditional media. How do we use digital channels to bring make the 84% a mainstream issue?
Chair: Donna Govan (UNISON)
Speakers: Rowan Davies (Mumsnet), Cath Elliott (blogger and activist), Diana Holland (Unite)

Fighting the cuts through the courts
So far, the main victories against the government’s cuts have come through the courts. Find out how to put together a legal challenge to frontline cuts, what to expect from lawyers, judges, and legal costs. Essential for everyone fighting or facing local cuts or privatisation.
Chair: Kate Belgrave (False Economy)
Speakers: Lee Godfrey (Save Surrey Libraries Campaign), James Beecher (Keep Our NHS Public), Melanie Close (Disability Equality Northwest)

More roadblocks: Defending the NHS from the inside
What can activists do to resist and stop damaging changes to NHS services locally? Learn about new structures and organisations that are being created, and how you can get involved. Want to stop your local services being privatised? The UK’s Netroots can help.
Chair: Ellie Mae O’Hagan (writer and activist) Speakers: Richard Blogger (NHS blogger), Caroline Molloy (Stroud Keep Our NHS Public)

Digital activism surgery
Wanting some guidance on how to improve your campaign’s use of social media and digital tools? Bring your campaign ideas, projects and problems and talk them through with us and with each other. Space is very limited for this session and will be allocated in advance or first come first served on registration.
Laurence Durnan (Political Scrapbook), Saira O’Mallie (

The one minute, one take smartphone news report
This practical tutorial session will show you how to use your mobile phone to plan, shoot and distribute effective video news reports. Space is very limited for this session and will be allocated in advance or first come first served on registration.
Tutors: Marc Barto (visionOntv), more tbc

Afternoon session (2pm-3.30pm)

How can the Netroots keep up the pressure over the NHS?
The NHS has been a divisive and damaging issue for the coalition. What can be done to maintain the pressure that has been created, and hold the government accountable for their decisions over the rest of this parliament and at the next election?
Chair: Sunny Hundal (Liberal Conspiracy)
Speakers: Clive Peedell (Doctor and campaigner), Eoin Clarke (blogger and activist), Tim Street (UK Uncut), David Babbs (38 Degrees tbc), Prof Clare Gerada (Royal College of GPs)

More effective online campaigns
A practical training session, with tips from experienced campaigners on how to give your online campaigns and actions greater impact. How can you use free social media research tools to find out how people will react to your campaign? What makes a campaign action more effective? How can you use email better to mobilise as much support as possible?
Chair: Kat Segal (
Speakers: Matthew Cain (Trufflenet), Saira O’Mallie ( and Georgia Warren (Blue State Digital)

Are we seeing the end of Internet freedom, and what does this mean for protest and politics?
Our digital rights are under threat from government snooping and corporate greed, putting at risk the very channels we use for our activism. How is this happening and what can we do about it?
Chair: Jim Killock (Open Rights Group)
Speakers: Jenny Ricks (ActionAid), others tbc

How can we fight against increasing attacks on the right to choose?
We’ve seen a rise in levels and intensity of anti-choice activism, mobilised online and through a hostile media, including hacking attacks and protest outside clinics and harassment of women using them. How can the pro-choice majority use online to find new allies, get our voices heard and respond to government proposals to limit abortion rights?
Chair: Scarlet Harris (TUC)
Speakers: Katie Curtis (Abortion Rights), Kerry Johnson (Bloomsbury Pro Choice Alliance), Lisa Hallgarten (Education for Choice/Brook)

Hyperlocal media and campaigning online
How can we make better use of digital tools to network our local communities, raising awareness and building organisation and action on the issues that affect us?
Chair: Sarah Hartley (Talk About Local)
Speakers: Adam Bienkov (journalist and blogger), Theresa Musgrove (Barnet blogger), Annette Albert (W14), James Hatts (SE1)

Getting your group online with WordPress
Need a website for your branch, campaign or community? Learn the basics in building, managing and promoting a site yourself with the versatile free platform Space is very limited for this session and will be allocated in advance or first come first served on registration.
Tutor: Ben Furber (Web designer/developer)