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Helping O2 build a social movement using "Obama style" digital organising

How do you build a movement empowering your employees to tackle youth unemployment, close the digital skills gap and tackle climate change?

Helping O2 build a social movement using

This case study is brought to you by Brand Response - a certified Agency based in London & Berlin. Be sure to visit their website and see their previous NationBuilder work.

Brand Response has been working with Telefónica UK (O2) and their partners the National Youth Agency (NYA) to launch a new platform called


Created with enables over 11,000 interested UK employees to find opportunities to get more involved in Think Big.

With 300 million customers and 300,000 employees worldwide, Telefónica is well placed to act as an engine for economic, technological and social progress wherever it operates. The Think Big blueprint is Telefónica's sustainability strategy for people and planet.

It’s an incredibly positive initiative that has already helped tackle important issues across the UK like youth employability, the digital skills shortage and climate change.

From small micro-volunteering tasks like recycling and reviewing CVs, to more involved activities like mentoring or skills sharing - enables O2, Telefónica and Capita employees to share their talents with the wider community.

"Sam and David from Brand Response have brought great insight into providing O2 with an innovative way to engage our people in our Think Big Programme. Their design work has been received enthusiastically within the business, and accurately portrayed the spirit of O2. Alongside this, they are supportive, reliable and bring solution-based approaches to the challenges faced when engaging large groups of people across multiple sites." - Clair Bowman, O2 Think Big

Collaborative design

We collaborated deeply with Telefónica and the NYA team to design an engaging and simple new menu of opportunities across four categories: Young People, Team, Digital and Planet.


The final design was a result of a number of workshops, focus groups and an extensive research piece prior to development that enabled our team to get close to employees needs and motivations for taking part. You can learn more about our process here.

One innovative feature is a custom navigation menu that allows users to browse by both skill tags and time across event page types in NationBuilder. This allows employees to filter their search to find volunteering opportunities tailored to their individual needs.

"I have worked closely with Sam and David from Brand Response on the development of MyThinkBig from the moment they successfully tendered. They have been supportive and accommodating to the constantly changing landscape of the business, delivering high-quality solutions to any challenges. Sam and David clearly have a great understanding of how to work with NationBuilder and their expertise has helped us build not just the physical platform but a successful campaign on which to launch our social movement." - Cheryl Mifflin, Employee Engagement Manager, Think Big

Organising strategy

Telefónica’s sustainability team needed to empower local employee leaders to create a different engagement model with an emphasis on grassroots participation. Local employee values, intentions, and personal stories would constitute the essential drivers of the movement.

We helped design a “snowflake” organising model, similar to the Obama for America model popularised by Marshall Ganz, whereby each regional champion or Big Thinker would create and oversee an ever expanding network of volunteers - a snowflake in their locality.

Part of this process has involved introducing a new relational strategy designed by Brand Response that was underpinned by a bespoke engagement ladder using NationBuilder’s ‘point people’, custom permission sets and follow-up type features.

This ‘bottom up’ approach means that local employees truly feel ownership over their new platform. It also creates spirals of action that drives ever deeper engagement and expansions of social capital within the wider UK employee community.

Together with their new NationBuilder toolkit and strategy we think Telefonica is now truly a leader in employee empowerment for social and environmental change.

And finally

It’s been such a pleasure working with a team of super-charged programme managers, sustainability champions and regional ‘Big Thinkers’; to hear their stories about how Think Big impacts so many people.


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