Progress Report on Political Framing

You may be wondering why frame analysis has taken so long to be put to use by progressive organizations. In this video, I offer insights into why framing takes longer to put in place and how progress is being made around the world.

Last week I participated in a strategy meeting with several non-governmental organizations in the United Kingdom, all working to alleviate global poverty. Our goal was to incorporate frame analysis and social values into a campaign that brings the entire development sector together across the UK — in order to get much larger public engagement on the effort to transform global systems so that poverty levels decline significantly in the future.

It was an exciting meeting, to be sure! My role was to provide insights into the political mind and offer my unique perspective as a social innovator who works internationally with a wide diversity of groups striving to help humanity transition to a socially just and sustainable future. As I came away from the meeting, it occurred to me that many people support the work of George Lakoff (my former mentor and the professor who introduced frames to the political world) and wonder why political framing remains on the periphery for most progressive political groups in the United States.

So I’ve created this video to offer more insights into the challenges that arise when attempting to implement frame analysis within organizational settings. It is very difficult work — going all the way to the core of how many organizations operate — and takes longer than one might have guessed. Framing is about much more than language, going deep into the semantics of human comprehension. As such, it can only be incorporated into operational settings through an organizational change process that takes the roles and relationships within the organization into account as an important set of frames that may also need to be replaced in order to be successful.

I hope you find this information useful in your own efforts to promote progressive social change. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if I can be of service in helping your group gain better insights into the political mind and the nature of social behavior for areas that matter to you.


Joe Brewer
Founder and Director, Cognitive Policy Works

Cognitive Policy Works specializes in providing organizations and individuals with frame analysis, policy briefs, strategic advising, and training.