About Us

We move people to act on the most pressing issues of our time.

The beginning...

We were founded in 2011, in the aftermath of the financial crisis by a few young campaigners who believed that the power of community organising, creative communications and digital technology could help transform the progressive movement.

We borrowed our name from Bob Marley’s “Small Axe” because it summed up what we set out to do.

“So if you are the big tree, we are the small axe, ready to cut you down (well sharp)”

We know that with a good strategy, the right tools and the passion to keep on chopping, you can bring down big trees.

2014

In 2014 we incubated a team of technologists in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Three years later, DXDY went fully independent. They specialise in organisational websites, mobile applications, migrations, data warehousing and system integrations. We continue to collaborate.

2015

In the 2015 election, we secured one of the few progressive victories of the campaign working on Caroline Lucas’ unlikely re-election campaign in Brighton Pavilion.

2016

In 2016 we partnered with Dan Firth, who joined us as our Political Director to build on a shared idea: “to find and recruit local leaders to run for office for progressive parties.”

That idea became We Can Win. With funding from JRRT, Roddick Foundation and Open Society Foundation we trained over 100 people from Doncaster to the East Midlands and London.

We helped residents win historic victories in the City of London, now with an unprecedented five elected Labour councillors. Dan is now building this vision as the Director of Community Organising at the Labour Party.

2017

In 2017 we helped deliver a hung parliament with the biggest and most effective third-party campaigning operation in the UK.

We delivered campaigns for School Cuts and the Progressive Alliance, reaching 7 and 4 million voters respectively, swinging 750k votes for education and doubling the number of people who voted tactically.

Off the back of that campaign we used distributed mobilisation techniques honed on the campaign trail to organise one of the biggest mass lobbies of parliament against school cuts.

2018

In 2018 we helped start two new organisations: CrossCheck International building a global platform for journalists to collaborate on emerging news stories and combat misinformation, and EveryDoctor, a political home for progressive doctors who want to fight to save their profession from privatisation, discrimination and their colleagues from burnout.

2019

In 2019, we joined forces with the Labour Party to write the Declaration for a Green Industrial Revolution. A pledge to transform our economy and create green unionised jobs and achieve social justice on issues like housing, public transport and unemployment.

We also worked on rebranding the Community Organising Unit of the Labour Party and Labour Unions, putting the voices of working people at the forefront of movements to transform their rights.

During the General Election, we supported Citizens UK, Stop School Cuts and Labour Unions on ambitious campaigns that drove voter turnout and put the concerns of parents, teachers and working people on the national agenda.

2020

In 2020, we kicked off the year helping Compass grow its membership through a suite of exciting new activities and talks and we supported Stop School Cuts with its campaign to save maintained nursery schools.

In response to coronavirus, we are now helping the National Education Union amplify calls for a safe return to schools and supporting EveryDoctor in its vital campaign to #ProtectNHSworkers.

With more organisations realising the power of digital mobilisation and distributed organising, don’t hesitate to get in touch and let’s get you on this list.

Who we work with

We partner with courageous causes to build a better future for everyone. We don’t work with corporations, we don’t do CSR and we don’t extract profit from non-profits.