How we work
We are independent
ActionStation is independent from any political party, corporate or government influence. Our allegiance is to our issues, our values, and most of all our members. We push friends when they need it, reward traditional opponents when they earn it, and always tell our members the full story.
We are grassroots
ActionStation is of the people, by the people and for the people. Our power and legitimacy comes from the collective action of regular people. We operate on an “outside power theory of change”, because our members are outside the power structure. We don’t depend on being invited in by decision-makers. This approach puts power where it should be: the hands of regular people.
We are member-led
‘People power’ isn’t just a nice slogan at ActionStation: it is ActionStation. It’s why we’re here and how we get things done. Being member-led means being member-funded and therefore accountable only to our members. It also means offering our members the service of helping them work with others to create the change they want to see in the world. Our staff team is responsible for providing excellent strategic guidance, skilful execution and high quality information to our members.
We are nimble
We “chase the energy” for maximum impact. The sweet spot is when “high information” and “high actionability” combine. This often happens unexpectedly and when they come, the energy flow demands we pounce. This means we work in a low bureaucracy environment and we know that done is better than perfect. We have the courage to listen, learn, try – and fail or succeed – try again. We lead from curiosity and openness, rather than having all the answers.
We use full-spectrum campaigning
Our core service to our members is to offer them good strategy and coordinated action to turn each of their many resources into social change. This includes their voice, social networks, money, creativity, reputation, physical presence, vote, and much more.
We are multi-issue
Organisations think in “issue-sectors.” People think in crises, opportunities and values. So we act where there is passion and the potential for change. We aim to “cross pollinate”, i.e. expose folks from one issue to high priority moments in another. We commit to be “movement generous”, we depend on partners and we love to collaborate.
We use digital tools, but are not an “online organisation”
We are a campaigning community that uses digital tools. Technology is a critical tool (this we means we invest in it). But tech is only a tool. We judge tech based on impact.
We build power
Our campaigns are not only designed to get political results, they also build confidence, agency and power in everyday people to take action on the issues they care about and help create the change they want to see in our country. Every campaign strategy must meet one key criteria: how does this build sustained power and capacity in our communities? We do this by training people to become campaign leaders on issues that affect them, their whānau and their communities. In this way we can scale up the capacity and potential for positive change in this country.
We listen deeply
All of our work is built on a foundation of radical listening - our staff team spends many hours every week listening to everyday people in our country, learning what they care about, why they care, and what they want to see happen in our country.
We do this in lots of ways, some as simple as reading and responding to hundreds of emails and thousands of Facebook comments every week, through to hosting focus group discussions on inequality around the country, public workshops/town hall meetings on the future of public broadcasting, and mass story gathering on experiences of the mental health system. All of this listening informs our campaigning by showing us what our community cares about and what is really going on in this country - beyond the headlines and outside of the major centres