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THOUGHTS & OPINIONS

From our team of History Shapers

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The Great Adaptation Series (Updated)

The #GreatAdaptation, a series of fireside discussions with social impact leaders, NGOs, institutions, and humanitarian organisations on some of the most pressing issues facing the sector and how we can build resilience for the future. COVID-19 has already showcased the…

7 mins
ArtsCOVID-19Human RightsUK politics

Social Impact Briefing | Justice for Uyghurs, America First and saving the Arts industry

This week our Social Impact Briefing covers the plight of the Uyghurs in China, the announcement of a new UK sanctions policy, the emergence of nationalism in the fight against Covid-19 and a sudden lifeline for the Arts industry.  |…

BLMCampaignsEnvironmentFacebookLGBTRacial Justice

Social Impact Briefing | Pride marches, wasted recycling and boycotting Facebook

This week our Social Impact Briefing covers the latest Pride marches, the uncertainty surrounding British recycling and the Stop Hate for Profit campaign. | Pride marches call for an end to racism Last weekend, thousands marched across the world in…

7 mins
HomelessnessUK government

To Luke Hall – here’s why homeless people can’t just go home

This piece is a contribution from the team at Fulfilling Lives Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham.  Prior to the coronavirus epidemic, homelessness in the UK was certainly at crisis point. On any one night, approximately 4 to 5000 people were sleeping…

5 mins
Activismblack lives matterDFIDprotests

Social Impact Briefing | Protests, DFID and the Ethnicity Pay Gap

This week our Social Impact Briefing covers the diverse impact of recent protests, the unfolding consequences of the DFID-merger, and the growing movement to secure ethnicity pay gap reporting. | Fighting on all fronts In the past week, we’ve seen…

7 mins
EnvironmentalismLGBTPolicySocial Impact

Social Impact Briefing | Trans Rights, Pesticides and Sahel Crisis

This week our Social Impact Briefing covers the fight for Trans rights, the post-Brexit battle to keep Britain’s food safe and the UN’s appeal to combat crisis in the Sahel.  | Trans rights are human rights On Saturday, thousands of…

6 mins
black lives matterBritish history

Black history is British history

Black history is British history, but you probably weren’t taught it at school. The following is just a brief overview of the struggles faced by Black people in British history, but all of it is vital to shaping the way…

7 mins
ActivismHomelessnessHousingUK protestsWorld Oceans Day

Social Impact Briefing | UK protests, World Oceans Day, and Homelessness Minister

This week our Social Impact Briefing covers the UK protests and destruction of Edward Colston’s statue, World Oceans Day and the Minister for Homelessness’s novel idea to get homeless people off the street. | Little protests everywhere This weekend saw…

5 mins
actionblack lives matterequalityregister to voteresourcesSocial Impact

Here Are Your Anti-Racist UK Resources

This list of UK-focused resources has been compiled by members of the Shape History team. You might be feeling overwhelmed on social media over the last few days you may be  feeling overwhelmed with the amount of news and content…

5 mins
Humanitarian AidInternational DevelopmentSDGs

How NGOs and international organisations will adapt beyond the pandemic

With Covid-19 heavily impacting the international development sector, we convened a fireside discussion with some of the sector’s key leaders to explore the opportunities and challenges that a post-pandemic world may present.  Ed Fletcher, our Co-MD, was joined by Andrew…

7 mins
ActivismBelly MujingaGeorge FloydStructural Racism

Social Impact Briefing | George Floyd, Belly Mujinga and Hong Kong

This week our Social Impact Briefing highlights widespread protests in the US after the murder of George Floyd, the absence of justice for Belly Mujinga, and the proposed new law that could curtail freedoms in Hong Kong. | Rest In…

5 mins
COVID-19NHSPublic Health

No more clapping, it’s time for action

“Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,— My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori. An extract from Wilfred Owen’s 1921…

6 mins
COVID-19NCDsNHS surchargePro Bono Economics

Social Impact Briefing | WHO warning, struggling charities and NHS surcharge

This week our Social Impact Briefing highlights the risk to children from disrupted health services, the issues facing charities, and the government U-turn on the NHS surcharge. | Children at risk from disrupted immunisation services  The WHO, UNICEF and Gavi,…

