strategies and new stories for a different world
This training will involve two related strands: Strategy Training and Narrative and Framing Training. Participants will focus on one or other of these strands, but we will also ensure some cross pollination and weaving together of the two themes.
This strand shares key tools and helps build skills for developing effective and responsive strategies. Using a hands-on and applied-experiential learning method, participants will learn to analyse contexts, create vision, identify opportunities and challenges, and develop responsive plans to move towards their objectives. At this crucial time for our social movements, the need for focused, well-crafted, and well-informed strategies couldn’t be more important.
The training will follow the structure of a ‘strategy arc’, covering the tools and skills to carry us from clarifying purpose to realising our goals. We’ll explore methods that enable us to develop clear pathways for action, building the capacity and power needed to follow them, and the responsiveness to keep learning and adapting as we go.
“What can we do now in order to be able to do tomorrow what we are unable to do today?” (Paulo Freire)
The structure will enable us to explore cutting edge approaches to:
A more detailed outline of strand content and structure will follow in the coming weeks.
We witness the power of narrative and story on a daily basis. Division and hatred are spread by the rightwing press, and sometimes by politicians. The issues of the day are quickly framed on social media. Historical stories provide deep undercurrents of understanding of our national and global psyches. And, within this ecosystem, our movements are also telling stories of need and despair, hope and change: think Greta and the school strikers, campaigners for marriage equality, or the Movement for Black Lives.
But how can we be sure that the stories we are telling—the way we are communicating the issues we care about—are effective? How do we know that they are catching people’s attention, engaging, motivating, building our movements for change, and ultimately creating change?
The training will focus on the role of framing in work on climate justice and tackling the rise of the far right in Europe. It will draw on PIRC’s work on Framing Equality, Framing the Economy, and their recent Framing Climate Justice research project.
In the training, we’ll explore the process for developing effective narratives. We’ll demystify the terms around story, framing and narrative and take a whistle-stop tour through the theory behind the framework. And we’ll move through developing a vision, understanding the narrative landscape, and creating and testing new routes through this landscape.
In detail, the training will cover:
Understanding the narrative landscape
Developing new frames
The training will be participatory and practical throughout.
Participants can expect to gain:
“It is easy to forget how mysterious and mighty stories are. They do their work in silence, invisibly. They work with all the internal materials of the mind and self. They become part of you while changing you. Beware the stories you read or tell; subtly, at night, beneath the waters of consciousness, they are altering your world.”
—Ben Okri, Author
The Public Interest Research Centre (PIRC) works to help our movements — for equality, anti-oppression, and environmental justice — to tell better stories for a different world. They support others in framing for social change connecting diverse groups, in participatory spaces, to share knowledge, develop strategies and strengthen movements. They carry out strategic research to support this work and create and openly share resources and tools for developing better strategy and communications.Their team has experience in participatory facilitation, networks and community-building, qualitative and quantitative research and the production of accessible and practical resources. They have been exploring how language and lived experience shape human motivation since 2010.
Katherine Wall (she/they) is a facilitator, political educator and researcher with a focus on building collective liberation in our society, in our groups and organisations and in ourselves. They have worked with social movements to understand and address oppression in its many forms. Katherine is part of the facilitation and training collective called Resist+Renew. She is currently working to understand what happens in conversations about land and racial justice in England and is interested in the role of facilitators and trainers in social movements.
Tamara-Jade is a trainer, facilitator and illustrator whose work is centred on social action. She has a background working in gendered violence prevention from a Black Feminist perspective. She is passionate about facilitating conversations that reflect on group culture. She enjoys experiential training styles that encourage participants to feel in control of their own approaches to learning.
Ralph Underhill is a communication consultant and cartoonist (@cartoonralph) who focuses on understanding how the words we use impact our responses and actions. He has worked at a number of environmental NGOs and written several guides on communicating including the A Practical Guide for Communicating Global Justice and Solidarity, Positive Communication Toolkit and Framing Nature. He is a huge nature lover and a keen ultimate frisbee player and boardgames enthusiast!
Faith (they/she) is a practitioner and researcher focused on the interconnected struggles for collective liberation and ways of working towards this in the now. They have an academic background in international politics and racialisation and their work has focused on anti-racism, inclusion, climate justice and leveraging diaspora knowledge within global solidarity. They are passionate about abolition, building linkages between movements and using rest and imagination to move us towards a more equitable and caring society.
Cori is an anarchist activist based in Catalonia. He started getting involved in radical social movements when he was a teenager. He is passionate about helping the community in topics such as housing welfare, squatting, neighbourhood mutual aid networks, and anti-oppression and feminist movements. During the last five years, he has been taking courses on group facilitation to increase his knowledge on human relationships and accompanying processes for both groups and participants. He is currently volunteering at Ulex project as a course organiser.
Neus has been passionate about education since she was 8 years old and went dumpster diving in teachers’ recycling bins for worksheets to help other students learn at break-time. She moved from Castellon to Scotland to study Community Education, with a focus on youth work and adult education, where she co-founded The New Leaf Co-op, a successful workers’ co-op in Edinburgh. Whilst there Neus developed her understanding of how productivity meets good working conditions meets overturning the food system meets resourcing the commons with resilient and democratically managed capital. This passion now underpins her project coordination role at Ulex.
An has more than a decade of experience in facilitating and training groups working on social change. Her great sources of inspiration and educational beacons in doing so are Training for Change and Process Work, in which she followed more than 200 h of training. An is driven by passion for change. She is an empathetic creative who turns ideas into action. A deep understanding of group and power dynamics underpin a motivational and process-oriented approach in teams. As a facilitator, she remains committed to creating ‘brave spaces’ where people can fully express themselves. An’s political anchor points are feminism, anti-oppression work and ecology.
creating empowering and inclusive spaces for organising
methods and tools for working well with conflict in our groups
skills and practices for effective team and group work
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.