Rebel Next Steps Pack
Great stuff! You are moving along steadily! This Handbook is for the Rebel who has already read the Rebel Starter Pack. It's an onboarding tool for Rebels who want to know more about XR, how the movement is structured and how to get Rebelling. This handbook has been put together by the UK Rebel Pathway Team.
- An introduction to finding your place in XR
- Support for you
- Will I be included?
- Where can I get support?
- How we expect Rebels to behave
- How do we protect each other?
- Healthy Teams
- Technology is your Friend
- ACTION Rebel
- Nonviolent Direct Action NVDA
- Legal Rights for Rebels (Informed Dissent)
- Other trainings for Action Rebels
- GRASSROOTS Rebel
- MOVEMENT Rebel
- SUPPORTER Rebel
- Reset TV
An introduction to finding your place in XR
XR Buddy Programme
XR Buddies is a wonderful opportunity for new rebels to develop their support network within the movement.
It's not meant to replace training or orientation; it's a safe space for new rebels to connect and engage with other new rebels and their buddy. This is the link to the Complete Rebel Toolkit Book about the Buddy Programme. You will find it on the Shelf Group Building , in the book 'Welcoming New Rebels'.
The 4-week programme includes:-
- Week 1 - Intro video call
- Week 2 - Why ask questions?
- Week 3 - Regenerative cultures
- Week 4 - Where do we go from here?
Social Media Links
The Power of Social Media
Since the mainstream media refuse to cover the majority of our work, the primary way we can share our message is through social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We use social media to:
It's key to know how we can effectively boost our posts so they are seen by more people. The algorithms on social media are such that the more popular posts appear higher up on the feeds. Thus, the more we interact with posts the more they are seen by people!
A Nervous Rebel's Guide to Social Media
See A Nervous Rebel's Guide to Social Media for sections on each of our main social media platforms, and learn how to make posts more effective. Eg. On Facebook, a comment (even just an emoji) boosts more than a “like.”
XR's key Social Media links
Local Groups - Facebook pages
Please see the 'Join Us' page of the UK website for your Local Group's Facebook page and/or email address.
XR Community Groups - Facebook pages
Please see the 'Join Us' page of the UK website for XR Community Groups's Facebook pages. The Community Groups are listed under the following categories:-
- Equality and Rights
- Intergenerational and Relational
- Land and Housing
- Professions and Skills
- Religions and Faiths
Global Website https://rebellion.global/
DNA of XR
In the Basic Trainings section of the Rebellion Academy, learn about the core theory and strategy behind Extinction Rebellion. How might we achieve social change? This is really important for anyone who is interested in strategy, tactics or the theory on which XR was founded.
In the Basic Trainings section of the Rebellion Academy, this training is about how XR organises, communicates and makes decisions. SOS stands for 'self-organising system', which is the way that Extinction Rebellion is structured.
The UK Strategy Assembly has been set up to draw from the experience and expertise from across the movement with the purpose of co-creating a 2021 Strategy. That is, to draw out our strategic goals for the new year, and provide a framework by which we can design our steps to meet them.
In this book, you will find outlines of the strategy process, inputs, and regular updates of how it is progressing.
Support for you
Everyone needs help and guidance, and this section includes: - information about how we behave towards one another; - help and advice on meeting any needs you may have to ensure you can take part in XR as a Volunteer or Action Rebel; and - information about how we organise and communicate.
Will I be included?
We are everyone
This means we try to build everything about XR in a way that everyone finds it a comfortable and genuinely welcoming place.
On joining XR, we have all agreed to welcome everyone and every part of everyone. Therefore, there is a duty for us to do as much as we can to ensure everyone has access to our resources and that we are welcoming to a diverse range of people.
We cannot be perfect but we want to be better.
Inclusivity and XR
All of our actions should be guided by the XR Principles of Inclusivity. These acknowledge that an inclusive product, service or environment does not exclude any section of society. Inclusive solutions consider all users and participants, including disabled people, and are a positive step towards a holistic, universal system. The principles can be summarised as:-
- Individuals have unique and particular needs in learning, social and campaigning environments.
- Respect each individual’s right to express and present themselves relative to their religion, culture, ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender-identity or identity as disabled people.
- Promote inclusivity by reasonably adjusting procedures, activities and physical environments.
- Focus on the learning or support needs of the individual without assumptions or labels.
- Be inclusive in all forms of communication.
- Serve all with sensitivity, respect, and within boundaries of social justice.
