Platform

Platform is committed to equality, diversity and social justice. We welcome anyone who shares these values. We particularly encourage applications from women, people from ethnic minority backgrounds, people with disabilities and other groups under represented in our areas of work. We are prepared to make reasonable adjustments to enable disabled candidates to show their suitability for any role.

Our organisation is a small team of people working part-time, primarily from our London office, near Tower Bridge. Some staff spend part of the year abroad.

Ogoni protesters demand that Shell cleans up its oil pollution

Ogoni protesters demand that Shell cleans up its oil pollution

Vacancy

Job title: Campaign and Communications Officer.

Maternity cover: 6 month contract

Job purpose: to run a campaign and communications strategy to achieve environmental justice in the Niger Delta working in solidarity with social movements in Nigeria

Hours: 24 hours (3 days) per week*

Salary: £31,000 pa, pro rata adjusted according to need, in line with Platform’s Social Justice Waging System – see below for more details

Responsible to: Management Group (MG)

Location: London Platform’s office at Tower Bridge 2 days a week and flexible working 1 day a week.

To apply, please send us:

  •    Your CV
  •    Supporting Statement telling us how you meet the person specification, giving examples – not more than 2 sides of A4
  •    A completed Equal Opportunities form 2015_Equal_Opps_form_for_use

Email info@platformlondon.org by 1 May. Please use the subject heading: ‘Campaign and Communications Officer’.

Sadly, due to limited capacity we are unable to reply to applicants who have not been invited for interview. Interviews can only take place on 12 May.

*subject to funding

About Platform

Platform brings together human rights campaigners, educators, environmentalists, artists and community activists. This vital mix enables us to create innovative projects driven by the need for social and ecological justice. Our methods are interdisciplinary, combining the power of art with the tangible goals of campaigning, the rigour of in-depth research with the vision to promote an alternative future.

Platform’s current campaigns focus on the social, economic and environmental impacts of the global oil industry. Our pioneering education courses, exhibitions, art events and book projects promote radical new ideas that inspire change.

How we work is important to us. We operate through collective decision-making. Our team includes campaigners, artists and researchers who act together and with networks to achieve long-term, systemic goals. Everyone in Platform is committed to our core values of justice, solidarity, creativity and democracy. You can read our statement on values here.

The Carbon Web

Platform’s Carbon Web project seeks to undermine the links between UK oil companies and the institutions that surround and support them; including banks, investors, government departments and cultural institutions. The Niger Delta region is one of the most emblematic sites of environmental injustice, with devastating impacts and little benefit to local communities. The Campaign and Communications Officer along with international and Nigerian partner organisations plays a crucial part in changing this dynamic.

The Campaign

Shell is responsible for a toxic legacy in the Niger Delta lasting over 50 years. People are dying, sick, can’t feed themselves and have no clean water because Shell destroyed their environment by drilling for oil. The UN’s Environment Programme (UNEP) researched the destruction, publishing a report in 2011. The report concluded that Shell had not taken sufficient action to clean up and set out initial steps to rectify the damage. Platform’s research in Ogoniland shows that Shell has still not cleaned up, almost 3 years after the UNEP report was published. Our goal is to force Shell, and the Nigerian government to fully implement the UNEP Assessment of Ogoniland as a first step to cleaning up all oil pollution in the Niger Delta.

Last year, Platform’s pressure helped forced Shell and the Nigerian Government to kick-start the clean-up of Ogoniland. Both committed the $1bn recommended by UNEP. The Nigerian Government has begun convening a new process for implementing the report.

However, the progress on the implementation of the UNEP report has stalled somewhat in the run up to the Nigerian elections due in March. Also, Shell has been selling off its onshore oil assets including in Ogoniland. We need to make sure that Shell does not evade responsibility for cleaning up its oil pollution even if it divests.

This year, Platform is running a major campaign, using the 20th anniversary of the execution of the Ogoni 9 to turn promises from Shell and the Nigerian Government into concrete action.

