CD Theory of Change

Creating Democracy is dedicated to building decentralized, democratic movement for collective liberation.

Our vision looking forward a year or two is of 1000 people engaged through 100 small groups of 7-25 people – each small group with the capacity and skills to take action to advance shared plans. We see individuals connected personally as leaders and organizers with our movement in an ongoing way, feeling inspired knowing their voice is essential, growing together and growing the power and capacity of our movement exponentially. This would include small groups who are members and leaders of existing organizations as well as new groups who are coming together in part to participate in this movement building project.

Our strategy is guided by our response to the question, What do organizers need to build a self-organizing, sustainable, scalable movement for collective liberation? And what is Creating Democracy’s role in advancing this vision? Our thoughts fall into these three primary areas:

1. Sharing Organizing and Movement Building Skills - If everyone is an organizer, we need to make an organizer’s skill set available to everyone. Making decisions together, running our own groups, building accountable relationships across race, class, and gender that promote learning over shaming, and advancing our ability to self-govern all require ongoing learning, practice, and support.

Beyond the nuts and bolts of organizing, we need to support one another in identifying barriers to movement building and working to overcome them. Grounding ourselves in the values of collective liberation, understanding the context of our individual organizing, learning the history of our movements, thinking critically about issues, and exploring our own power and privilege and the intersectionality of identities will strengthen our movement and impact our choices in everything from fundraising plans to communication to issues and actions that we prioritize.

2. Building Loving Movement Culture - In order to grow and sustain our movement for the long haul, we need to support healthy, positive, inclusive, loving movement culture rooted in collective liberation that is both aspirational and relevant to people’s everyday lives and needs. We need to welcome people from wherever they are on their journey while also clearly and lovingly holding ourselves accountable to our vision of collective liberation and ending oppression.

3. Creating Democratic Structure - Our work to strengthen skills, consciousness, and culture all come together through a structure that ties many small groups into a movement whole that can make democratic decisions and take collective, strategic action. The power that we build through our numbers, our shared values and desire for change is only as strong as our ability to make good decisions together. In order to advance our own means of self-governance, or even effectively participate in civic life such as it is today, we first have to learn to share power and exercise real democratic decision making together.

Creating Democracy’s primary role is facilitating, initiating, developing and holding this structure alongside our group members.

Creating Democracy wants to build our infrastructure as a movement with small groups at the foundation who can self-organize and come together in ongoing ways. We envision a network of hundreds of small groups that connect through a shared platform that allows our movement to expand easily as interest and capacity grows and to scale up and act collectively when the need arises without having to build each time from the ground up.

We also imagine an opportunity for existing organizations with large memberships to partner with Creating Democracy either through smaller cohorts or committees who join and represent the larger organization, or who apply Creating Democracy’s strategy to their own internal structure. For example, an organization of 2000 members might invite their membership to organize themselves into smaller groups of 25 people each who begin to have a larger role in collectively directing and implementing the organizing of the organization.

Towards this end, Creating Democracy will operate on a membership model, supported by small group members, who in turn will receive access to infrastructure for communication, membership support, and small and large group decision making.