Using social movement research to tackle the world's most pressing problems


About Social Change Lab

Social Change Lab conducts and disseminates social movement research to help solve the world’s most pressing problems. 


We seek to inform advocates, decision-makers and philanthropists on the best ways to accelerate positive social change.


We are an organisation that combines the ideas of Effective Altruism, a deep commitment to doing the most good with our available resources, with a practical understanding of how social movements operate.

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Image by Mika Baumeister

Our research

Our report on protest outcomes summarises 6 months of our research into the outcomes of protest movements. We covered topics such as the impact of protest movements on policy, public opinion, voter behaviour, and public discourse. We find that protest movements have had significant and important impacts, and think it's very plausible that they will do so in the future.

Our preliminary cost-effectiveness analysis of nonviolent climate protest in the UK also showed that it might have been one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce carbon emissions, at least in the first year of activities.

You can see more of our work on our Research page.

Research methods

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Literature reviews
Interviewing experts

Conducting literature reviews of existing political science and sociology research into protest and social movements.

Interviewing policymakers, academics and other experts to determine to what degree successful social change can be attributed to protest movements.

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Theory of change analysis
Public Opinion Polling

Commissioning respected pollsters, such as YouGov, to measure public opinion on key issues before and after large scale protest campaigns. You can see here an example of our polling work for Just Stop Oil.

Understanding the causal pathways and mechanisms for which protest movements achieve social change, and examining the robustness of these pathways.


Meet the team

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James Ozden
Founder & Director

James has spent the last three years building effective social movements to tackle climate change and reduce animal suffering. From working on strategy for one of the most well-known social movement organisations in recent history, Extinction Rebellion, he's learned valuable lessons in designing effective movements. More recently, James completed the Charity Entrepreneurship Incubation Program on how to launch highly impactful nonprofits using Effective Altruist principles. 

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Sam Glover
Research Manager

Sam recently graduated from a Master’s degree in Democracy and Comparative Politics at UCL - his Master’s thesis involved using machine learning on Twitter data to establish how legislators react to Eurosceptic pressure in their constituency, and helped familiarise him with advanced quantitative methods. Sam recently joined Social Change Lab as a Research Manager, where he helps carry out our research and literature reviews on the effects of protest and social movements.

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