In order to build an inclusive approach towards involving all sections of society in the struggle to highlight the Climate Emergence, all of our actions, meetings, training, workshops and talks should be as inclusive as far as it is possible to make them. If you encounter any problems, please do let us know! This is our failing, not yours.
Before any groups or teams arrange an event that is not inclusive, they need to show that they have made all attempts to make them so and also show any alternatives that were offered or considered. They should also be able to give valid reasons why making their events fully inclusive was not possible.
If you feel that your LOCAL GROUP isn't considering suitable venues and is not working to remove barriers to inclusivity, then please raise this with your regional coordinator.
Will I be welcome in spite of...?
Yes! And often because of, not despite, anything you might worry about.
One of the great things about XR's very 'flat' structure is that we have lots of self-organised Community Groups of people who welcome and support each other. These include:
- local groups, connecting people from similar physical locations;
- faith groups, connecting people based on a shared religious or philosophical belief;
- disability-support groups, connecting people who have individual needs based on their health, bodies or minds;
- affiliate groups, connecting people who are involved in other campaigning movements;
- other support groups connecting people based on their gender identity, sexual identity and other aspects of identity.
There's more information about these Community Groups on another page of this Rebel Next Steps Pack.
Will my physical and mental-health needs be met and protected?
XR has extensive guidance (produced by our Disabled Rebels Network) to help people organising events ensure that they think about and provide for the needs of everyone they can. And by 'events', we mean both Actions and planning meetings!
You can read some of our guidance to organisers here but, if you have particular needs or concerns, please do get in touch with the people organising the particular event that you're interested in.
Current rebels are encouraged to follow the guidance in the book Engaging our Rebels.
Where can I get support?
XR Community Groups
XR Community Groups are a way for rebels to connect and work together through communities of shared self-identity rather than of shared location, for example faith, profession, ethnicity and sexual identity. If you visit the XR Community Groups page of the XR UK website, you will find groups under a wide range of categories:
- Equality and Rights
- Intergenerational and Relational
- Land and Housing
- Professions and Skills
- Religions and Faiths
Trust the People is a movement of community builders that is open to everyone and shares deliberative democratic tools to support local communities in dealing with global crises. Trust the People has a module here on the Rebel Toolkit to help with personal processing: taking time to connect with ourselves, to reflect on who we are, how we act and how we relate to others and the world around us. Using a range of activities, this module seeks to provide opportunities to better understand ourselves by thinking about our identity, our relationship to society, our learnt biases and our needs.
The Personal Processing module includes the following topics:
- Deep Reflection: Understanding Ourselves and Understanding Others
- What Happens In Our Brain When Our Views Are Challenged?
- Power and Privilege
- Reflecting on Identity Privilege
- Personal Visioning
- Building Courage
- Understanding Emotions
- Active Listening
Our Disabled Rebels Network (DRN) works to help and guide XR in ensuring that we plan for and meet the needs of Rebels with physical or mental-health needs. You can contact them on Facebook or by email.
The DRN provides extensive resources for organisers, and you can see some of it here. If you have particular needs or concerns for a particular event, please do contact the event organisers. If you experience any problems, particularly problems that have the effect of excluding you from taking part, please do report these to the event organisers and, if needed, through the DRN or Safeguarding Officers.
LGBTQI+ and Rainbow Rebellion
XR LGBTQI+ and Rainbow Rebellion work to help and guide XR in ensuring that we plan for and meet the needs of Rebels of any and all sexual and gender identities. You can reach out to XR LGBTQI on Facebook and sign up to join the group here, or reach out to Rainbow Rebellion on Facebook or email.
All organisers are expected to follow our Principles of Inclusivity and organisers' guidance here. If you experience any problems at an XR event or group, particularly problems that have the effect of excluding you from taking part, please do report these to the organisers and, if needed, to the Safeguarding Officers.
Trained Emotional Support Networks
The Trained Emotional Support Network (TESN) provides support for both individuals and groups recognising that the realities of the Climate Crisis and potential involvement in protests may leave any one of us needing support at some time. TESN and the Climate Psychology Alliance (CPA) have a structured set of support offerings ready for you.
- XR Rebel2Rebel Telephone Active Listening. Feeling anxious, lonely, or had a bad day? The XR Rebel2Rebel Telephone Active Listening service is up and running! While this is not a formal counselling service, you can get support from a trained and vetted Rebel Active Listener. For further information and to get help from this service please email Rebel2Rebel@tesn.uk and someone will get back to you.
