Yeah, you know what to do to save the world — but it’s going to happen a lot more quickly if others do, too.
Here’s a bunch of tried and tested ways to get other people educated, angry, and active.
Click any of the images to see them at a larger size.
MAKE A JOKE
If humour is your strong suit, we need you now more than ever.
Things that make us laugh spread like wildfire online: you can smuggle important political messages in there, too.
Plus couldn’t we all do with a little more laughter in the world?
Image by Jim Medway
If you’re an artist, charities and campaigning organisations may value your skills over your money.
Could you donate a logo, an illustration or a comic strip to their marketing department, to help them get their point across? If you’re a photographer, could you offer to document their work?
Image by James Wilkinson
Billboards aren’t just for the big multinationals: anyone can display their message in ten foot high lettering above a busy street, if they’re willing to pay for it (and provided that message is legal!).
Or why not send your words all over town, on the side of a bus, like Stonewall did? Crowdfunding could help you raise the money.
Image by Hunt Emerson
SHOUT TO THE STREET
Use your window as a political billboard.
Share your beliefs with the postman, visitors, and passers-by.
Many organisations, charities and causes offer posters that you can request by mail or print out directly from their websites.
Image by Joanna Neary
Art speaks loudly. Painting a picture, making a movie, creating a song, a comic or a performance is a very direct way to the heart, and thence the minds, of society.
Image by Soizick Jaffre
Our parents wrote to the letters page of their local press.
These days, with online space to fill, many publications are happy to accept high-quality thought pieces from the public.
For local issues, approach your regional press and get your community onside. For national issues, go big.
Image by Keijo Ahlqvist
LEAVE A DEPOSIT
Shop dropping is the opposite of shop-lifting: instead of taking from a store, you leave something.
Slip a note into a jacket pocket, pin a badge onto a lapel, or leave a drawing between the pages of a book: a political message for a future shopper to find.
Works particularly well for spreading the word on issues like sweatshop conditions, the living wage, and undesirable business connections.
This action may contravene the law in some jurisdictions: proceed with caution.
Image by Kate Charlesworth
BE A RAGING GRANNY
Your rampaging days are not over just because you’re a grandparent.
According to Raging Grannies International, “The delights of grannying include: dressing like innocent little old ladies so we can get close to our ‘target’, writing songs from old favourites that skewer modern wrongs, satirising evil-doing in public and getting everyone singing about it[…]. Grannying is the least understood yet most powerful weapon we have.”
This action may contravene the law in some jurisdictions (depending on what you get up to, of course): proceed with caution.
Image by Rachael Ball
PIN A BADGE ON
This tiny action takes your beliefs out into the world, and shows people you’re ready to discuss them. Badges on the lapel? That’s fashion forward, too!
Image by Sean Azzopardi
PUT IT LIVE
We live in modern times — so whether you’re taking part in a protest, witnessing police brutality, or viewing conditions in a refugee camp: get it on film and show an unbiased, unedited picture to the world.
Putting a video on Twitter, Facebook, Periscope, YouTube or Instagram can be the quickest way to get news to spread — and to show the reality of a situation.
This action may contravene the law in some jurisdictions: proceed with caution.
Image by David Baillie
MAKE A NOISE
Campaign, march, demonstrate, use non-violent direct action. Take heart from those who have taken this route before, and who have made change — through history, like Martin Luther King, and in recent times, like the Feminist Library campaign in London.
Image by Una
Sites like Human Rights Watch’s “Call It Out”, Everyday Sexism, Bye Felipe and For Exposure use the simple but effective strategy of collecting real-life instances of bad behaviour (in these cases, hate crimes, sexism and non-payment of artists) and publicising them to the world via a website and Twitter account.
By sharing the incidents you witness, you’re contributing to a public database that holds the nation to account.
Also, it’s pretty simple to copy this model for any other areas of injustice, and set up your own website. One we’ve heard about recently is Beer Sexism, collecting examples of women-unfriendly behaviour in the world of microbreweries.
Image by Apila Pepita Miettinen
The catchier the tune, the more likely it is to spread.
So, what if you wrote a hummable tune that listed all the lies politicians had told, like Chequeado did in Argentina? Or an anthem that got people up and protesting?
If music is your superpower, use it.
Image by Maël Estevez
REFUSE TO SHUT UP
If you’ve been angry six times this week, the next outrage might just start to feel a bit samey – but we’ve got to keep shouting.
You might lose a few Twitter followers, friends might begin to yawn… some things are more important.
Image by Richard Tingley
THROW A HASHTAG OUT THERE
Social media campaigns can be a hugely effective way to get the word out to the masses.
Take inspiration from Movember or the Ice Bucket Challenge. If you need to bone up, there are many many advice guides available online.
Image by Zoe N. Sugg
People love online games and quizzes, so they’re a great way to get a political message across, or to educate people about the detail of a complex issue. If you’re a coder, you could make games for the general good.
Image by Maria Björklund
SWAP THEM OUT
Changing your social media avatar or your mobile ringtone sounds pretty frivolous, doesn’t it?
But these small injections of your political beliefs into everyday situations can spread the word far and wide: every time your phone rings, every time you comment on a thread seen by others.
Image by Tessa Astre
MEME IT UP
If something strikes you as politically outrageous, world-changing or important to know, ain’t nothing like a meme to get it out there.
Visit a site like memegenerator.net, stick it on Twitter or Facebook and bob’s your uncle.
Image by Henri Tervapuro
SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES
Trying to make a better world?
Write a blog as you go about it. Sharing your experiences with the world sets a precedent, and normalises them for the next person thinking of doing the same.
Image by Richy K. Chandler
HAVE YOUR DAY IN COURT
Your government should serve you. If you believe they have gone so badly astray from this path that they are doing actual harm, there is recourse: you can take them to court.
Yes, it takes guts; it takes money too. But it may just save the world. In the US, for example, kids are suing the government over climate change.
Image by Amber Hsu
KICK IT OLD-SCHOOL
Got access to a photocopier or printer? Make a zine, then hand it out at a gig or political meeting. Whee, it’s just like the 80s all over again.
Image by Rachael House
WALK THE STREETS
It’s really easy to organise a march or a demonstration these days, thanks to social media. So, get everyone out on the streets and let’s shout about injustice.
Image by Simon Russell
SPEAK UP AGAINST BULLYING
If you see someone being bullied, online, at work, at school, at home or in public, stand by the victim.
And speak up: report it to your boss, your teachers, the police. If they’re the people doing the bullying, go public. You owe it to everyone.
Image by César Lador
If you’re a great yarn-spinner, tell the first person stories that show the human side of the big issues. They really go straight to the heart.
If you’ve got skills in writing, video or radio, so much the better — and if you haven’t, what better time to learn them?
Image by Jessica Trevino
All artwork on this page is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.