5 mins
BirthdayCreativityPartnershipRepresentationSocial Impact

5 Years of Shaping History

This week, we celebrate the agency’s 5th birthday. Since 2015, we’ve grown in every way: our team, the nature and scope of projects, and scale of our impact. We’ve launched campaigns in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, and worked…

5 mins
Belly MujingaBritish RentersCOVID-19Wellcome Trust

Social Impact Briefing | Rent payments, Belly Mujinga and Wellcome

This week our Social Impact Briefing highlights new findings on the precarious situation for British renters, the calls for justice for Belly Mujinga, and takes a look at the familiar face appointed as Chair of the Wellcome Trust. | Precarious…

5 mins
NGOsPolicyPolitics

Social Impact Briefing | NGO Risks, Independent Inquiry, West Bank

This week our Social Impact Briefing highlights new findings on risks faced by international development charities, the call for an independent public inquiry into the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on ethnic minorities, as well as speaking out against West Bank…

5 mins
CampaignsJournalismLGBTI Rights

Social Impact Briefing | Press freedoms, VE Day, #HomeSafe

This week our Social Impact Briefing focuses on the state of press freedoms in light of World Press Freedom Day, virtual VE Day celebrations, and the safety of LGBT+ people during lockdown. | Press freedoms Yesterday, Sunday 3 May, marked…

5 mins
CampaignsCOVID-19PolicyWorkers Rights

New Starter Justice: from the inside

This piece is a contribution from Zoë Badder, co-founder of the New Starter Justice movement. On March 20th, as the country went into lockdown to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a financial support package for businesses…

4 mins
CharitiesCooperationEthicsPolicy

Social Impact Briefing | Virtual Hospice, Work Health and Safety, Volunteering

This week our Social Impact Briefing focuses on the virtual hospice by Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, new guidance on work health and safety, and volunteering during COVID-19. | A virtual children’s hospice Shooting Star Children’s Hospices is a leading children’s…

5 mins
CampaignsCharity MarketingEducationJournalism

Social Impact Briefing | Furlough Trap, BBC, Remembering Lyra McKee

This week our Social Impact Briefing focuses on campaigning by New Starter Justice for changes to the government furlough scheme, back to school with the BBC, and remembering journalist Lyra McKee. | The new starter ‘’furlough trap’’  Last week, the…

5 mins
COVID-19PolicyPoliticsSecurity

There Can Be No National Security Without Human Security

The year is 2020, a global pandemic has ground the world to a halt. Borders are closed, countries are in lockdown, the global economy is crashing. Militaries across the world are primarily functioning as medical support and distributors to maintain…

7 mins
CooperationGender EqualityPolicyPolitics

Social Impact Briefing | Misinformation, Food Security, Domestic Abuse

A month into our coverage of the effects of COVID-19 on social impact, today’s Briefing reflects on misinformation, food security, and how the sector successfully highlighted issues of domestic abuse whilst in isolation. | Misinformation The global spread of unreliable…

5 mins
CampaignsCOVID-19DiversityEnvironmentalism

Social Impact Briefing | Public Solidarity and Responsible Business

This week our Social Impact Briefing continues to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic: how public displays of solidarity continue in the UK, the emergence of a new responsible business network, and more.  As the Queen urged for unity in a…

6 mins
CooperationCOVID-19Funding

Flexibility and Agility: How Funders are Responding to COVID-19

COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020 and has had wide-reaching implications for our health, the health systems we depend upon, the global economy, and individual liberty. Shape History’s Strategy Director looks…

5 mins
COVID-19EducationGlobal HealthcareHuman Rights

Social Impact Briefing | COVID-19 & Human Rights

This week our Social Impact Briefing continues to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is affecting human rights globally (thanks to research by Human Rights Watch): protecting people in custody, health workers, the right to education. We end on a positive…

5 mins
FeminismGender EqualitySocial Impact LeadersWomen's History Month

Global Women Leaders to Celebrate in 2020

This year was supposed to be a landmark for gender equality and women’s rights. With milestones including the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and a decade since the establishment of UN Women, 2020 promised to be…