- Climate Psychology Alliance Counselling or Psychotherapy Services
XR Open Homes
If you need somewhere to retreat, rest and regenerate, some lovely XR members have offered places you can go. The listings include advice and context around being Covid-safe.
Grief and gratitude are linked - we grieve for what we are grateful for or love. As well as people we love, there are many other losses in our life: children moving away, loss of a job or home, nature, habitat or species loss.
Grief shows up in different ways as sadness, anger or sometimes numbness. Grief Tending is 'soul' work, requiring us to face the losses that we experience as part of life. Through facing our grief instead of turning it away, connections are deepened, taking us into territory where we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. Facing our grief can also expose the truth of our need for others in times of suffering.
Grieving together is a way of witnessing our connection and interdependence, as part of a community or village where what we feel matters and is heard.
For more information on Grief Tending, please email email@example.com.
- The Samaritans : Support line for people to call.
- Mind : Charity focused on mental health.
- Cruse : Support for dealing with bereavement and grief (Hope Again is their website for young people).
- New Pathways : Rape crisis and sexual abuse support.
- In the Rooms : Free online recovery platform for those dealing with addiction.
- Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma
- National Suicide Prevention Support
- International Association for Suicide Prevention : Provides a list of helplines in different countries.
- Sudden Death : Supports people bereaved by sudden death.
- Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide
- Sands : Support for those affected by stillbirth or death
- Good Thinking : Tools and resources for anxiety, sleep, low mood and stress.
How we expect Rebels to behave
All Rebels who attend Actions are asked to follow our Rebel Agreement. This covers the basic principles of respect, non-violence, accountability, no drugs, and taking responsibility.
Following, and expecting each other to follow, the Rebel Agreement gives all Rebels a basis for trust in each other, and between Rebels and the public. We are here until the Government accedes to our three demands, so we need to be able to trust each other in the long term. And although we know that many people will disagree with what we do, we want them to be outraged by the reason we rebel, not by bad behaviour by some Rebels. Outrage directed at bad behaviour doesn't help our cause.
How we work and behave towards one another
Volunteers who work to help organise XR and to represent the movement are expected to follow our Ways of Working. This guide covers how we expect Rebels to act as individuals and within groups. This means not just how we talk but how we listen, and not just who we work with but how we include them.
As with the Rebel Agreement, the success of XR requires us to work together in common cause for a long time. This means that we have to agree how we will behave towards one another, including behaviour that is not acceptable and even sanctions for misbehaviour.
XR is also continually reviewing itself, and we're currently working on a new Code of Conduct that draws together some of these disparate agreements into a single clear Code. Once it's ready, we'll share it!
Working transparently, collaboratively and non-violently doesn't mean accepting harm from other Rebels.
XR is a deliberately flat and distributed organisation with little in the way of hierarchy or central control, and this can make it hard to impose discipline when individuals act in unhelpful or even harmful ways. However, our agreed Ways of Working does include ways that groups can deal with individuals who behave badly or even abusively. These sanctions include acknowledging the harm that's been done and putting agreements in place that prevent it happening again, but also include asking people to leave a meeting or excluding them from participating in a group.
We are not about punishing people but, if you are impeding the work of your team, you will probably be asked to direct your energies elsewhere. There have even been occasions when people have been asked to leave the movement if they have broken our Principles and Values repeatedly and show no sign of changing their ways. These cases are not common but we will act if it's needed.
On a smaller scale, there are more localised agreements that you will have made in order to work within specific teams. These include policies of a circle, group agreements and our Self-Organising System. All of these exist to help us work efficiently together and if these agreements are broken then a conflict-resolution process may be invoked. Remember that we hold a shared purpose within XR, but misunderstandings and our own egos can get between us and that goal, and so we try to hold such things lightly.
What if there's conflict?
XR are developing a range of materials to help teams deal with conflict. Conflict isn't, of itself, necessarily a bad thing when we're trying to expose deeply-held problems and find ways to solve them. But conflict can become harmful - and when harm is done, it needs resolving.
You may be asked to take part in a conflict-resolution process by your Local Group, or Region or Nationally depending on the scope of your roles. This may be because you've been a party to the conflict, or because you're outside it and may be able to help resolve it.
If you are part of a group with conflicts that they can't resolve easily, here are some resources that may be useful:
- How to deal with Conflict in your Groups
- Transformative Conflict team Tension shifting video (27mins)
- Conflict website
- or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need the support of trained facilitators in conflict transformation.
