Catalysing Active Citizenship: Tools for Organisers and Activists

23 Sept to 1 Oct 2017

This is a training that offers a range of tools that can be used to help catalyse engagement within diverse communities. The participatory approaches it shares can be used to help people, communities and organisations engage in empowering dialogue, critical reflection and find motivation for decisive action.

We live in a time of ‘reflexive impotence’. Communication technologies bring the images and stories of world events into our lives in ever more Retina Screen™ detail in proportion to a growing sense of helplessness. We are all-too-well informed about the failings and irrationalities of our times. We’re deeply conscious of them – and often self-conscious of our complicity. And yet, ways to meaningfully influence what’s going on can seem elusive. All too often we resign ourselves, perhaps with some discomfort, to our part in it all, as onlookers. And yet, as Edmund Burke once wrote, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good [people] to do nothing.”

The tools and approaches shared in this course will help organisers and activists support people to think more critically about their role in shaping society. They will enable you to bring communities together in inquiring and empowering dialogue with each other. They will give you more confidence to assist others to find the inspiration and courage to step up as active and critical citizens. These are crucial skills at a time when progressive values need to be defended and extended through vigorous engagement.


The training focuses on helping trainers and organisers to gain the skills and increase their confidence to facilitate and share participatory processes in diverse communities. Participatory approaches such as Theatre of the Oppressed, Popular Education and other experiential learning methodologies have been developed in the empowerment of communities across the world. The LABO team have been applying a spectrum of these methodologies amongst diverse communities in Belgium for many years. Here they share the tools they have found to be most useful in a wide range of pluralistic and multicultural settings.


In 2009, Mark Fisher wrote that for many people “the lack of alternatives to capitalism is no longer even an issue. Capitalism seamlessly occupies the horizon of the thinkable.” This training provides tools and practices that can help us to reclaim the radical imagination and extend the horizon of the thinkable to include a life affirming and socially just future.


This course will be hosted at our sister centre, not far from the Ulex Project site, while we complete renovation work.


More details to follow soon.

Suggested Contribution
In the solidarity economy: €300/€400/€600
(see the details of our approach to Solidarity Economics for details)

The Team

Our Name

Ulex: Latin (argelaga Catalan, gorse English) noun:

1. A thorny-evergreen flowering shrub, with a high capacity for regeneration and resilience. Its seedpods open in contact with fire and it reshoots from charred stumps. A successionary plant that grows well under challenging conditions. It improves soil fertility through nitrogen fixing, preparing the way for renewed biodiversity.

2. A traditional choice for igniting fires. Burns hot and bright.

3. A networked project adding nutrition and fertility to European social movements through training and capacity building. It kindles the realisation of social justice, ecological intelligence, and cognitive vitality.