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To practice using a campaign planning tool that identifies allies, potential allies, neutral parties and those in opposition to your goal.

Works well with the Pillars of power.

Time: 45 minutes

Materials: Flipchart, various coloured pens

Related tools: Pillars of power


Prepare a flip chart with the social speedometer (below). Practise with the tool on your own beforehand with an example of an issue you’re familiar with.

Social speedometer

A social speedometer diagram. A semi-circle with the following markers: very sympathetic, sympathetic, mildly sympathetic, neutral, mildly unsympathetic, unsympathetic, very unsympathetic


Explain the purpose of the activity, and introduce the tool.

In the whole group, ask participants to identify an issue and state. Encourage the group to state this as a campaign goal in positive terms – FOR something rather than AGAINST.

Ask the group to list all the people and groups involved in this issue. Plot these on the diagram of the social speedometer.

Once actors have been plotted, participants now need to think about these relationships in relation to the campaign goal. The idea is to move actors towards the ‘very sympathetic’ zone.

Invite people to work in small groups of 4-5 thinking about relationships in one of the areas: sympathetic, neutral, unsympathetic.

To help participants think this through, you could ask:

  • Sympathetic: How can you strengthen these relationships?
  • Neutral or mildly sympathetic: How can you move these actors closer to sympathetic?
  • Unsympathetic: Do you want to improve these relationships? How? Who has the power to block your goal? How can you neutralise or counterbalance their power?

Invite the groups to come back into the whole group, and to share a summary of their plans. Ask:

Where did you decide to focus your energies?

On more sympathetic actors? For example to build the movement.

On unsympathetic? If you have the resources and strength to engage directly with these actors.


How was that?

How useful was the tool?

How will you use the tool in future?

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