We supported the London Renters Union in their campaign for renters' rights during the 2022 local election campaigns. The campaign was highly successful, winning pledges from multiple boroughs to implement demands from LRU's Housing Justice Charter.
Technical assistance helped LRU's organisers to set up, configure, redesign and extend a stack of tools that made the petitioning campaign possible, and operate as efficiently as possible.
We translated organisers' campaign needs into technical feature and data requests with the developers of the petition tool. We also configured an automations suite, across n8n.io and Airtable, to match petition signatures to members. This introduced a feedback loop that allowed LRU to monitor the campaign throughout London and adjust their phone-banking to be more effective and strategic.
In early 2022 we conducted a Research and Discovery project for the international climate justice organisation 350.org.
We investigated how they might migrate their complex digital estate to WordPress’ Gutenberg editor. This involved embedding ourselves within their product team, facilitating stakeholder interviews, reviewing their past progress towards migration, conducting a thorough audit of their sites and trialling our proposed migration approach locally.
At the end of this process, we prepared a report with our recommended approach, breakdown of our proposed phases (including how to approach the internal communications, research, training and development) and an assessment of potential risks and how to mitigate them.
The Game Worker Solidarity Project maps and documents collective movements by game workers striving to improve their working conditions.
The site is a living resource full of tactics, materials and ideas, plotted geographically and chronologically. You can search the archive by location, type of action, company or union. Anyone can submit an action to the archive, access the full dataset or contribute to the project.
Identity design by Shauna Buckley.
The Left Book Club is a non-profit membership organisation founded in 1936 to oppose war, inequality and fascism. Today they support political education, by publishing radical writing and encouraging its members to organise reading groups.
We worked with LBC to replatform them to a modern website, membership and payments stack that fit their subscription model (Wagtail and Stripe) including ongoing technical support.
We also supported them to design and iterate on a community strategy and trained them on meetup facilitation, through weekly coaching calls. As part of these experiments we set up a Circle.so community forum and set up single sign-on for members to their website.
GoodGym is a network of people across the UK who get fit by doing good. They are an accessible and welcoming community that helps people get involved with volunteering in their local area.
We worked with them to reflect upon and deepen their membership offering. This included user research, stakeholder interviews, usability testing and strategic consultancy. We continue to work as an embedded product team within their organisation, helping them improve the user experience and interface design of their app.
StopWatch campaigns against the over-policing of marginalised communities, with a primary focus on stop and search. They take a research-based approach to act against injustice, campaign for evidence-based policies, hold the police force to account, and empower marginalised communities.
We designed and developed their new website, which makes it easier for anyone to learn about these issues, access holistic support and share their experiences.
Illustrations by Luci Pina.
We worked with the think tank Autonomy to create a toolkit of worker’s inquiries.
Transform your Work is a collection of approaches, step-by-step guides and historical examples of worker organising. People can use these tools to understand the power dynamics of their own workplaces, in order to start organising to change them.
Supported by the Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust.
Green New Deal Rising is a movement of young people fighting for climate justice. We worked with them to create a simple yet distinctive visual identity that captures their energy and optimism.
In collaboration with Autonomous Design Group.
We worked with the Smart Forests researchers from the University of Cambridge to create a living archive and virtual field site exploring how digital technologies are transforming forests.
The Atlas consists of four wayfinding devices: Logbooks, Map, Radio and Stories. This layered interface is designed to weave together a broad range of content from interviews to sensor data, soundscapes, and images. The Atlas platform provides tools for researchers, stakeholders and publics to gather, explore, analyse, annotate, reflect on and reimagine smart forest knowledges and technologies.
Launching in October 2022.
The mission of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation is to inspire action and change to solve UK poverty. At the moment, they do a mix of traditional think tank work, supporting cultural and third sector initiatives, co-designing policies with people with lived experience of poverty, online campaigning, supporting grassroots organisations, and working in coalition with other charities and foundations.
We collaborated with them to explore what roles they might play within this movement ecosystem. Our goal was to find new ways to surface their work online, through a research and rapid prototyping. These prototypes explored how to directly link research and policy recommendations to campaigning and building power in communities affected by poverty.
We worked with Zetkin Foundation to design their white-label Supporter app. This project began as a joint venture between three Scandinavian left parties: Enhedslisten, Sosialistisk Venstreparti and Vänsterpartiet. The app provides people with simple ways to get involved with each party in the lead up to their respective elections.
The goal of the project is to make getting involved in activism fun and accessible. Each person is given a few tasks to complete every day. As they complete tasks and demonstrate their commitment, they are given more complex and important tasks to do. We added fun illustrations and features like streaks, celebrations and satisfying user interface interactions, to make engaging with the app feel like playing a game.
Airsift is part of a larger research project called Citizen Sense, which investigates the relationship between technologies and practices of environmental sensing and citizen engagement.
We worked with them to develop the new Airsift platform, which allows local groups to document their observations, analyse data from air quality monitors, and collect these into data stories.
Just Treatment is a patient-led organisation campaigning to ensure everyone has fair access to high quality healthcare.
We worked with them on their new NHS New Deal campaign. The campaign calls for proper funding for our NHS, support for doctors and nurses, and putting the health of patients above the interests of big corporations.