6 mins
CooperationCOVID-19Global HealthcareSocial Impact

Social Impact Briefing | COVID-19 & the Social Impact Sector

This week our Social Impact Briefing continues to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is affecting the social impact sector: from struggling food bank networks to refined strategies for the homeless and domestic abuse victims. Here’s our continued rundown…

5 mins
CooperationCOVID-19Global Healthcare

Social Impact Briefing | A Case for Humanity

This week our Social Impact Briefing is dedicated entirely to how humanity is coming together in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic: from taking local action and doing your bit to newly available funding. The World Health Organisation (WHO) labelled Europe…

5 mins
EnvironmentalismGender EqualityPolicy

Social Impact Briefing | Gender Equality, Domestic Abuse Bill, Green Update

This week our Social Impact Briefing covers a reflection on the state of gender equality post-International Women’s Day, those left behind in the Domestic Abuse Bill, and a green update. | Make #everydayIWD Despite hundreds of thousands around the world taking…

5 mins
EnvironmentalismGlobal HealthcarePolitics

Social Impact Briefing | New Crisis, Greta Thunberg, International Women’s Day

This week our Social Impact Briefing covers the emergence of a new crisis on Europe’s external borders, the impact of Greta Thunberg’s Bristol to visit, and a look ahead to International Women’s Day. | Who is WHO’s advice ignoring? How coronavirus…

5 mins
Climate ChangeGender EqualityPolitics

Social Impact Briefing | Green Revolution, Islamophobia, Fairtrade

This week our Social Impact Briefing covers the city at the forefront of a Green Revolution, stopping Islamophobia, and Fairtrade Fortnight. | One city at the forefront of a Green Revolution They were crowned the European Green Capital in 2015. They…

5 mins
ActivismBehaviour ChangeCampaigns

How to Make Coalitions Really Work in Social Impact Campaigns

No internet after 6pm? We don’t have time for setbacks and stalemates. Here’s why all of us need to embrace creative coalition principles in order to have successful campaigns.   Campaign coalitions, like any group project, contain a number of…

7 mins
Climate ChangeEthicsRepresentation

Social Impact Briefing | Caroline’s Law, Storm Dennis, Girlguiding

This week our Social Impact Briefing covers the petition for Caroline’s Law, local community needs in response to Storm Dennis, and Tracy Barbin’s Girlguiding donation. | Caroline’s Law – why we have to act The tragic death of presenter and television…

3 mins
ActivismCampaignsEnvironmentalismGender Equality

Bringing Period Products Into the Sustainability Conversation

When you’re co-leading a business, it’s important to find time to unwind in a non-work environment. So when Ed asked me to come to a panel discussion on ending plastic period products recently, I thought it was awesome that he…

6 mins
Global HealthcareLondonRepresentation

Social Impact Briefing | Coronavirus in the UK, Ending HIV, Oscars History

This week our Social Impact Briefing covers the UK government’s changed stance on Coronavirus, new NHS funding to end HIV infections in London, and this year’s Best Picture Oscar History. | Government changes stance on Coronavirus Last week, the number of…

3 mins
DiversityLGBTI RightsPolitics

Social Impact Briefing | Brexit, Starbucks, BAFTAs

This week our Social Impact Briefing covers Brexit, Starbucks’s new ad, and the lack of diversity at the BAFTA’s. | The Elephant in the Room The UK has officially left the EU. At the same time, the European Commission has made…

3 mins
CampaignsEnvironmentalismGlobal Healthcare

Social Impact Briefing | Coronavirus, Armageddon, Amazon

This week our Social Impact Briefing covers how digital can support the international response to Coronavirus, the Doomsday Clock set 100 seconds from Armageddon, and a partnership between The Royal National Institute of Blind People and Amazon. | The role of…

3 mins
COVID-19DigitalGlobal HealthcareGovernance

Data & Digital – The Global Response to Coronavirus

How can data and digital help in global health emergencies like the latest outbreak of coronavirus? Timely and accurate information to assess the outbreak of the coronavirus is, and will continue to be, key to control the response. As we…

