TUC Digital Lab events

Upcoming events

  • Postponed – watch this space: Social Media trends for unions in 2022Congress House, London
    In this in-person session for comms teams of TUC affiliate unions, we’ll discuss key trends you should consider to keep your social media comms effective in 2022.

Past events

16 Jan 2019 – Innovation in unions: Lessons from Denmark – HK Lab Programme Leader Mathias Askholm told us us how HK built a major innovation programme and developed a culture of digital change across the union. 

23 Jan 2019 – Tech tools for organisersAction Network’s Brian Young gave a sneak preview of US unions’ major new organising toolkit, Action Builder, and talked about how it was co-operatively designed with unions, to make things easier for organisers. 

29 Jan 2019 – Creating Social Media Videos for UnionsAlterEco‘s Richard Roaf introduced the creative and technical skills needed to create a short social media video on your mobile phone.

7 Feb 2019 – Online to offline organising – OUR WalMart Director Dan Schlademan told us how they support local branches and campaigns with a ladder of online engagement.

12 Feb 2019 – Digital innovation: the Co-op approach – A workplace tour and presentation by Co-op Digital in Manchester, showing how they manage their extensive transformation work to improve member and customer experiences.

26 Feb 2019 – Digital transformation in unions – A strategy workshop to develop a first draft of a set of design principles for union digital transformation projects. Read more on the 8 principles here.

26 Apr 2019 – Welcoming new members to your union: Digital Lab workshop #1 – Many unions are working on modernising their online joining processes, and getting good results. But getting people to join is only the first stage. What happens next is just as important if we’re to keep them in membership longer term. How can we give new members a warm welcome to the union, and provide the information, services and opportunities they might need in the first weeks after becoming a member? Read the workshop report here.

29 Apr 2019 – #digitalunions meetup. Evening meetup for union digital officers, to hear the experiences and learnings from four different union digital projects.

15 May 2019 – How to make the most out of Facebook and Twitter
Webinar with the TUC digital comms team on how trade unionists can use features on social media to organise, network and campaign. 

May 23 2019 – Campaigning to win with digital: TUC Digital Lab workshop #2
How can we take advantage of digital to boost our unions’ ability to win campaigns? A Digital Lab practical workshop looking at how digital-first organisations approach campaigning, and where there are opportunities to take next steps in our unions. Read the workshop report here.

Jun 18 2019 – Successful union balloting with digital: TUC Digital Lab workshop #3
How digital can make it easier to seek and gain mandates from our membership. How we can maximise statutory ballot turnouts? How we can increase the efficiency and reach of indicative balloting?

June 27 2019 – Effective email writing for union campaigns
A small group training course aimed at helping union comms and campaigns staff to write more impactful email for mobilisation. The format worked well and we could run this again if there’s demand, so let us know if you’d like to see this course happening again.

July 8 2019- Optimising union digital: How to engage both members and non-members online – Alex Lloyd Hunter of Forward Action discussed key strategies, tactics and processes you need to run an effective digital engagement that helps recruit new members, retain existing ones, and boost your campaigning. Read some of the insights here.

July 24 2019 – Union organising in the digital age: TUC Digital Lab workshop #4 – The 4th Digital Lab workshop looked at digital tools and techniques to make our existing organising approach more effective. Write-up coming soon. Read the workshop report here.

August 16 2019 – Digital content for unions: Strategy and delivery. Digital Lab workshop #5 – Led by content strategy agency Contentious, this session was about working out how to prioritise the content members need; Developing clear, engaging digital content, and Understanding whether it’s working for members. Read the workshop report here.

September 9 2019 – Meeting the challenges of digital: Digital Lab at Congress 2019 – Congress 2019 fringe workshop, run in partnership with the Centre for the Acceleration of Social Technology, to help people from all roles across the movement to identify the challenges they face in making the most of digital.

September 13 2019 – Effective email writing for union campaigns – A small group training course helping union comms and campaigns staff to write more impactful email for mobilisation. 

September 20 2019 – Using data to build trade unions: TUC Digital Lab workshop #6 – In this TUC Digital Lab session discovered and shared best practice in: Building learning from data into union digital projects; Improving the quality of our data; Understanding data protection and data ethics.