We will do this through:

  • working as part of a coalition to demand a clean-up of the Niger Delta and monitor progress implementing the UNEP report.
  • using the opportunity of 2015 to keep the spotlight on Shell and the Nigerian Government and force action. We will take the Living Memorial to Ken Saro-Wiwa – the Battle Bus sculpture by Sokari Douglas Camp – to the Niger Delta and help coordinate a series of rallies, events and protests with Nigerian partners.
  • We will investigate and expose oil company activities that block progress and lead to human rights abuses
the Living Memorial to Ken Saro-Wiwa – the Battle Bus sculpture by Sokari Douglas Camp

the Living Memorial to Ken Saro-Wiwa – the Battle Bus sculpture by Sokari Douglas Camp

Our previous work:

Since the execution of Saro-Wiwa and eight others in 1995, Platform has focused on the environmental and social impacts of the oil industry. We have worked on Nigeria for over a decade. Together with a global coalition of partner NGOs, activists, social movements, journalists and lawyers from Nigeria, the Netherlands, the UK, US and elsewhere, we have successfully produced:

– remember saro-wiwa (2004 – 2010): A landmark project to create a Living Memorial to Ken Saro-Wiwa in London. This combined art, activism, music and events to raise public awareness and call for corporate accountability.

– The Next Gulf (2005): A book on London, Washington and oil conflict in Nigeria. An in depth exploration of how western companies and governments have cooperated with local elites in West African to maintain control over the natural resources of the Gulf of Guinea.

– Counting the Cost (2011): A major report on corporate complicity in recent human rights abuses in the Niger Delta. Exposed how Shell had fuelled conflict by paying tens of thousands of dollars in cash and contracts to armed militant groups and relied heavily on government security forces notorious for abuse. Led to an official investigation in Nigeria and made global headlines.

– Recent briefings on oil conflict (2012): Authoritative analysis of the role of external actors in exacerbating the Niger Delta conflict between 2003 and 2011. Sources included leaked company data, documents obtained under Freedom of Information and US embassy cables.

– Polluted Promises (2014) A report examining Shell’s role in oil pollution in Ogoniland based on desk research and on the ground case studies.

Main functions and responsibilities of the role

The successful candidate will be a dynamic and tenacious campaigner and communications person able to challenge the abuses of oil companies in the Niger Delta. You should be able to plan, run and win public campaigns. This involves generating media, undertaking research, generating online content, working in coalition with international and Nigerian organisations, organising events and strategic interventions within a set budget and timeframe. You will work in an interdisciplinary campaign team with two others from the arts.

Person specification

Essential (Skills, qualities and experience):

  • A track-record of campaigning and communications work – whether in grassroots activist, NGO, or other context
  • Strong communicator (written, verbal) and ability to frame debates and develop key messages
  • Ability to work with affected communities, social movements and NGO coalitions
  • Experience of undertaking research and documentation
  • Experience of generating media coverage and conveying key messages in interviews
  • Experience of social media and writing blogs
  • Experience of organising successful events and interventions
  • Time-management skills and the flexibility and motivation to respond to opportunities and challenges
  • Strong commitment to environmental justice issues
  • Ability to work well as part of a team and using consensus decision-making
  • Computer literate – PC or Mac. Familiarity with Office applications and online tools
  • Appreciation of the role of art or creativity in driving social change

Desirable (Skills, qualities and experience) :

Note: We don’t expect applicants to have all of these

  • Experience of working on environmental justice issues and with frontline communities
  • Familiarity with the political situation in Nigeria
  • Willingness to visit and work in the Nigeria for a short period of time
  • Experience of combining art and activism
  • Experience of communicating and cooperating across different cultures

What other people say about us:

“I thank you for all the effort, time and resources you put into the report that has finally captured the attention of the House of [Representatives] in Nigeria… It is left for us to build a strong advocacy campaign around this whole thing until communities like Rumuekpe are adequately compensated for all the atrocities committed against them by the oil companies operating on their land.” Ogoni solidarity activist commenting on the Counting the Cost report

“International groups such as Amnesty, Friends of the Earth International and Platform… have done extraordinary work to bring the human rights and environment scandal of the Delta to world attention.” The Guardian, 10 August 2011.

“Your research was very influential in our decision to sell 100% of our fossil fuel exposure last year; this significant decision amounted to well over $100 m of redemptions, capital being pulled out of that sector. All gone!”   Managing Director of a large investment fund.