4 mins
EnvironmentalismGlobal HealthcarePolitics

Social Impact Briefing | Decentralisation, Luanda Leaks, Good News

This week our Social Impact Briefing covers decentralisation with the planned move of the House of Lords, the Luanda Leaks story of Africa’s richest woman, and some good news in numbers. | ‘Oh, Lord!’ As the government examines whether to move…

3 mins
EnvironmentalismGender EqualityPolitics

Social Impact Briefing | Equal Pay, Environmental Extremism, Labour Leadership

This week our Social Impact Briefing covers Samira Ahmed’s win for equal pay, environmental extremism and the ‘Prevent’ scheme, and the first hurdle for Labour leadership hopefuls. | Win For Equal Pay   BBC presenter Samira Ahmed wins the employment tribunal…

3 mins
Politics

What does a DFID merger with the FCO mean?

After his landslide election victory, Boris Johnson’s attention is now turning to the shape of government: planning on restructuring departments and having a clearout of Ministers. This likely means the Department for International Development (DFID) will be dissolved and merged…

3 mins
FeminismGender Equality

A Man, in a Woman’s World, in a Man’s World: 72 Hours in Rome

When I started at Shape History, I didn't expect to be in a room full of Catholic nuns in Rome. Photo: Voices of Faith As a lifelong non-Catholic, it wasn’t exactly on my radar and I wasn’t too sure what…
6 mins
Charity MarketingHistory ShaperSocial Impact

The Little Things: History Shaper Alternative Christmas Ad Launches

Imagine you’re just starting to think about having a family, or you’re just hitting your stride with your career. These are just 2 of the endless possibilities you could be facing in your 30s. Now imagine all of that, and…

4 mins
Digital MarketingPolitics

A look into the digital battleground on Facebook this election

Election battlegrounds around the world are increasingly moving into the digital world. The UK’s 2019 snap election is no different. In fact, more than any other that has gone before it, this December election is one that will be both…

10 mins
ActivismClimate ChangeEnvironmentalismExperiential Marketing

The Art of Persuading Those in Denial

Art exercises our imagination and gets us to experience the world differently. It disrupts and provokes empathy – cutting through the passive manner in which we engage with digital media. Against a backdrop of distrust, fake news, and rejections of…

7 mins
AnimationHuman RightsWeb Design

Fund for Global Human Rights Launches New Website & Flagship Animation

We’re proud and excited to announce the launch of the Fund for Global Human Rights’ (FGHR) new website and flagship animation, the latest projects from our partnership with the Washington DC-based foundation.  Initially, FGHR commissioned Shape History to redesign and…

3 mins
ActivismEnvironmentalism

How to end a genocide, the tasty way

Meat alternatives are everywhere: plant-based sausages in the pork aisles, Impossible Meat burgers in restaurants, veggie Prets popping up all over the country. It’s a clean meat revolution! But for human meat-eaters, these alternatives just don’t cut it – and…

4 mins
Behaviour ChangeCampaignsDigital Marketing

European Campaign With Best for Britain Surpasses Industry Benchmarks

Earlier this month, we launched one of our biggest political campaigns to date in partnership with Best for Britain, a pro-Remain political campaigning group. In the first week alone, the campaign was viewed nearly a million times, smashing industry standards…

4 mins
CampaignsCharity MarketingSocial Impact

History Shaper Christmas Special 2019

It’s been an incredible year for Shape History, launching new campaigns, expanding exciting partnerships, doubling the size of our team and moving office. So, to top off our most successful year ever, we’ve decided to launch our History Shaper Christmas Special.…

5 mins
ActivismCampaignsDigital MarketingPolitics

Why Facebook & the Electoral Commission must crack-down on political weaponised data

Ever heard of the anonymised, political Facebook groups that gather data and then disappear within weeks of opening, with no obligation to declare any of their funding to the Electoral Commission? Or how it’s impossible to know if the same…

10 mins
Activism

Fighting for rights without taking to the streets – the battle for LGBTI rights in Kenya

On a recent work trip to Kenya, Shape History’s Strategy Lead, Lewis Parker, met with the National Gay and Lesbian Commission of Kenya (NGLHRC) to learn about the importance of using the judiciary together with communications advocacy to produce change…

9 mins
ActivismGender Equality

Health Secretary preaches LGBTI rights but snubs Northern Ireland marriage equality

Actions speak louder than words – isn’t that what we are told? I was delighted to attend the Pink News Westminster event last night at Church House.  An opportunity for me to speak with the LGBT community and MPs, and tell…

3 mins
ActivismEnvironmentalism

PODCAST: Can the ad industry save the world?

