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  • Writer's pictureOLIP Interns

Ryan Clarke offers the Interns some Advocacy Solutions

Updated: Sep 30, 2019

On Monday, the cohort met with long-time OLIP sponsor Ryan Clarke, Founder and President of Advocacy Solutions, a company which Mr. Clarke created in 2003 with the goal of teaching and training people on how to make their voices heard. He and his team teach the skills which advocacy campaigns need to be successful and bring about the change that they seek.

During our session with Mr. Clarke, we learned about the tools which effective advocates use to influence change. Mr. Clarke began by telling us stories of his own life and how he came to be where he is now. After leaving a position as a family lawyer, Mr. Clarke ventured into the world of politics as a policy advisor to the Minister of Energy, Science and Technology. Following was a short stint in government, Mr. Clarke became a Senior Manager, Public Affairs at Glaxo Wellcome before then moving on to form Advocacy Solutions 16 years ago. Equipped with this wealth of experience, Mr. Clarke taught us about the skills which help to empower people to create change. He told us of the people who he had met throughout his time in policy making and the stories which he heard. These stories inspired him to use his expertise to assist those who were seeking change but may not have known the best way to go about it. Out of this he discussed how a successful advocate knows the importance of making a human connection in order to influence policy direction. Advocacy, he told us, can be boiled down to 3 basic steps: conveying a concise and clear message, using tools like meetings and letters to continues to push your issue, and the importance of one tangible ask at a time to focus the change one seeks.

The skills we learned will be very useful for our time in our OLIP placements and in our futures as young leaders. We thank Mr. Clarke for his continued support of OLIP and for the knowledge which he imparted upon us.

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