Patagonia Tools for Grassroots Activists
Best Practices for Success in the Environmental Movement
Nora Gallagher, Lisa Meyers, editors, Patagonia Softcover $24.95 (288pp), 978-1-938340-44-4
This concentration of excellent advice is worth several close reads, not only by environmental activists, but by any nonprofit grassroots movement.
Featuring names as big as 350.org and Jane Goodall, this collection of environmental and grassroots wisdom is distilled from the Patagonia clothing company’s biennial Tools Conference. Topics are both practical and ground-level, including strategic planning, lobbying, and the historical successes of community activist movements. Essays by experts in the field dominate the book, interspersed with large photographs and case studies of successful environmental movements.
Activists will find Patagonia Tools a useful resource, considering not only its sound, efficiently delivered advice, but also the resources listed at the end of each chapter, the effective index, and the orderly chapter organization. It functions most effectively as a sourcebook, next as a reference, and readers will no doubt want to take notes as they peruse. The book is generally optimistic about the ability of activists to make a change, but it remains practical throughout. Its ideal readers are already aware of the problems they want to solve and passionate about their cause, but untutored in the realities of social change. The balance of serious, somewhat dense didactic essays with vivid photographs and glowing examples of triumphs, like the Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign, will help to maintain the spirits of activists who find themselves disappointed that changing the world can be such a slog.