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Teach-in to Save the Economy Host Guide

Teach-in to Save the Economy Host Guide


Click here to share and view all 12-videos in the “Big Picture: Ideas to Save the Economy” series landing page.



MoveOn worked with Robert Reich to produce a 12-video series called “The Big Picture: Ideas to Save the Economy.” Our initial goal for this series was to launch some of the biggest, most commonsense, game-changing ideas to save our economy through people-powered media, bypassing a corporate choke hold on progressive ideas.

We’ve said all along that we also wanted to allow these big ideas to become the foundation for MoveOn’s next big campaigns focused on the economy. Because MoveOn is our members, we’re gauging member interest and excitement about each of these ideas—in part—by the number of views and shares each video is receiving.

Now that we’ve released all twelve Big Picture videos, we’re focusing on how else to organize around these big ideas—to spread the word and build the movement we’ll need to win real changes. The national teach-ins on July 18 and 19 are the next steps in spreading these big ideas.

Before Your Event


Invite your family, friends, neighbors, & co-workers.

  • Brainstorm 50 people you can invite to your event. Think about friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and acquaintances that might be interested in learning more about how we can make our economy work for everyone. The most effective way to invite people is by sending an email and following up with a phone call. You can also invite people via only an email, over Twitter, on Facebook, and/or any other social networking sites that you use. Unless you created a “private” event, MoveOn will help you recruit guests by emailing members near you.
  • One tip: Ask everyone you contact to register for your teach-in by using the online registration link. That will help you keep tabs on how many people are planning to attend and will provide a common hub for you to communicate with them and vice versa.
  • Hit the phones: The most tried-and-true way we know to get people out to events is to pick up the phone and call them. Your calls to friends and neighbors are more powerful than an email.
  • Emails: You can also invite people via email from your host tools page. Here’s how:
    • To send the invite email, log in to your host tools page. From there, you can easily send invitations using the “Invite Others” tool.
    • Share on social media using the “Invite friends on Facebook” and “Invite friends on Twitter” buttons on the host tools page.

Confirm guests.

A day or two before your house party, call everyone who said “yes” to confirm them, share updates, and invite them to bring a friend. Don’t rely on Facebook RSVPs—personal contact is the highest motivator of action. And remember the “rule of halves”: only half of the people you confirm will likely show up. Make sure to invite as many people as you can!

Get your materials in order.

  • Test your equipment (computer or DVD player and television) before the meeting to make sure it works.
  • Print sign-in sheets, the agendas, and other information you want to have available for your guests. All materials are available on this page.
  • You may want to provide snacks and beverages for your guests.
  • Make signs for the group photo with the message: “#SaveTheEconomy.”
  • Write the goals of your teach-in on butcher paper beforehand, so everyone can see clearly what we’re doing at the event:
    • Meet other local people who want to help save the economy.
    • Watch four videos from “The Big Picture: Ideas to Save the Economy.”
    • Discuss ways to spread these ideas.

Listen to a recording of the host prep call.

Prepare your venue.

  • Pre-assign a friend to help greet people as they enter.
  • Think about how many people are coming and have enough seating for everyone, but put out slightly fewer chairs than you think you’ll need. (It’s always better to add more chairs than to have empty seats!)
  • Ask a friend to help you with the room set-up, so you aren’t responsible for finding extra chairs once the party starts.
  • If you are in a large space, think about what you’d like to put on the walls.
  • Please double-check you can play a DVD or stream the videos online. The videos will be a key piece of the teach-in. Videos have shipped and will arrive Friday. As a back-up, or if you prefer, here are the four house party videos for online streaming:

Make final preparations—including reminder calls

In the last 24 hours before your event, make sure you’re ready! Re-read this guide and review all your materials. Also, be sure to check in with any co-host or helpers the day before the event to finalize any logistics and talk through any questions.

Your registered guests should hear from you in the 24 hours leading up to the event. This is by far the best way to help ensure that people show up. You should give them a reminder call. If they listed their phone numbers, that information will show up on your host tools page. You should also log in to your host tools page to send an email to everyone who RSVPed, reminding them what time you are starting and how to get there.

