Hooray! You’re taking your first steps towards setting up a Free The Change group, and connecting with an emerging Scottish network. You're on your way to creating the world we all deserve.
To make it easy to get going, we’ve sketched out two invitations below for you to adapt.
One to ask someone to co-initiate with you (setting the scene and describing what co-initiation entails).
- Another that both co-initiators can adapt, to invite a maximum of 8 more group members.
You'll also find our video, postcard and other tools below to help you spread the word - or to kickstart multiple groups through an organisation. Nothing on this page is sacred. Do what works for you. And if you prefer to think away from the computer, you'll find a simple worksheet here to print out and get you started offline with a few useful questions.
As far as possible, everyone who eventually joins your group will be committing to take part as a co-host. This means the practical responsibility for arrangements and everyone’s wellbeing will be equally shared.
Co-initiators are just the (wonderful) people who take responsibility for the very first meet-up. And since you don’t know how it’s going to go, you’ll be giving each other a bit of moral and practical support.
Don’t have a co-initiator? Don't let it stop you.
Who ELSE to invite
There’s no right answer to this. Your Free The Change group could include:
- Friends who are exploring change on a range of issues.
- People who share and care about your street/neighbourhood.
- Further-flung contacts in your social network who can meet by video.
- Parents and grandparents who could rotate responsibility for a creche.
- Gender-specific groups - e.g. only other men, only other women, or other gender identities.
- Colleagues - a single team or radically inclusive. (You may want extra agreements about what’s safe to say).
- People from your church, mosque or other faith group.
Gathering different kinds of active or wannabe changemaker (age, gender, background, interest) can help everyone see themselves as part of a bigger picture - which can be great for sustaining ourselves and making powerful new connections. But if you’re more likely to get going with people you know, trust or share a social concern with, don't hold back - that’s fine too.
CASCADE invitationS - FOR SHARED OWNERSHIP
Want to form a more diverse group?
And/or make sure no single person (e.g. you) gets labelled the “leader”?
We want you to take part in your Free The Change group as easily and enjoyably as everyone else. But it can be hard for others to take equal ownership if you're seen as the lynchpin that's brought everyone together. That's why we recommend using a "cascade invitation". In other words: share out responsibility for choosing who to invite - and you’ll be supported from the get-go.
Don't have a co-initiator? Use the 1 x 2 x 2 invitation instead.
Co-initation (2 x 2 x 1 cascade)
Solo initiation (1 x 2 x 2 cascade)
Got space in your group?
Let us know if you're open to welcoming other people in your area when you register your group.
CASCADE INVITATIONS - FOR DIVERSITY
Free The Change is designed to be completely inclusive to anyone who wants to help create a fairer, more sustainable world, society or community - whatever their level of experience.
If you actively want to embrace diversity, think about finding a co-initiator you know and like, but who comes from a different walk of life, background or perspective to you. Then, if you choose to use a cascade invitation, each of you can invite two other people from different paths again. Finally they can each invite someone else of another background/perspective etc. Think about people from different communities, professions, genders, faith or age groups (older as well as younger). Think friends, colleagues, elders, teachers, teenagers, neighbours, artists, scientists. Anyone who sees themselves as part of the world’s problems and its solutions - and might want a bit of extra support freeing the change inside.
Not getting a response?
Free The Change groups only work if everyone is there because they want to be. If someone’s not getting back to you, graciously find out why - but don't push someone to join who doesn't respond readily. We all send messages by not replying sometimes.
Setting a time and place
Free the Change conversations grow from one meet-up to the next. So it’s ideal to aim for a time and place that people can commit to for several months. Once you’ve collectively agreed a general time-slot, we recommend using Doodle - a free, super-easy online scheduler - to nominate and let people select all the specific meet-up times they can manage. Give people a deadline to respond, and gently chase them up if needed. Then decisively confirm the best meet-up dates - perhaps up to six ahead.
Meeting by video
Gathering with a dispersed group? Check out our Video Meet-ups: Easy Guide & Helpful Tips
Promoting Free The Change To A Larger Group
Want to tell your whole group (trade union branch, sixth form, congregation, club etc) about Free The Change?
Use the simple interactive promotion tool below. It can be used to promote Free The Change over 5 minutes to one hour - as a pre-curser to inviting people to smaller-group Taster Sessions.
POWERPOINT / KEYNOTE SLIDESHOWS
If you're introducing the Free The Change concept in a formal setting, these Powerpoint presentation/slideshows (which also open in Keynote for Mac) may be helpful. Tip: use the forward/backward arrows on your keyboard to reveal bullet points when in Presenter view. Skip over or delete slides to make it as accessible as possible for your group.
A simple intro to Free The Change