International Gathering of Activist Educators

13 – 21 July 2019

Ulex welcomes activist educators from around the world to meet and learn together between 13 – 21 July 2019.

Activist educators play a valuable role in social movements, increasing the capacity for effective social action. They can be catalysts for innovation in social movements, communicating and spreading new approaches, frameworks and tools. This work helps us to learn from each other’s struggles. Building collaboration and learning between activist educators has the potential for many ripples – spreading new curriculum and practices across different social movements, cultures and countries. This week long gathering will nourish activist educators to return to their work refreshed and inspired.

When we say ‘activist educators’ who do we mean?

We recognise this might not be the term you identify with! Maybe you’re a social change facilitator, a trainer for community action, a direct or experiential educator working with impacted communities… or any number of other descriptions.

We welcome to this gathering people who play the role of supporting social movements, as educators, facilitators, coaches or a related role – whether embedded in one organisation or movement, or working across organisations and movements.

There are many different approaches to social change but for this gathering we especially encourage people who train and facilitate people engaged in collective action such as campaigning, community organising, civil resistance and movement building.

This event is not an introductory train-the-trainer for those new to activist education. It is for experienced people already actively engaged in the work (whether paid or voluntary, solo or part of an organisation or collective).

What will happen?

The International Gathering of Activist Educators will be a week long community of enquiry with twenty participants. We are currently seeking your ideas and offers to shape a rich and creative program. We envisage that multiple sessions during the week will be delivered by participants, modelling different ways to hold space and educate.

Some options for the program:
· Sharing and interrogating how our work responds to the political moments we face, the needs of social movements and our training participants
· Exploring pedagogy (how and why we do what we do, deepening the transformational potential of our work)
· Workshops presenting programs and curriculum (this is what we are doing) for discussion
· Workshops running sections of curriculum (experience what we do) with reflection and critical feedback
· Action learning sets on key challenges faced by activist educators and social movements broadly, for deep reflection and enquiry
· Open Space Technology sessions for emerging conversations and impromptu workshops
· Time focused on sustaining ourselves, being in our bodies, accessing creativity, enjoying each other’s company and the environment around us
· Development of a training day to be offered to the activist community of Barcelona at the end of our week together

Contribute your ideas

The program ideas above are the start of a conversation. We welcome your input to shape this event, as fits a gathering of trainers!

We welcome people from around the world to participate and contribute your special skills, talents and curiosity. We are currently seeking funds to subsidise travel to the event, particularly for activist educators from the Global South.

If you’re interested in contributing and participating in this gathering please complete this survey. This lets us know your ideas and needs in relation to the event and allows us to keep in contact as the details become clearer. Input is also welcome via conversations on Skype (or other platforms as required).

This project has been initiated by Holly Hammond (Plan to Win, Australia) and Gee (Ulex Project and Ecodharma, Catalunya) with valuable input from Celia Kutz (Training for Change, USA).

Suggested Contribution
In the solidarity economy: tbc/tbc/tbc
(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.