AGM Activism

BECOME AN AGM ACTIVIST

Do you have a passion for social and environmental justice? Have you always wanted to become an activist, or to build on your passion for activism, but don’t know how?

Our network of AGM activists use carefully crafted questions to challenge the bosses of the world’s largest companies on the issues that matter to everyone.

Thanks to the interventions of AGM activists at the annual general meetings (AGMs) of listed companies, we have secured huge wins for people and planet. For example, more than one-third of the FTSE 100 are now accredited Living Wage employers and Tesco committed to using 100% renewable electricity throughout its operations. This is only the tip of the iceberg.

Will you join the movement?

Join us as an AGM activist!

Reading the news and seeing environmental and social issues seemingly ignored time after by can be massively frustrating. The biggest companies in the world rely on our pension savings being invested in them to function. We believe that our money should power social progress, but right now, big companies often use it for the wrong ends.

At the annual general meeting (AGM) of a publicly listed company, shareholders are allowed access to a world rarely seen outside the Board room. Ordinary people like us can sit face-to-face with the CEO’s and boards of big companies such as Shell, Ocado, RBS and more. This is an excellent campaigning tool which we use to put the issues that matter on the corporate agenda. Each year we organise questions at over 100 AGMs in the UK and Europe – and we need volunteers like you to go along and ask them!

We challenge board on a range of topics – from climate change, to healthy food, the living wage and more. Take a look at our campaigns here. And we’ve had some big wins thanks to ordinary folk going along and asking questions to company boards! 37 of the biggest 100 companies now pay the real Living Wage to their staff – up from 3 when we started campaigning in 2011. And huge organisations including Vodafone and BT have signed up to source 100% renewable electricity. 

OK – how would it work for me?

As an AGM activist, we will support you throughout your journey. From giving you training, to collating all the paperwork you need to access the AGM, as well as providing ‘how-to’ guides and answering any questions you may have before the AGM. All we ask is that you attend the AGM, ask a question from one of our campaigns (which we will write for you!) and enjoy the sandwiches and mingling with the other shareholders and Board members after the AGM has finished!

Interested as an organisation thinking of using AGM activism for your own campaigning purposes? We can support you by training you up, and sorting out access to AGMs – just get in touch to find out how.

If you’re an individual wanting to go to an AGM and ask your own question, we can usually support you in doing so too.

Feeling unsure about the process, and want some questions answered? No problem. If you’re an individual activist, or an NGO and you’d like some over to phone or face to face training, please get in touch with our Shareholder Activism Coordinator here. We run public training sessions every Spring so keep an eye out for these.

How else can I help?

Do you own any company shares? Our supporters lend us their shares to attend even more AGMs, as well as increasing our numbers at them. Please get in touch if you’re interested in lending us your shares. We couldn’t attend some of the biggest AGMs in the numbers we do without this support.

Want to support our work but don’t have the time to be an AGM activist? No problem! You can donate here! 

AGM activism and pensions

Our pensions are invested in the biggest companies by our pension providers. By buying shares in companies with our money, they become owners of those companies. When you own a company, you can make them listen. AGMs are one of the best places to do this! 

It’s our money that’s used to buy these shares really. So when many of the companies that we see around us aren’t doing enough on decent jobs, the climate crisis, public health and more, we step up.

What’s coming up?

Most AGMs happen between April and June, and AGM dates often aren’t announced until one month before!  However, we have a handy AGM calendar which tells you which ones are confirmed and upcoming. We will also send out upcoming AGMs in our regular AGM Activism newsletter, so sign up here if you’d like to keep up to date. 

Need even more convincing that AGM activism is awesome? Have a read about the experiences of our AGM activists in 2019.

Campaign resources

Mission: AGM Activism

Welcome to ShareAction’s AGM Activism toolkit. ShareAction supports ordinary people to attend annual general meetings (AGMs). This guide will enable you to use shareholder rights to create corporate change.

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Find out more

Joanna Weightman

Joanna Weightman

Shareholder Activism Coordinator