In a recent open letter, Extinction Rebellion challenged the advertising industry to lead the fight against climate change. Shape History has answered the call, bringing Extinction Rebellion together with key industry leaders in a landmark podcast to discuss the practicalities,…

45 mins
ActivismEnvironment

Is your Glastonbury experience killing the planet?

Glastonbury 2019 has opened its gates and 200,000 wellie-decked revellers are currently descending on Somerset with their tents, cooler boxes and patterned shirts. But how many of them realise the massive collective environmental impact they will have at this iconic…

5 mins
Gender Equality

Preventing Northern Irish same-sex couples from getting married not only shuts them out of their communities but also their churches, something I’ve experienced first hand

Have you ever attended a Christian wedding? No? OK, have you ever watched Four Weddings And A Funeral? Right, so that’s everyone else. In that case, you all know the drill. Bride walks down the aisle. There’s a prayer. Vows declared. Rings exchanged. The minister pronounces them husband and wife. They are married. Except, they’re not – only once they sign their marriage license is it legally recognised.

5 mins
Gender Equality

Women Deliver Day 3 – Education is a fundamental basic human right

This week at the Women Deliver 2019 conference, Justin Trudeau announced that his government would increase Canada’s global investment in women’s health to $1.4 billion a year starting in 2023. Therefore, it was no surprise that the narrative throughout today surrounded women’s healthcare, most prominently reproductive rights.

4 mins
Feminism

Women Deliver Day 2 – Movement Intersectionality, That Gillette Ad, and Changing the Investment Paradigm

Have you ever experienced that feeling where you wake up and stare at your wardrobe, undecided as to what to wear?…

4 mins
Activism

Women Deliver Day 1 –  The Verdict

Yesterday, over 8,000 people piled into Vancouver, Canada, for the start of Women Deliver…

3 mins
Diversity

Why I take issue with my brother being cast as a terrorist

Why aren’t mainstream channels doing more to counteract the damaging racial stereotypes about minorities?…

7 mins
Social Impact

The (real) price of medical cannabis in the UK

Medical cannabis should be more accessible for patients and must be subsidised by the NHS…

6 mins
Activism

Why is Steve Bannon opening an Alt-Right Academy in Italy? And why we must intercept hate on the ground

Another day, another stranger than fiction story about the extreme right-wing….

3 mins
Activism

Hacking Parliament: has Extinction Rebellion changed anything?

There’s been a refreshing shift in the news coverage of the last couple of weeks…

4 mins
Activism

The science every campaigner should know about before mobilising teenagers

Galvanising support from younger generations can transform a social change campaign into a genuine global movement…

5 mins
Responsible Business

Want sustainable startups? Teach young CEOs how to manage their mental health

Being a young CEO means jumping into the unknown, learning the limits of your comfort zones…

8 mins
Activism

Its time the Queen stood up against Brunei’s new LGBT stoning laws, as their Commonwealth monarch

Calls for boycotts of Brunei owned businesses have mobilised online…

3 mins
Charity MarketingResponsible Business

The 4 lessons weve learnt as our startup reaches its 4th birthday

Most entrepreneurs are haunted by the statistic that 90% of businesses fail within their first 3 years…

6 mins
Charity Marketing

Why every Friday our entire company works from home & why it will transform your business

Along with being a social change communications agency working exclusively with good causes…

5 mins
Charity Marketing

Why every CEO should quit their job — if only for a month — to escape their fear of failure

I’ve spent the last few weeks doing something I’ve not done since founding Shape History…

8 mins
ActivismResponsible Business

Our Top 5 Soundbites of The Social Good Summit 2018

As the world’s governments and global decision-makers descended into New York on Sunday afternoon…

4 mins