Alex

Alex White

Campaigner | Unionist | Strategist

Global labour’s challenge to climate change

I originally published this on The Guardian and am republishing it here. At the end November 2013, Philip Jennings, the general secretary for the global union federation UNI Global Union spoke at a climate conference in Toronto. His message was simple: “there is nothing more important facing humanity than the dangers of a warming planet. We […]

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Activism or “Slacktivism”? Are we a nation of online slackers?

Sunday Style had a feature article by freelance journalist Sarah Ayoub, looking at online activism, an article for which I was interviewed a few months ago. Last month it was Facebook friends urging me to sign a petition to save Meriam Ibrahim, who was sentenced to death for alleged apostasy in Sudan, at the same […]

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Does your union leadership “get” digital?

Research undertaken in 2012 by pro-union academic Panos Panagiotopoulos found that globally, unions are increasingly viewing digital tools as essential to improving communications and member engagement. Over 61% of unions said that digital was considered a “priority” given budget and time constraints. Since then, it’s clear that the capabilities and benefits of digital tools (including web, email, […]

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What is best practice online campaigning (and why is it so difficult)?

A week ago, The Guardian’s Global Development Professionals Network held a live-chat with a panel of global digital campaigners to talk about “best practice”. On the panel included campaigners from highly regarded outfits like Avaaz, Change.org and Kony 2012 creators Invisible Children. The entire article is worth reading, as it covers from pretty essential “dos […]

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Using evidence-based science for effective communications

Many people in unions and progressive politics talk about “framing” — made famous by George Lakoff’s Don’t Think of an Elephant — but it’s difficult to see what that means in practice. Effective communication is made even more challenging by the broad left’s obsession with “rationality” and fact-based arguments. I’ve previously written that progressives should give […]

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Myths and misperceptions about marketing for unions

Marketing is still widely disparaged as a term in the union movement, and progressive organisations generally. Partly this is a skepticism born from shows like Mad Men and The Pitch, and partly it is a misunderstanding drawn from the popular perception that marketing is just opinion polling, focus groups and TV advertising. Despite this, every […]

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Science alone won’t change climate opinions, but it matters

I’ve often highlighted useful articles about cognitive and behavioural insights that I believe are useful for unions and progressive campaigners. This time, I’ve decided to republish an entire article by Ben Newell from The Conversation, because I want to draw it to the attention of my readers. It ties strongly to my earlier article, asking […]

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Why unions should understand member lifetime-value

All unions want to grow and increase their membership. Significant efforts and resources are devoted by unions to recruitment and the effort of signing up new workers to be members. The cost of signing up new members however can be substantial. These can include hiring and training new staff, resourcing them (e.g. cars, phones, computers, […]

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Defining your union’s promise and standing for something

If the conversations that I’m having at the moment are any judge, many unions and progressive organisations are looking closely at their communications and narrative. In countries or states with hostile conservative governments, like Australia or Canada, this is especially pressing. The key to nailing your narrative and developing a strategic communications plan is simple: […]

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ABOUT

Alex is Secretary of UnionsACT. He was previously the Campaigns Director for Environment Victoria, has worked at Slater & Gordon Lawyers, Inclusion Melbourne, the National Tertiary Education Union, and the LHMU (now United Voice). In 2012 Alex was an organising fellow with the Obama for America presidential campaign based in Boston, Massachusetts.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree and a Masters of Public Policy focusing on climate change and economics from the University of Melbourne. He has postgraduate certificates in Management from the Melbourne Business School and the University of Melbourne Faculty of Economics & Management.

  • Resume
    linkedin.com/in/alexanderwhite/

Alex wrote a column, called Southern Crossroads, for The Guardian UK’s environment pages, focusing on climate change.

Alex is a member of the ACTU Executive, and held a number of board positions on ACT Government councils and ACT community community groups including community radio station 2XX, the ACT Council of Social Services, and the ACT Reconciliation Day Council. He was a board member of Greenpeace Australia-Pacific from 2013-2016 and of The Wilderness Society (Victoria) from 2012-2014.

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EXPERTISE

Strategy

For over a decade, Alex has developed and executed high-impact strategies that win, melding grassroots on-the-ground field organising and digital campaigning.

Innovation

A recognised leader in adoption and development of new tools, Alex has assisted unions and non-profit organisations to manage and respond to disruption.

Advocacy

With his progressive values as a guiding star, Alex has deep experience in leading effective advocacy to governments, businesses and the public.

Leadership

Combining international experience with energy and commitment, Alex has a powerful communicator and motivator, and has built high performing teams.

SELECTED EXPERIENCE

Secretary - UnionsACT

2014 to present

Chief executive and elected secretary of UnionsACT, the peak union council representing over 33,000 working people in the Canberra Region.

Campaigns Director - Environment Victoria

2014

Responsible for Environment Victoria’s high impact 2014 election campaign.

National Union Services Manager - Slater & Gordon

2012-2014

National responsibility for developing strategy for, and coordinating, Slater & Gordon’s union relationships and marketing programs for over 100 union clients.

Organising Fellow - Obama for America

2012

Based in Boston Massachusetts, led several teams of volunteer campaigners, with a focus on supporting the swing state of New Hampshire.

Marketing & Development Manager - Inclusion Melbourne

2012

Led fundraising and marketing for Victoria’s oldest disability charity, supporting people with intellectual disabilities.

Campaigns Coordinator - NTEU Vic

2008-2012

Communications and campaigns coordinator at the National Tertiary Education Union – Victorian Division.

Organiser - LHMU Victoria

2006-2008

Organiser with responsibility for a range of industries including security and cleaning.


SELECTED EDUCATION

The University Melbourne

Masters of Public Policy and Management

Focusing in climate change economics.

Melbourne Business School

Graduate Certificate of Management

Leadership and strategy focus.

The University Melbourne

Bachelor of Arts (Honours)

Honours in history: Late Antiquity.


SELECTED BOARDS AND COMMITTEES

I have contributed to a large variety of boards, committees and councils. Below is a selected list.

ACT Work Safety Council

2014-current

Ministerial advisory council, with responsibility of Work Health and Safety Act, workers compensation, and dangerous goods, amongst others.

ACT Reconciliation Day Council

2018-current

Ministerial advisory council for the newly created Reconciliation Day.

Greenpeace Australia-Pacific

2013-2016

One of Australia’s largest environmental charities.

The Wilderness Society

2012-2014

One of Australia’s largest environmental charities.

MEDIA

Alex has written for a wide range of publications, including on the topics of civil society, electoral laws, climate change, higher education, social media, industrial relations and political affairs. In 2013, he started writing a regular blog for The Guardian UK, and has also written for publications including the Salon, ABC’s The Drum, New Matilda and the Centre for Policy Development.

Southern Crossroads Column for the Guardian

Between 2013 and 2016, Alex wrote a climate-change focused column for the Guardian, called Southern Crossroads.

Selected Articles

 

CONTACT

Feel free to shoot me an email.

  • E-mail
    alex.jp.white@gmail.com
  • Location
    Canberra, ACT