How do we protect each other?
We expect everyone in XR to behave well towards other Rebels and members of the public. We have guidelines on how we expect Rebels to behave that we need everyone to follow.
What if I encounter bad conduct?
Our guidelines advise on what to do if you encounter any bad behaviour towards yourself or someone else. Please do look out for other people as well as yourself.
Safeguarding is our obligation to make sure that everyone in XR is safe from exploitation and abuse by someone else (especially those in a position of responsibility), whether that's emotional, psychological, physical, financial, sexual or through neglect.
We each have a responsibility to look out for each other and report anything that worries us or we feel uncomforable about. If you encounter a situation that makes you uncomfortable either for yourself or someone else, you can report breaches of the XR Principles and Values through this form.
When might you not be included?
There are a few cases where we might not be able to include you. Your needs might be beyond what we can meet, or you might (through your actions or otherwise) risk harm to other Rebels. In particular, you must disclose any safeguarding risks others might experience from your presence before you take on any volunteer role within XR. This might be a criminal conviction for a violent or sexual crime -whether spent or otherwise - or other issues related to your past experiences or behaviour, including failed DBS checks. Such issues may not stop you working for XR, but we need to know if they exist so that we can protect both you and other Rebels.
Upon taking on a role within XR, you will find yourself joining a team. This can be daunting for some but being a part of a well-functioning team can be incredibly empowering!
What Makes a Good Team?
You already know your answer to this. Take a moment to consider the following:
- When have you felt comfortable/uncomfortable working with others?
- What stood out to you?
- What was it that made you feel this way?
- Think about a behaviour that you find difficult to deal with in others:
- Have you had any past experiences connected to people showing such behaviour?
- What do you think you can do to better understand such behaviour?
- Think about a behaviour that you exhibit that others may find difficult to deal with.
- Why might they find it difficult to deal with such behaviour?
- What can you do to check such behaviour?
- Imagine that you are working with others to create a dream team:
- What values do you think should help guide the team?
- What do you want this team to know about you? How will you share this? Keep your idea of a good team in your mind as you look over the following resources - how do they fit into your experience and understanding?
Our Ways of Working
In order for our work to come together in a cohesive way, we use a Self-Organising System. This is essentially a collection of rules around how we organise and work together. We have these shared structures and processes to help us each hold something small and manageable; but collectively we can achieve our bold goals!
Your Place in the Big Picture
You can explore the XRUK structure using the interactive tool Glassfrog. By clicking on each circle, you can zoom into that space and see the circles nested within. In this diagram, you can see that The Hive is the widest circle within XRUK and so encompasses the widest purpose.
(Note: it is a misunderstanding to say that they hold the most power; their scope is too wide to be able to wield much power over anything in particular.)
You should be able to find the circle you are working within in this diagram, whether that be a team focusing on arrestee support in the East of England or a team advocating for Citizens' Assemblies across the UK.
Not every role is entered into Glassfrog as this takes a fair bit of time, but most aspects of the work being done are represented or at least the circle they sit in is.
Interacting Between Teams
As you can see, our structure is a series of circles within circles. Each circle contains the role of External Coordinator who attends the meeting of the wider circle. So your External Coordinator (EC) will be feeding the progress your team is making into the wider circle, and the EC of that circle will do the same, and in this way information is passed through the system.
External Coordinators also feed from the wider circle back into your team so you can understand how your work fits into the teams close by.
Note: This should not be the sole interation between teams. It is recommended if you are working on something that overlaps or sits close to a team many circles from you, that you reach out to them directly. Your External Coordinater should be able to find their contact details.
While exploring Glassfrog you will be able to see the purpose and accountabilities of each team and role in the system. These are part of what makes up the Mandate of that role or team.
Simply put, a mandate outlines your purpose within the system, what is expected of you and what you are responsible for. It is typically split into the following:
- Purpose Statement - Why does this Role/Circle exist, what is it for?
- Accountabilities - What will this Role/Circle do, what can I expect of them?
- Domain - What does this Role/Circle control, what do I need to ask them before I do?
Mandates are never set in stone; they are as dynamic as we need them to be. When you pick up a role in XR, you will likely be given a mandate with it. You can (and probably should) make this your own, either by handing back accountabilities that you don't feel you can meet, or by adding things that you think you can do to help.
To change a mandate, the desired change simply needs to be brought as a proposal to the meeting in which that role or circle sits. For example, if my role were to schedule trainings in the South West and I also wanted to do the scheduling for the Heading for Extinction talk, then I would propose that change in the SW Talks & Trainings meeting.
