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Activate 2023: Sara El-Amine

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When progressive social change meets digital advocacy, real wins happen. Whether you are a digital director at an advocacy organization, a content writer at a political party, an organizer at a labour union, or a senior leader looking to expand into the digital space, Activate  is for you. Join us from June 7 – 11 .

One of our speakers, Sara El-Amine, took the time to chat with us as we’re fast approaching Activate 2023!

What industry trends are you following these days and why do they interest you? 

How do we leverage corporate tech money and interests in service of radically progressive policy change? How do we build and support philanthropists who are willing to get more bruised than they are now on behalf of the issues they believe in? How do we truly ensure that we have equal opportunity access to organizing as a career choice? How does our energy show up in our leadership and in team dynamics, and why does that matter for the type of roles you best serve on teams?

What are you reading these days and what insight have you gained ? 

Extreme Ownership (on Navy Seals and management–I hate it on some levels because I’m a pacifist and let’s face it, they LOST the Iraq “war” which is the context for these leadership lessons, but I find it interesting how the authors make basic feminist management principles accessible to white, cis men). Always reading and loving Anand Giridharadas takedowns of philanthropy; am paying VERY close attention to the future of ESG in the corporate world–massive massive openings for organizers to infiltrate and create shared outcomes.

What insights have you gained in your time working in digital organizing/your field? 

We **HAVE** to totally change the way we do corporate advocacy. We’re missing so soo soo soo many opportunities to thank and shame big multi-national entities into really monumentally impactful shifts for our economy and policy landscapes. Separately, we need to do more somatic work in our progressive leadership development.

What have you seen or achieved that you never thought was possible? 

I have seen boardrooms start to make choices that prioritize impact alongside profit, or sacrifice profit on behalf of impact. I think there’s an incredibly, incredibly powerful role that organizers MUST play in this AI revolution in order to re-shape (and kind of trash) capitalism. These are related. We have to get started operating under the same framework to infiltrate different sectors in furtherance of a non-capitalist, AI-powered, progressive future, and we aren’t doing so in a coordinated enough way.

Why are you attending Activate? What are you most looking forward to? 

I can’t wait to listen to sessions and feel where the progressive energy is at. I am excited to absorb some Canadian excellence and levity. I hope I get to run on the beach. I want my three month old baby who will be strapped to me for most of it to absorb some radical vibes 🙂 I want to light some intellectual fires with folks that turn into real normative shifts! Lets go!

What is your WHY? 

I think we must operate like we live in a tiny village and are creating policy for that community. So much of the policy we craft is frustrating and ineffective when rooted in that context. Simple is hard. I work backwards from that imagined village and the values/policies/practices I wish it had to crafty my policy agenda and some of the democratic practices I believe in. Then I play across and within and between sectors to get big things done in new ways, in service of that vision.

What is one thing about you that is not on your LinkedIn profile? 

My husband and I throw epic theme parties basically weekly, and we have built two commune-like communities in Oakland.

If you could have dinner with anyone (could be a fictional character or real person, someone who is alive or dead) who would you want to meet and why?

Kierkegaard, the danish philosopher and theologian. I would want to talk about his ideas of “leaps of faith” in the context of community organizing, among other things!

Join the sharpest digital minds in politics and advocacy campaigns, nonprofit, labour unions and more, from June 7-11th. 

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