How To Be a Powerful Campaigner: What I Learned From Christina Adane
Last month, Bite Back co-chair Christina shared what she’s learned about launching amazing campaigns in a new MiniMasterclass from Future Advocacy. In these five-minute videos, CEO Olly Buston interviews successful campaigners and communicators on how they create change.
Christina is a powerful young advocate with a track record of inspiring campaigns — like the one where she got 500,000 signatures on a petition calling for free school meals to be provided throughout the holidays and inspired Marcus Rashford’s campaign. She was named one of the BBC’s top 100 inspiring and influential women in 2020, and was a guest on the first-ever podcast by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. As co-chair of Bite Back 2030, she leads a youth movement to fix the food system, and she has won politicians, charities and other young people over to her cause.
Here’s what I learned from watching her video.
It’s ok to still be learning
You’re never going to know everything because knowledge is infinite. Every campaign that you do is a chance to expand your horizons and learn something you didn’t know before. It’s also a chance to teach people things, or to learn together.
A really important example of this is child hunger. Lots of people think that child hunger is a result of parents’ failure — but most children in poverty actually have working parents, often in more than one job.
If you can have a conversation with people, understand what they think, and share your perspective, then you can all learn together and start fighting for change on the bigger issues.
Not everyone is Greta Thunberg — and that’s ok
It’s easy to see people who do the big stuff, like speaking at events and to worry that you’ll never be able to campaign like that. But we can all get involved more quietly in the small stuff — volunteering in our communities, organising your friends to take action on something you care about or talking to different people about their experiences. It might be small in scale, but that kind of work can have the biggest impact.
Don’t compare yourself to Greta Thunberg or feel intimidated by people who have a bigger platform. You are just as important and just as capable of changing the world.
Remember why you care
When you want to change something, other people might not always see why. It’s really hard to keep fighting when powerful adults tell you you’re wrong or that things can’t change. So try to remember why your issue is so important to you, and don’t give up on winning people over. Being different means you can imagine a different world — one that might be better for everyone.
If you want to learn how young people can change the world, watch Christina’s MiniMasterclass and start thinking about how you’d like the world to be different.
Written by Anna Lewis