During Your Event


Plan to start setting up 30 minutes before your teach-in starts.

  • Typically, some folks will show up early, and you’ll want to be there to greet them.
  • Welcome people as they arrive and help folks get settled.
  • Start as close to on time as possible. Don’t wait more than ten minutes after your advertised start time.

Here’s an overview of the 90-minute agenda:


0:00 Guests arrive, mingle (10 min)

  • Ask a guest to take photographs during the party.

 0:10 Welcome & introductions (5 min)

0:15 MoveOn and host’s stories (5 min)

  • Read MoveOn’s story of the “Big Picture” video series.
  • Why did you decide to host this teach-in? What one or two experiences in your life give you hope that we can save the economy?

 0:20 Pair and share (5 min)

  • Have participants break into pairs and share their reasons for coming to the party.

 0:25 Group discussion (15 min)

  • Hand out and review the participant worksheet.
  • Read the prompt questions out loud, so people can think about them when they watch the videos.

 0:40 Group photo! (5 min)

0:45 Watch four videos* (15 min)

  • Let everyone know these are four videos in the video series released by MoveOn and Robert Reich called “The Big Picture,” a series of twelve short videos that demonstrate ways to fix our economy.
  • Play all four videos: #5 “Reinvent Education,” #9 “Make Polluters Pay,” #10 “End Mass Incarceration,” and #12 “Get Big Money Out of Politics.”

*We know a lot of people will want to watch all 12, but be sure to watch the four assigned first, to allow time for the rest of the discussion.

1:00 Group discussion (25 min)

  • Review the goals of the party.
  • Go through participant worksheet.

 1:25 Closing, thank-you, and next steps (5 min)

1:30 Stay and mingle!


    • This should be fun and educational. Providing some simple ground rules before the meeting will help everyone stay focused and on the same page. Some great ground rules are one conversation at a time, show respect (we all have different experiences and may not all agree), and leave open space for everyone to participate … i.e., don’t dominate the conversation.
    • Ask others to step up into roles—don’t run a one-person show!
    • Stick to the agenda; it will help you get through all the material and leave plenty of space for conversation and mingling at the end

After Your Event


  1. Hold a little time for socializing. This is a great way for people to share contact information and build relationships.
  2. Follow-up with folks who attended your teach-in.
    • Call through your sign-in sheets to thank people for coming.
    • Debrief with any members who took on leadership roles during the event. This includes greeters, co-host, or note takers.
    • Ask attendees to watch and share the videos with their friends.
  3. Fill out the survey you’ll receive via email after the teach-in. And email any photos from the event to photo@moveon.org or post them on Twitter and Facebook using this hashtag: #SaveThe Economy.

Must-have Materials

Download all four videos

Click here to download all four videos. This file includes all four videos we are featuring at the house parties. Note: If you are using “Firefox” or “Safari” Web browsers, right-click or ctrl-click on the link and choose “Save Link As…” to download the file. It may take some time for the file to download.

Host tools page

This is how you invite people and contact attendees. We sent you a link to this by email, but click here if you can’t find it.

Host and participant agenda

  • Host agenda is an agenda for the host to use with helpful tips and information for your teach-in. Please review and print out a copy for yourself and any other co-host. Click here to print the host agenda.
  • Participant agenda is an agenda with a worksheet for attendees to take notes. Please print out enough copies for everyone who RSVPed. Click here to download the participant agenda.

sheet

You are meeting fellow MoveOn members in the area, and it is great to get their contact information so you can thank them and invite them to future actions or teach-ins. Click here to print the sign-in page.

Sharing and social media

Email photos and video to photo@moveon.org. Tweet or post to Facebook and Instagram using hashtag #SaveTheEconomy.

Social media tips

Tips for shooting a good smartphone video

Need help?

Email your questions to help@moveon.org, or call our Volunteer Hotline at 800-831-6703 during the following hours:


Friday, July 17:       6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Saturday, July 18:  11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, July 19:    12 p.m. to 9 p.m.