Organisational structure:

Platform promotes shared leadership and collaboration and our horizontal structure reflects this. We value everybody’s work equally and support each other to make ambitious projects possible.

As a charity, ultimate responsibility for and control of the organisation lie with the Board of Trustees. However, what would more “traditionally” be the role of Executive Director role is carried out by a rotating Management Group (MG).

MG members have specific responsibilities for running different aspects of the organisation, and report to the wider organisation and the Trustees. Current MG roles include Finance, Human Resources, Strategy and Programming and Systems. The campaign and communications officer will be line-managed by a member of the MG. For the first 2 months of employment they will work alongside another staff member who will gradually handover the work when they go on maternity leave in August.

Equal opportunities

Platform strives to apply equal opportunities principles both in its recruitment and in its work. We oppose all forms of unlawful or lawful discrimination on the grounds of colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, gender, sexuality, marital status, religion, age or disability.

The successful candidate will be selected purely on the basis of how well they fit the person specification, as judged by their application materials and their interview performance. Unfortunately, Platform is unable to arrange work permits for applicants.

Terms & Conditions

Salary: The salary will be determined by Platform’s ground-breaking Social Justice Waging System, based on a core rate £31,000 per annum, pro rata. Under this radical scheme, not only are all staff subject to the same salary levels (regardless of position in the organisation), the levels are adjusted according to need. For example, those with substantial inherited savings are paid less than those without, and there are extra salary increases available to those with children or dependents. We believe this system constitutes a major step forward in providing equal opportunities.

Details of the System (including principles, rationale and mechanisms) are available on request, from info@platformlondon.org.

Hours of work: 24 hours (3 days) per week*.

Contract: 6 months maternity cover

Holiday: 30 days per calendar year plus bank holidays (pro-rata)

Notice of termination: One week from either side.

Access: Platform’s office is on the ground floor (with steps) . Platform will make every reasonable adjustment to the office or to working arrangements so as to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities.

*subject to funding

What current and former staff say:

Mel Evans:

“From 2008 to 2014 I worked at Platform on issues around oil, finance, sponsorship and the arts. Previously I worked in theatre and youth work. I found the diversity of my work energising, and it also allowed me to keep developing different skills. It involved everything from large scale presentations, performance, press and media, to workshops, writing / copy editing and fundraising. The team were all very driven and passionate, but also keen to maintain a healthy work-life balance. We embraced change within the organisation so we didn’t get stuck in our ways, which I found refreshing.”

Ben Amunwa:

“I worked at Platform from September 2007 to September 2012. i was taken on to coordinate the remember saro-wiwa project. The journey ranged from campaigning on the streets of New York to fact-finding in the creeks of the Niger Delta. I was not confined to a single department or a single role, but able to develop skills across fundraising, campaigns and research and to explore my own interests, like legal cases against corporate human rights abuses. While the issues we work on are often serious, we all enjoy what we do. The relaxed and friendly atmosphere helps a lot.”

Jane Trowell:

“I’ve worked here since 1992. I can only explain it by saying that Platform is constantly being remade. The issues are very important to me, and my interest keeps being fed by new colleagues, constructively challenging each other, and the changing political contexts. Each project is very different, but we all seek the most effective and creative way of making change happen. I also like going at things from first principles. I like working by consensus. It’s very hard work sometimes. But mutual support, a cracking sense of humour, and stepping back at crucial moments is key.”

Internships and volunteering:

Platform hires interns and volunteers on an occasional basis. All opportunities will be advertised on this page. If you would like us to consider your application for an internship or voluntary position, please complete and submit this online form. In addition to these positions, Platform is developing placements for researchers who wish to explore the themes of our work.

What previous interns say:

Selina Nwulu:

“My time working at Platform was a really positive experience and I found it invaluable to work for a pro-active charity that saw my potential and accepted me, without ego and hierarchy, as a colleague. I found I was much more at ease to be myself and voice my views which were taken on with the same respect and validation as everyone else. I know that my time at Platform has helped me into paid employment in environmental campaigning today and I will always consider Platform as a group of respected activists, committed to social and environmental change with a good sense of humour and steady biscuit supply!”