October 29 2019, London – Service design for unions: TUC Digital Lab workshop #7. A TUC Digital Lab workshop looking at how we can improve union services and processes, how they’re designed and delivered to meet the growing expectations of our members, and how we can make the best use of digital tools and techniques to help us do it.

November 7 2019, Webinar – Organising the next generation of workers. TUC Education webinar with two young trade unionists taking about the work that they’ve done to organise young workers in Yorkshire and the Humber. Watch the reply here (and see this post for more background).

November 8 2019, London – Using digital in election and referendum campaigns: TUC Digital Lab workshop #8. Elections are now fought online as much as on the doorstep, and the technology changes with every political cycle. A campaign is a hectic time to get across our key messages and we can’t afford to get behind on digital if we want cut through. This workshop looked at how unions can make the most of the new technologies and approaches on offer.

February 28 2020, London – CRM and systems change for trade unions – A seminar for TUC affiliated unions on getting the most out of our CRM systems and membership databases, and running system change projects.

25 March 2020, online – Unions working remotely. A round table event on how unions are adapting to the requirements of working from home during the lockdown. Read a write-up here.

9-11 July, online – Organise 2020. 10 digital sessions as part of the TUC’s festival of ideas in union organising.

5 November 2020 – Hybrid union events – lessons from our first virtual Congress. Webinar on what we learned in taking Congress 2020 online. Read a case study here.

10 November 2020 – Digital organising strategies to build collective power. Webinar on the findings of Tectonica’s digital organising survey. Watch the presentations here.

18 December 2020 – How are unions producing their online conferences? – Webinar on running virtual union conferences, with case studies from NEU national conference and STUC Congress. Read a report and watch the video here.

17 March 2021 – The New Normal for unions
Workshop for senior union leaders, focusing on the challenges faced by unions in adjusting to the long term changes caused or accelerated by the pandemic.

15 April 2021 – Socially distant campaigning: tactics for unions
How new campaigning tactics have been used in union campaigns in over 2020, and the lessons learned. 

April 2021 – Leading Digital Change in unions
Update module for alumni of the TUC’s Leading Change leadership development programme prior to 2020. This course introduced issues around organisational change related to digitisation in unions. 

12 August 2021 – Digital approaches to case management for unions
Seminar on how unions are using new case management tools to work faster, with greater resilience and with greater understanding of their members’ needs. Watch a recorded video of the presentations here.

1 October 2021 – Unions adapting to the new normal
Collaborative workshop to discuss our recent research on the challenges for unions that will remain as the pandemic subsides.

26 October 2021 – Defining your union’s organising “tech stack”
A workshop discussing the many new tech tools and services that have helped organisers and reps innovate over the pandemic. How can we define and support a “tech stack” in the union that helps empower reps, whilst reducing risk and cost for the union? Read the workshop report here.

7 December 2021 – Improving the union experience for online-only members
A growing proportion of our members have never been to a physical union event or talked in person to a rep. Colleagues from TUC affiliates met to discuss the needs of our currently online-only members, and what being a union member feels like to them. Read the workshop report here.

9 February 2022 – Digital Lab office hours
First TUC Digital Lab office hours session of 2022. Discussing search engines, with SEO consultant Simon Parry.

21 March 2022 – Unions and Microsoft 365: A TUC Digital Lab surgery
Online surgery session with consultant Randy Perkins-Smart (Qaixen/Acert), looking through the many apps that make up MS365. We saw how MS365 can be used to foster greater cross-union collaboration, and how a strategic IT view of the suite also allows you to integrate functions to create your own new tools, specific to your union’s needs. 

8 June 2022 – Digital Lab office hours – Online campaigning
Open discussion on all aspects of digital campaigning. Featuring a presentation from special guest Eric Lee of LabourStart, which marks 20 years of online solidarity campaigns this year. Read the session write up here.

13 July 2022 – We Demand Beta: Digital responses to the cost of living crisis
With the cost of living crisis and the union response to it has come a higher profile for unions and our issues. This summer offers a huge chance for the movement to engage more widely with members and with unorganised workers. Read the report of this workshop here.