The website offers an entry point for people to get involved in their people-powered campaign. From there, Just Treatment organisers can connect with these people directly, suggest ways for them to take action and put pressure on politicians to meet their demands.
United Voices of the World is a grassroots trade union of low paid, migrant and precarious workers.
Since May 2020, we worked with them to establish a new digital system for their casework. The goal was to help improve their working processes and assist them in scaling up their operations.
We also helped migrate them to Zetkin, a platform for activism and relational organising.
Supported by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung.
Over the past few years, we’ve worked in collaboration with Zetkin Foundation on their platform for organising activism. Building upon the research we did in 2020 with United Voices of the World, we helped them with the user experience and interface design of a new feature called Journeys.
This feature enables organisers to track their members through different pathways, such as casework or onboarding. Once an organiser starts a member on a Journey, they can collaborate with the rest of their organisation to add notes, emails and other attachments, complete milestones and add tags.
The new generation app is currently being tested with a select group of users. Get in touch with Zetkin if you're interested in a demo.
Peace Insight is an online platform for local analysis, insight and mapping on peacebuilding around the world.
We designed and developed a new website that highlights the stories of local peacebuilders. The new website allows for more content discovery and cross-linking between sections, weaving theoretical techniques of peacebuilding into stories about these techniques in action.
Since 2020, we have consulted with members of Novara Media on technical and organisational issues, drawing on our experience in software, start-ups and self-organisation in the radical left and cooperative movements.
In their own words: "We've worked with Common Knowledge on technical roadmapping, organisational consultation and much in between. For us, their unique value is in their attentiveness and respect towards our organisation's ethos, ambitions, idiosyncracies and limitations. Whatever conundrum you're trying to work through: they get you. At every level throughout our work together, we really felt that Common Knowledge were invested in helping us succeed in our aims, and they've become our go-to collaborators on a range of operational projects."
The World Transformed is an annual political education festival. Due to coronavirus, they ran their month-long 2020 festival entirely online.
We supported them by converting their existing "read-only" website to be more interactive. This included building new functionality to enable attendees to log in and RSVP to events.
We also advised them on how to make the shift to a digital-first event, and contributed to their Brave New Digital World stream.
Visual identity by Robbie Blundell.
We designed and developed the website and identity for Claim the Future, a project initiated by John McDonnell MP.
Claim the Future aims to respond to the economic and political upheaval caused by the pandemic by uniting the left behind a radical and optimistic vision of the future. The project links strategy with campaigning and action on the ground, bringing together a broad range of political actors to start imagining and building the future together.
We updated the Vent Your Rent site to support Generation Rent's campaign to protect renters affected by coronavirus.
The new version of site asks renters to share details about their rental situation, in order to build an evidence base, raise the public profile of renters' issues and lobby policy-makers.
We plotted these stories on a map, to assure renters that they were not alone and that others near them were also struggling.
Nurses United is a new grassroots network of nurses supporting nurses in the UK.
We worked with them to establish their brand identity, develop their website and set up their digital organising ecosystem.
Progressive International unites, organises, and mobilises progressive forces around the world.
We designed their new identity and website to help them communicate their ambitious vision and build the network further. The website allows their members to publish and distribute articles, events, toolkits and policies in multiple languages.
In collaboration with Robbie Blundell.
We worked with London Renters Union on their Can’t Pay Won’t Pay campaign.
This campaign focussed on building renter power during the pandemic, identifying and providing support to those at risk of eviction, and lobbying local and national government to cancel rent debt and ban Section 21 evictions permanently.
Working within their existing technical architecture, we built two iterations of a custom tool that allowed people to join the campaign, understand their legal rights, find advice and resources to help them and read stories from other renters.
Common Knowledge interviewed a range of Labour Party staff, elected representatives and activist members as a contribution to the Labour Together 2019 election review, and contributed to editorial discussions between April and June.
Our research is documented in a two subsidiary reports that were used to inform the main publication released on 19th June. They analyse the Labour Party's organisational structures, ground operations and digital technology and look at attempts to bring community organising to the party.
Ahead of the 2019 General Election, we worked with the Digital Organising team of the Labour Party to improve disaster recovery of the systems they manage.
Building upon existing documentation, we audited their code, created internal knowledge bases and tested the robustness of system connections. Alongside this, we produced a comprehensive report with our recommendations for improving their development processes in future.
During the 2019 General Election, My Campaign Map helped people find canvassing sessions where they'd be most effective.
Activists could add their own events and explore a nationwide campaign map. It also found nearby travel options and training.
My Plan to Win helped Labour supporters plan their activity during the crucial final weeks of the election campaign.
Activists created a personalised plan by committing to daily tasks. They could then share it with their friends and receive custom email reminders.
Generation Rent campaigns for safe, fair and secure homes for renters.
We built a website to support their National Renters Manifesto campaign during the 2019 General Election. The tool allows people to explore what the renting crisis looks like in their area, add their own experiences of private renting and sign the manifesto.
Movement is a prototype service for people who want to get involved in grassroots activism but don't know how.
We used off the shelf digital tools like WhatsApp to offer recommended first events. We facilitated conversations between first timers and organisers. Participants were grouped by shared interests or concerns so they could begin to organise themselves.