Phillip Smith

Beautiful Trouble descends on Oaxaca (again)


It’s been a few weeks since my last Beautiful Trouble update, and – much to my own surprise – quite a bit has happened since then.

This week, we brought current core team together in Oaxaca, Mexico for a work sprint. Andrew Boyd, Dave O Mitchell, Mara Ranville, and yours truly spent this past Tuesday huddled in front of laptops, then – much later – mezcales. This Friday we’ll be joined remotely by our training program lead, Matt Smucker, and our visualization expert, Marian Dörk, thanks to the powers of the Internet.


Some of the outcomes of this sprint won’t be announced for a few week’s time, but what I can share is that we’ll be moving forward in the new year with:

  • More Web-centric initiatives, with the intention to continue to grow audience for the online material, and to open up the opportunity for our growing community to contribute modules.

  • On that note, we have more than 300 modules that are currently in a “draft” state that we want to see moving forward.

  • A big push forward, thanks to Matt Smucker, on our training programs and speakers bureau. Beautiful Trouble has been used for trainings in Canada, the US, and as far away as Thailand, and we expect to see that grow in 2013, in collaboration with our network of more than sixty contributing creative activism experts. If you’re organizing a training and would like to bring Beautiful Trouble into the mix, please drop us a note.

  • The public release, possibly accompanied by a small contest of sorts, of the Beautiful Trouble API. The API is currently live, build on the Wordpress JSON API plug-in, so all the basic endpoints described by that plugin work, as well as a couple extras like all modules and all contributors.

Last but not least, we’ll be embarking on another journey to secure funding. We’ll use this funding to continue to get physical copies of Beautiful Trouble into the hands of activists around the world, to expand our training work to more groups, and – with the help of our community of contributors, supporters, and readers – to continue to grow the library of modules (tactics, theories, principles, practitioners, and case studies) that makes Beautiful Trouble what it is.

If you want to get involved with Beautiful Trouble, now’s the time, please send us a quick hello.



Hi, I'm Phillip Smith, a veteran digital publishing consultant, online advocacy specialist, and strategic convener. If you enjoyed reading this, find me on Twitter and I'll keep you updated.


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