About NEON

The backstory

Back in 2013 we asked leaders and campaigners across civil society what holds social and environmental justice movements back in our mission for a fair and sustainable future.

The message was loud and clear:

  • Despite strong shared values (e.g. equality, justice, democracy) we lack a common vision of what our alternative is and how it could work in practice
  • Instead of working together as a movement we’re stuck in institutional and political tribes, competing for funding and airtime
  • We lack the training structures to grow our leadership, skills and impact
  • Our organisations are often unrepresentative of the diverse society we care about, and prone to reproducing damaging power imbalances along gender, race or other lines.

NEON is as an experiment in how progressives can begin working together to tackle the root causes of the problems we face.

From our first Campaign Lab course in 2013 we’ve grown into a network of over 1000 activists, with dozens of programmes ranging from in-depth campaigning and leadership courses to a PR and media training for progressive spokespeople.

The setup

NEON began life as a project of the New Economics Foundation but has since set up as an independent not-for-profit company. The network is co-ordinated by a small staff team in London, with projects run in collaboration with members and their organisations.

We’re mostly funded by trusts and foundations but also offer some consultancy for members ranging from strategy to media training.

Board of trustees

Liz Hutchins (Chair): Senior Campaigner, Political and Legal Unit, Friends of the Earth; Wilf Sullivan: Race Equality Officer, TUC; Sirio Canós Donnay: Podemos/15-M organiser and Anthropologist; Sam Tarry: Political Officer, TSSA (Transport Salaried Staff Association); Anna Laycock: Lead Strategist of the Finance Innovation Lab; Howard Reed: Director, Landman Economics; Daniel Vockins: Executive Director, NEON.