Beautiful Trouble: A Card Deck for Revolution

Help us put the best ideas from the Beautiful Trouble toolbox into a deck of 99+ cards YOU can play!

QUESTION: What could be better than gathering the world’s best social movement practices and cutting-edge creative tactics in a best-selling compendium used by activists across the globe?

ANSWER: All that in a deck of 99 cards you can play!

Beautiful Trouble is putting the key strategies and tactics that have powered centuries of people-powered victories right into the palm of your hand. Now the art and science of creative direct action will be concentrated in a deck of 99 cards you can play — to get creatively unstuck, design an action that pops, or plan a winning campaign. 


It’s an entire social movement laboratory in your hands — a game (actually 10 games in one) that you can play to equip yourself with the strategic and tactical know-how to upend the status quo and build a more just world.

It’ll get you thinking outside the box (that, um, these cards will come in) about what art and creativity can do to win campaigns, change the world, and make… beautiful trouble! 


What comes in the Card Deck:

  • 99 cards in 5 suits:

  • Tactics: Specific forms of creative action, such as a flash mob or blockade.

  • Principles: Hard-won insights that can guide or inform creative action design.

  • Theories: Big-picture concepts and ideas that help us understand how the world works and how we might go about changing it.

  • Methodologies: Strategic frameworks and hands-on exercises to help you assess your situation and plan your campaign.

  • Stories: Accounts of memorable actions and campaigns, analysing what worked (or didn’t) and why. Useful for illustrating how principles, tactics, theories and methodologies can be successfully applied in practice.

  • Plus: Special Cards: 1 Risk Card, 5 Wild Cards (1 blank card in each suit), and 1 game-play cards.

  • And: a Playbook booklet full of games and creative exercises you can play.


All the cards in this deck are a gateway to the larger Beautiful Trouble toolbox— assembled by literally hundreds of grassroots campaigners and cultural workers from across five continents along with notable movement strategists including Arundhati Roy, George Monbiot, Vijay Prasad, and Mark and Paul Engler. 

Our books have been translated into 7 languages and praised by Naomi Klein (“Elegant and incendiary”) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (“A crucial resource for change-makers”).

Help get this card deck out in the world! (And get one for yourself in the process!)

A beta-version of the card deck has proven enormously popular with Beautiful Trouble workshop participants, and now we’re producing this professional, elegantly designed card-deck and accompanying Playbook full of games and activities for brainstorming actions, mapping out campaign strategy, flashcarding your way through social movement history, or, yes, staying up late with your friends to play “Go Fishing for Trouble” or “Cards *for* Humanity.”

Each card features a photo from a real action related to the tactic on the card, plus snazzy color-coded graphics to make cards easy-to-read and fun to play with, and an automatic pop-up code that links directly to the larger online Toolbox.

Other Ways You Can Help!

Can you help us put this powerful (and fun) tool in the hands of change-makers (including yourself) around the world?

Please spread the word by inviting your friends and social networks to also back this campaign.

Read more about the Beautiful Trouble Toolbox at

Big thanks go to:

Card Deck Editors: Andrew Boyd, Nadine Bloch, Chelsea Byers, Rae Abileah

Designers: Gan Golan, Eduarda Aun De Azevedo Nascimento,

Huge Special Thanks to Co-Originators of the Game: Cristian Fleming & Diana Haj Ahmad

Content Editors: Andrew Boyd, Dave Mitchell, Juman Abujbara, Marcel Taminato, Sungu Oyoo

With support from: ActionAid International, Søren Warburg, Mara Ranville, Adrian Carpenter, and all of you!

A huge shout out to all the writers and photographers who contributed the ideas and images that made this Card Deck possible. Everyone is credited individually in the Beautiful Trouble and Beautiful Rising books, and in the online Beautiful Trouble Toolbox.

Over twenty organizations have partnered with Beautiful Trouble to get this Card Deck and the larger Toolbox into the hands of change-makers across the world. See the full list of partners and learn more about this effort at

Thank you for helping us to make this a reality!

Donate via our Indiegogo now, and be the first to get your own Beautiful Trouble card deck hot off the presses!

(Fine print: If total revolution not completed within 30 days after commencement of game play, we’ll refund the full price of purchase, or, er, suggest you try another tactic!)


From fringe idea to law of the land — a look inside the creativity fueling the struggle to defund the police


Training for Trainers on Nonviolent Action with IfNotNow