Upcoming Sessions

Program Overview

Effective organizing requires an understanding of how to identify, recruit and develop leadership, build community around that leadership and harness the power from the resources of that community.

Led by Faculty Chair Marshall Ganz, Leadership, Organizing and Action: Leading Change is a 15-week online executive program designed to help you learn how to organize communities that can mobilize power to make change. This program offers a unique opportunity for those involved in organizing projects around the world to interact with others engaged in similar efforts, including leaders of civic associations, social movements, advocacy groups and nonprofits.


Presented through an engaging online platform, Leadership, Organizing and Action explores how leadership is exercised using public narrative, building relationships, structuring leadership teams, strategizing, and action. Participants will experience engaging live lectures, readings, discussions, reflection exercises, and take part in an organizing project.

Your own critical analysis of your capacity to lead an organizing project is a key part of this program. An organizing project requires (a) mobilizing a constituency to (b) collaborate with each other to (c) achieve a real change. You and your peers will learn why this approach is the most effective in addressing problems of power. You'll also learn the value of enabling people to mobilize the power/resources they need to solve their problems. How do they do that? By working together or by challenging others who hold power over them.


Leadership, Organizing and Action will teach you how to:

  • Enable others to achieve shared purpose under conditions of uncertainty.
  • Develop leadership, build community around that leadership and turn resources of that community into the power to achieve change.
  • Develop your public narrative: story of self, story of us, story of now.
  • Learn the difference between organizing and mobilizing and why it takes organizing to create real change.

Application Information

The program has ten modules that each focus on a specific learning objective. Each module also specifies an action objective—a particular skill you'll practice with your peer-learning partner. Each module builds on the previous learning and action objectives.

  1. Course Overview
  2. People, Power, & Change: My Project
  3. Public Narrative: Telling Your Story
  4. Story of Us and Now, Bringing it All Together
  5. Building Relationships
  6. Creating Structure: Your Leadership Team
  7. Strategizing: Turning Resources Into the Power to Achieve Purpose
  8. Action: Mobilizing & Deploying Resources
  9. Communities in Action: Organization
  10. Wrap up: Organizers, Organizations, & the Future

Program Flow:

program flow

View the draft program schedule.

Certificate Requirements

We expect a high level of commitment from participants—about 12 hours per week. To earn a program certificate, you must do all of the following on time:

  • Attend and participate in ten course lectures and ten section meetings.
  • Submit nine reflection papers and five small  group practice assignments.
  • Hold an introductory and mid-term one-on-one with your TF.
  • Submit course evaluations.

Make-Up Policy

In case of a work or family emergency that cannot be rescheduled without putting jobs/health in jeopardy, students may miss up to two scheduled sessions (lecture or sections). Make-up work will be required.


“[Marshall Ganz is] inspirational, empathetic, relatable, patient - dedicated. I felt we were all held to our highest standard but that also he recognized that looked different for all of us.”

Rebecca Kay Winson, Senior Organiser, New Economics Foundation
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Hear From the Faculty Chair

Faculty Chair Professor Marshall Ganz explains the benefits of the Leadership, Organizing and Action program.

Faculty & Research

Marshall Ganz Photo

Marshall Ganz

Rita E. Hauser Senior Lecturer in Leadership, Organizing, and Civil Society

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