There are several different ways we make decisions in XR, and you will likely come across each of these fairly quickly.
Role Mandated Decisions
"Does this need to be decided by the group?"
Many of the decisions you come across do not need to take up time in a meeting. The first thing to consider would be if anyone has a mandate for the decisions that need to be made. It may be that you can make that choice without consulting the team because you have the responsibility (or mandate) for that thing. Or it may be that someone else does, in which case you should ask them what should be done.
These are used to make very simple group decisions. The question is usually phrased as "How do you feel about..." and then the group displays their enthusiasm by either raising their hands (positive) or lowering them (negative). A neutral response hovers around the middle.
These are often used to gauge how controversial something may be. If everyone is hands-up happy then there is no need to dive deeper into a longer process. But if some people have concerns, then it's advisable to move to the Integrative Decision Process or something similar.
Integrative Decision Making
This is a more indepth process for making group decisions. The object is to find a solution that everyone thinks is "safe to try." The process follows these steps:
- Stating Proposal - Whoever is making the suggestion brings their proposal to the group.
- Clarifications Round - Everyone in the meeting is then asked, in turn, if they need anything clarified to fully understand what is being proposed.
- Reactions Round - Everyone then has a chance to react to the proposal, what they think of it, how it may affect their work, any forseeable problems etc.
- Chance to Ammend Proposal - The person who brought the proposal has a chance to make any changes to it, any additions or changes to phrasing etc. They can also choose to withdraw the proposal or bring it back in another meething.
- Objections Round - Everyone in the meeting is then asked if they approve or object to the proposal. Objections must come from the role the individual is holding (not a personal view) and they must be concrete objections, either that the proposal will cause harm to the movement or it will stop existing work from being done.
If there are no objections to a proposal, it is passed and enacted immediately. However, if someone raises an objection to the proposal, the group comes together to try to integrate that objection.
- Integrating Objections - The objection is stated for the group and the floor is opened to suggestions on how this objection can be integrated into the original proposal. It may be that the wording needs to be changed or that the scope needs to be limited in some way.
The outcome of this process will either be the original or an ammended proposal passed by the group or, if the facilitator or person bringing the proposal choses, it can be taken away to be worked on between meetings and brought back at a later date.
Your Power Within the System
We have created our Self-Organising System with the intention that every rebel has a voice. On an individual level, there are several things that you can do within the system.
- Any rebel can bring a proposal to their team.
- Any rebel can ask to bring a proposal to another team - by contacting the Internal Coordinator.
- Any rebel can ask for an election for a role - if they wish to step back or feel like someone isn't fulfilling their mandate.
- Any rebel can give back Action Points if they are unable to complete them.
- Any rebel can refuse to take on anything new and give back things they are struggling to fulfill.
What do you bring to your Team?
Task vs Maintenance
The two key parts of effective group operation are task roles and maintenance roles. Each role is really a set of behaviours to pay attention to in meetings and activities. Generally, task functions keep groups headed toward decisions and action. Maintenance functions help build a group's sense of identity and develop the social relationships in a group.
|Task Roles||Maintenance Roles|
|Initiator - Starts things off or helps to change direction.||Encourager - Provides warmth and accepts different points of view|
|Coordinator - Clarifies suggestions and seeks agreement to move ahead||Harmonizer - Tries to reduce conflict by encouraging sharing and respect|
|Energizer - Inspires and stimulates group into discussion||Welcomer - Draws out quieter members and suggests processes to promote equal power.|
|Information Seeker - Gives or seeks to find out certain information||Self-Discloser - Shares experiences to break through on a personal level "This also happened to me..."|
|Clarifier of Opinions - Encourages people to be specific "It seems like you are saying..."||Process Observer - Helps to unblock the group and get conversation back on track|
|Summarizer - Clarifies and checks what has been said||Standard Setter - Expresses best practices for the group|
Maintenance group roles and behaviors function to create and maintain social cohesion and fulfill the interpersonal needs of the group members. To perform these role behaviors, a person needs strong and sensitive interpersonal skills. These roles include social-emotional leader, supporter, tension releaser, harmonizer and interpreter.
- Think of a group you have been a part of in the past; what roles have you taken on?
- Think of a group you are in now; do you think most of the roles in the group are Task focused or Maintenance focused?
