"A loosely organised but sustained campaign in support of a social goal, typically either the implementation or the prevention of a change in society’s structure or values. Although social movements differ in size, they are all essentially collective.

That is, they result from the more or less spontaneous coming together of people whose relationships are not defined by rules and procedures but who merely share a common outlook on society." 


Derek Sivers in his 2010 TED Talk explains the basics on how to start a movement, have a quick look at this video, only 3 minutes long.


Examples of social movements

Black Lives Matter

In 2013 activists Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi created the Black Lives Matter hashtag. It was part of their response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the killing of African-American teen Trayvon Martin. 

Following the killing of George Floyd by a US police officer in May 2020, Black Lives Matter is now a global human rights movement. 




American activist Tarana Burke sparked the Me Too movement in 2006. She wanted to break the silence surrounding sexual assault, rape and harassment, and empower women through empathy and strength in numbers.

In 2017 the ‘Me Too’ hashtag went viral in connection to Harvey Weinstein. The movement has grown to include both men and women of all colors and ages, and aims to support marginalised people and communities.


 Suffragette Movement

In 1903 Emmeline Pankhurst and others, frustrated by the lack of progress, decided more direct action was required and founded the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) with the motto 'Deeds not words'.

Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928) became involved in women's suffrage in 1880. She was a founding member of the WSPU in 1903 and led it until it disbanded in 1918. In 1918 a coalition government passed the Representation of the People Act 1918, enfranchising all men over 21, as well as all women over the age of 30 who met minimum property qualifications.






Social movements closer to home

We Can Move - a social movement in Gloucestershire inspired by Active Gloucestershire 

Greater Manchester Moving is GM’s movement for movement

Get involved in #TogetherWeMove