Q+A with Sophie Walker | 5 Rules for Rebellion


May 2021:
Rebel
Rebel Book: #73
Book: 5 Rules for Rebellion
Meetup: Hop In – Virtual Event Space
Special Guests: Sophie Walker, Anthony Lewis (Greenpeace UK), Katherine Sladden (Campaign Strategist)
Action: £260 raised for Article 19


Q+A with Sophie Walker | 5 Rules for Rebellion

Well May at Rebel Book Club well and truly lived up to its theme, Rebels. We had the great pleasure of talking to May’s author and pioneering Rebel, Sophie Walker…

‘Sophie Walker spent twenty years at Reuters as an international journalist and news editor. After a long and trying journey supporting her elder daughter through a diagnosis of autism, she started campaigning for disability rights, particularly those of girls on the autism spectrum. In 2015, she helped to create the Women’s Equality Party, Britain’s first feminist political party. Sophie ran for London Mayor in 2016, and in 2017 stood for election to Westminster, campaigning for equal pay, affordable childcare and an end to violence against women. She was named by Vogue in 2018 as one of the ‘New Suffragettes’. She is now co-director of Activate Collective, a fund to support female community activists to run for political office.’

Here are a few highlights from our wonderful conversation with Sophie, who soldiered on whilst nursing a cold. In these clips, we find out which nonfiction books have made an impact on her, and how 5 Rules for Rebellion came about. We hope you enjoy this as much as we did.

For RBC members, you can find the full conversation on our member’s social network.

Clip 1: Sophie’s Nonfiction Favourites

“It felt like there were a lot of people thriving from setting us at odds with each other. The enviroment in which I was going out to talk about Women’s Rights – I mean something really basic and essential – got very aggressive and hostile. I was very frequently being sent out in this sort of pantomime setup, where I would be put up against a misogynist in a nice suit whose opening gambit would be women have got ‘enough equality’…”

Sophie walker on the reality of speaking out for women’s rights

Clip 2: Sophie’s journey to writing 5 Rules for Rebellion


Introducing our bonus Real-Life Rebels: Antony Lewis + Katherine Sladden

In part two, we invited two seasoned activists to join the conversation with Sophie.

Anthony Lewis, Digital Campaign at Greenpeace UK
“My role involves asking people to do things online to put pressure on the targets of our campaigns, like the prime minister or Burger King. This could be signing a petition, sharing a video with a message for a target, or tweeting at an MP. We also make a lot of content, and I specialise in memes which is pretty awesome, I’ve even been nicknamed the “meme guy” around the office!”

Anthony was behind the brilliant and explosive Greenpeace UK ad on recycling: Wasteminster… which incidentally went viral on Ben Keene’s Twitter too!

Katherine Sladden, Campaign Strategist
Katherine has been at the forefront of some of the most high-profile people-powered campaigns in the UK. As founding Campaigns Director at Change.org UK Katherine advised 100s of winning campaigns, from putting a woman on a banknote, No Page 3 to changing the law for 16-year-olds in police custody. Katherine has worked with and advised leading international organisations and global activists alike, including the ONE Campaign, Virgin Unite and Nobel prize nominee Jaha Dukureh. And for the last three years, Katherine has been supporting the survivors and bereaved families of the Grenfell Tower fire in their campaign for justice and change.

In September Katherine is launching a new non-profit called Breakthrough, the first of its kind social impact accelerator to equip campaigners with the strategy, tools, advice, and networks they need to break through and create lasting, sustainable change.


Connect with Katherine on Twitter and find out more about the Breakthrough Accelerator.

Check out the full chat below, with powerful discussion on digital activism, the start of Change UK petitions, the chilling story of the Grenfell UK families who were sounding the alarm years before the tragic fire which happened in June 2017, and how we level the playing field for activists to make an impact and create change.

Follow our speakers’ work below:

Sophie’s project >> Activate

Katherine’s project >> Breakthrough Impact

Anthony’s campaign >> Wasteminster


Introducing Article 19

Each month we give our members the opportunity to donate the cost of a kindle book to a selected charity, usually associated with our theme.

This month we supported Article 19. We didn’t have a representative from Article 19 this month but they did share this note with us and their report so you can find out more…

We really are very grateful for the interest of the Rebel Book Club members in the issues on which we campaign, and we do hope that we will have the opportunity to contact you again. Our recent Annual Report was published last month and that too may give a broader idea of the range of work our teams are engaged in internationally.

With thanks and best wishes from all at ARTICLE 19.

A note from Article 19.

Here’s a copy of their report for those of you who want to dig in!


Next up: Humankind by Rutger Bregman

Our first of the Summer-Theme-Trilogy is Hope, starting with Humankind by Rutger Bregman.

The member’s meetup is on Tuesday 29th June @ 7pm (BST), where we’ll run our first in-person meetup in over a year and connect on stories of Hope.

Sign up now to join the fun!


If you’re new here, welcome!

We are Rebel Book Club, a global nonfiction book club.

We’ve been reading together for 5+ years and we exist to accelerate your reading habits, connect you with like-minded thinkers + doers and take positive action in a changing world…

We have an event at the end of each month, where we hear from experts in a relevant field to the books we’re reading – which is how this blog post came about.

If you’d like to find out more, check out our websitefollow us on Instagram or email our Membership Manager at hello@rebelbookclub.co.uk.

We can’t wait to welcome you aboard!

Not Your Average Book Club.