Knowing your skills
When joining a new team, it is often hard to know where to start, what to pick up. Especially if that team is already established, how do you know what they need help with or what you are qualified to hold?
The first thing to remember is: They asked you to be there and so they WANT your help!
Now that we are clear on that, take a moment to think about what you CAN and what you WANT to offer the team. Here are a few examples you may come up with:
|Knowledge (I know...)||Functional Skills (I can..)||Peronal Traits (I am...)|
|Java / Python||Facilitate Meetings||Creative|
|Conflict Resolution||Manage Projects||Patient|
Note: Just because you can offer something doesn't necessarily mean you want to; it is important to set your own boundaries in order to avoid burnout.
Now that you know what you want to offer the team you are joining, we recommend going along to a meeting and letting them know exactly what you can offer them, both within and beyond the role your are stepping into.
Listening vs Speaking
Extinction Rebellion is not like your usual working environment, and we say this in both a positive and negative way! It can often be a bit of a culture shock if you are not used to how we work. So here are some quick hints to get you started:
- Our meetings are all facilitated; if you have something to add, raise your hand or type into the chat and the facilitator will come to you. This stops us all talking over each other - especially in video calls!
- Try to be actively listening to others when they speak; think about what they are adding and ask your questions thoughtfully.
- Try to be okay with staying silent; just because you have something you could add doesn't mean that it is needed in the meeting. Ask yourself if your comment adds to the discussion before you raise your hand.
- Try to own your contributions by speaking only from yourself. Try using "I think that we should..." or. "It seems that..." rather than "We need to...".
Being able to give and to receive feedback is important when working with others. It allows us to build trust, understanding and lets us make progress towards our goals. Without feedback we can't judge the impact of our own work and we just don't mesh well as a team.
That said, giving and receiving feedback is not always easy. Here are some suggestions which may help.
When Giving Feedback
- Own what you are saying; use "I" statements "I think..." or "I feel..." and try not to use "You" statements since they can come across as an accusation.
- Don't only comment on the critical. People really benefit from positive feedback or being noticed when they have achieved something.
- Think about your intention and what you want to say; sometimes it helps to write it down first.
- Give feedback in a 1-1 setting; people can often feel vulnerable or put on the spot if singled out from a large group.
When Receiving Feedback
- Try not to take any feedback personally; they are giving you information to help you improve at something.
- If the feedback has upset you, try to process it on your own. Sit with your feelings and process them before responding.
- Be aware that giving feedback is not easy - they are saying these things to you because they value you and are comfortable enough to say something.
What if I don't know to whom to give my feedback?
If you have feedback about something and you do not know who is directly involved, you should first talk to your Internal Coordinator (if it relevent to your team) or your External Coordinator (if it is relevent to a wider issue). They will most likely be able to either pass it on to the right place or signpost you to that place.
How can you best work together?
Every team is different because every team has different people in it. It may be that your team works well with brief meetings, mostly digital interaction, and minimal coordination, or it may be that your team needs longer, more discursive meetings, regular check-ins and some social spaces to let off steam together.
All teams work in different ways; the key is to identify and agree upon the way that works for your team.
Having group agreements sets expectations for how you are going to work together and what to expect of each other. This is where you can personalise the dynamics of your team to suit the members in it.
Some groups will have agreements in place when you join and others may not; it's always worth asking. Any member of the team can propose an agreement. Here are a few examples that you may wish to bring to teams that you are in.
- Meeting Length 1 - We will keep our meetings to a maximum of 60 minutes.
- Meeting Length 2 - Our meetings will be for 120 minutes with a 10 minute break at the halfway point.
- Meeting Format 1 - All meetings will start with a minute of silence to ground group members.
- Meeting Format 2 - All meetings will start/finish with a round of Check Ins/Outs to build relationships within the group.
- Minutes - We will rotate the minute-taker each meeting to ensure that everyone can participate fully in the majority of meetings.
- Agenda - the agenda of each meeting must be set 3 days prior to give members a chance to read any documents given.
It is important for the smooth running of our teams that we are explicit about the roles each of us holds. This not only allows us to share out the responsibilities but also provides clarity for who is doing what. As a new rebel, your team should always welcome you by doing a round of role descriptions, letting you know what their role is in the meeting and providing some understanding of how things are set up.
As mentioned in the Mandates section, each role is personalisable; you can add to it, take things away that you can't do, as well as pick up multiple roles in a team.
There are a few core roles that you will find in your team with XR. These are typically suggested as the first roles to be filled when a team forms. Since a team usually starts off with 2-4 people these can often be shared fairly easily.
|Internal Coordinator||To ensure that all aspects of coordination are met by the team|
|External Coordinator||To represent the team in the wider circle and be first point of contact for the team|
|Integrator||To actively look for new team members and welcome them|
|Budget Holder||To manage the financial requests of the team|
As you join the team, you will likely be in contact with either the team Integrator or the Internal Coordinator. They will introduce you to everyone else and you should consider them your first point of contact if you have any questions about the team or your role within it.
Aspects of Coordination
One of the big things we share as a team is the coordination. Despite having roles such as "Internal Coordinator" as part of a team, this does not mean that the person holding that role coordinates everything. It is the responsibilty of the team to coordinate itself.
Here are the different aspects of coordination that each team will encounter:
|Representing the Team||Making connections and feeding back to the wider circle|
|Project Management||Keeping track of progress and highlighting any barriers|
|Checking In||Problem solving in 1-1 sessions as two brains are better than one|
|Team Building||Strengthening the wellbeing and relationships of those in the team|
|Structure||Keeping track of mandates and updating the team's structure on Glassfrog|
|Budget||Managing finance requests and keeping track of budgets|
|Minutes / Facilitation||Ensuring meetings run smoothly and a record of decisions is kept|
|Integration||Welcoming new rebels and ensuring that they land on their feet|
|Communication||Keeping track of team email adresses and ensuring team is contactable|
It is highly recommended that each team shares these responsibilities amongst themselves; so, if you feel that your skills match well with an aspect of the team coordination, please let your Internal Coordinator know.
You will soon notice that each XR meeting you are in has a facilitator. This helps us have ordered and efficient meetings where we don't talk over each other or waste each other's time. We are all very aware that we are here on a voluntary basis, often in our spare time or between other responsibilities. Our time is precious and our work important, so good facilitation is key!
Some teams have a consistent facilitator whereas other choose to change facilitators each meeting to give everyone the change to hone this important skill.
One tool which is universal within XR is the use of handsignals in meetings, both online and in person. The most common handsignals are in the picture on the right.
We have many facilitation tools at our disposal. Here are some which you might encounter or may wish to use.
- Rounds - A round (or go-around) is a tool when everyone in the group is asked to give their thoughts or reaction to something, going one after another in a seated or online arrangement e.g. clockwise around a circle. This is a great tool in making sure that everyone in the group has an equal opportunity to speak and should be used often.
- Pyramiding - Start with an individual brainstorm (a few minutes is usually enough), before going into pairs and comparing ideas. Then, two pairs come together to form a four and between them they share ideas and select their collective favourites. Then this four can share their top ideas with the rest of the group when it becomes time to present back.
- Reflecting - Often helpful when there is a misunderstanding or conflict to let people feel heard. Do a round where individuals can express their feelings on the topic; after each individual has spoken for around two minutes another person reflects back to them what they have said. Doesn't offer opinions or solutions but simply reflects what they heard.
Good facilitation is a skill to be learned and practiced. One important thing to know is when you need help. We have plenty of facilitators in our movement, and sometimes it is most appropriate to ask someone external to your team to facilitate you through a specific process or meeting.
If you are planning what could be a difficult session, or feel like your team is loose in it's use of good facilitation, we encourage you to reach out to either your wider circle or the SOS team of facilitators and someone will be able to step in to help.
There is facilitation training available on the Rebellion Academy, you can find it Here. There is also training available from our SOS teams, so if you are interested in some more in depth sessions.
Culture & Support
Think back to the start of this page, when we asked questions about what made you comforable/uncomfortable in a team and what values would your dream team hold.
Hopefully, you now have an idea of the tools at your disposal to forge that dream team, sharing responsibilities, playing to each others strengths and making open agreements on how exactly you are all comfortable with working together.
This is the start of building the culture of your team.
Sparking a Culture
When we think of our dream team, some of the same words always come up:
Trust / Motivation / Purpose / Direction / Respect / Cohesiveness / Fun / Openness / Safety / Energy / Efficiency
These are often shared values but it can be hard to know how to make them happen within a team. So here are some suggestions, but there are many many more.
Inverting the Question - So it may be hard to know how you build trust in your team, but if you ask "What would erode trust in our team?" it surprisingly seems much easier. Some examples of answers may be:
- We don't do the things we say we are going to do.
- We use violent language or are rude in meetings.
Now that you have identified what would hinder the building of trust, flip them around. If your team did the following things, would you be more likely to trust it?
- We do the things we say we will and, if we don't, we are honest and hand them back.
- We are calm and kind to each other in meetings and celebrate our successes.
These statements can then become the basis of your group agreements as you start to create the culture of your team together.
- Leading by Example - It may be that you want to create a culture where you feel safe to express your emotions or to share the more personal side of your motivations. There is no better place to start than with yourself.
- Often people feel uncomfortable sharing because it's not something they are used to in professional settings. Maybe you start off a round of check-ins by opening up about how you truly feel that day? If you start with "I actually feel exhausted and vulnerable because..." then the check-ins that follow are likely to be deeper than if you started with "Yeah, I'm tired, but okay..."
Remember, XR is not just the work we do but the experience of doing it! We are not here because of an undying passion for spreadsheets (or at least most of us aren't). We are here to change the world, to find a community that shares our values, to connect, to laugh, to cry, to play, the list goes on.
At the end of the day, we are here for each other!
Here are some things we have found during lockdown that have allowed us to get together without the work, blow off some steam and have fun!
- KumoSpace - Invite your team to a video call where they can move between conversations.
- GatherTown - Same as above but you can customise your space and add interactive boardgames and whiteboards.
- Skribbl.io - Online pictionary, slightly competitive and hilarious if you add your teammates names to the custom word list!
- Psych! - An app for your phone which pits you against your team asking silly questions about each other.
This page was written by @Raenyah please contact me if you have any questions or think something needs to be added.
Technology is your Friend
Our communication tools are amazing!
We all live in a world of emails, multiple messaging platforms, messy document sharing and overwhelming video calls. The COVID crisis of 2020 has only exacerbated this existing issue. So we understand that sinking feeling in your stomach when you're asked to download yet another app to communicate with the world.
Our Digital team has been working incredibly hard to provide us with a toolset that has the functions we need, ethics we believe in and platforms we can understand and navigate. This is no easy task, so if you ever come across our techies - give them a high five or a happy emoji!
The first thing to know about our platforms is that they are all brought together on The Hub. This is where you set your email, username and password to use on the majority (soon to be all) of our tools. The Hub is run entirely on servers powered by renewable energy so not only can you be connected to your rebel family but you can do so guilt free!
To get yourself onto The Hub you will need to be invited by the Tech Champion of your team. So make sure that happens as soon as possible so that you can start following whats going on!
- Mattermost - our main platform for communication.
On here, you can find channels for various groups across the organisation and you can directly message any rebel if you know their handle. We use Mattermost for chat, short conversations, questions and cat gifs. Mattermost connects us across the globe!
Check out the Mattermost Training on the Rebellion Academy.
- UK Forums - the place to go for long form discussions.
Often we start a conversation on Mattermost but realise that the thread gets lost in the babble so for more in-depth topics we move to the forum where we can create a noise free space.
- UK Cloud Storage - our filing cabinet.
Here you can find the documents shared within your team: slides, minutes, photos etc, basically anything your team has worked on will be here. Think of it as if Rebels had taken Google and washed out all the nasties!
- Rebel Toolkit - That's Us!
You are on the Rebel Toolkit right now; click the logo on the top left to start exploring! The Toolkit is a resource sharing space; it is a public website where we share all of our resources, from Local Groups to National Groups. Anyone with a Hub Login can add their contribution to the Hive Mind!
Check out the Toolkit Training on the Rebellion Academy.
- Rebellion Academy - Is our learning platform
The Academy is a great place for any new or returning Rebel to start! It's full of interactive courses on topics from NVDA to meeting facilitation. There are even a few on how to use the Toolkit and Mattermost. Each training has written and video content which will guide you through the key points and ask you some questions at the end. Complete a course and you get a shiny badge!
This page was written by @Raenyah please contact me if you have any questions or think something needs to be added.
An action rebel is someone who wants to be involved in arrestable or non-arrestable direct action, either through participation or taking on a support role. You could also think of action rebels as protestors.
Nonviolent Direct Action NVDA
This module is essential for anyone who wants to take part in direct action, whether or not you are prepared to be arrested. Detail are provided about all the different parts of an action and the roles you can take on, including well-being, de-escalation and being arrested.
Here is the Rebel Agreement pdf link.
All Rebels planning to participate in an Action should adhere to the Rebel Agreement.
You already have an idea for an action? This booklet tells you all you need to know for planning your action.
Join our next training to learn and practise facilitation skills in the context of nonviolence and de-escalation.