Sustaining Resistance TxT

30 May to 10 June 2020

Training for Trainers to support activist-trainers to develop and deliver trainings on sustainable activism

This Training for Trainers aims to support activist-trainers who want to develop and deliver trainings on sustainable activism. The Sustaining Resistance project was established in 2009 and since then, through a series of courses, we’ve covered a lot of ground exploring the theme. Through this training, we hope to share the experience we have gained, provide useful tools and methods, and bring people together to discuss, share and develop ways of promoting sustainable and effective approaches to grassroots activism.

This will be the fourth Sustaining Resistance training for trainers. Previous iterations have inspired and supported work across Europe.

This training will support participants to develop the understanding and skills required to design and deliver sustainable activism trainings which:

  1. explore methods of working effectively with the personal and inner dimension of activism, helping us take better care of ourselves, equipping us to avoid burnout and to better empower ourselves for action.
  2. offer tools which support more skilful inter-personal work in our groups and networks, enabling ways of organising which exemplify the values we want to realise in the world.
  3. create a vibrant and supportive temporary community of activists, as a space for deep reflection, analysis, and the sharing of experience of the personal and inter-personal dimensions of our work – drawing nourishment and inspiration from each other and nature.

We aim for participants to increase their confidence and skills to design and deliver high quality shorter workshops of up to two days, and to increase their understanding of the issues and facilitation skills needed to run longer residential workshops on these themes. It is also our hope that the training will create an opportunity for the development of strong peer support networks and on-going relationships in the development of sustainable activism training.

We believe that sustainable activism training needs to address all three of the above aims. To support this we will be exploring and sharing a range of relevant methodologies, design principles, and specific tools. These include:

• creating frameworks for deep reflection, analysis, and the sharing of experience;
• the application of participatory and experiential learning to sustainable activism;
• methods of opening up and holding spaces for exploring the emotional dimensions of activist experience – including strong and difficult emotion;
• creating safer spaces to support deep personal learning and transformation;
• applying mindfulness-based and reflective approaches to self-awareness and increasing emotional resilience;
• tools which integrate embodied and somatic approaches to personal and group change;
• ways of integrating the sensing, thinking, and feeling dimensions within a learning process that addresses the whole person;
• tools and approaches to working with power, oppression and conflict within groups.

Who is the training for?

The course is aimed at activist-trainers with previous training experience who are already developing, or want to develop, trainings for sustainable activism – and are interested in the approach developed within the Sustaining Resistance project. Ideally participants will have participated in a Sustaining Resistance training, or be able to demonstrate a similar level of personal engagement with the inner and inter-personal aspects of sustainable activism.

We don’t think it is realistic to support people to learn about the content and methodologies for running trainings on sustainable activism – and to support more general learning about training skills and design at the same time. It’s just too much to do on a short course. This is why this course is aimed at people with previous training experience.

On this training we will focus on content and methodology – as well as skills and considerations specific to learning about sustainable activism. This is likely to work well for more experienced trainers, who will be able to build on their existing training skills and to develop skills that are more specific to this kind of content.

Developing our ability to design, deliver and hold spaces for sustainable activism learning takes time. For many participants this training will be one step on a longer learning journey. To help with this journey – and to set realistic expectations – we place the training in the context of an extended learning arc. We will provide a coaching element that can help participants to ‘learn by doing’ during the months following the training.

We will ask participants to try to set up some future opportunities to apply the learning before they come on the course. These could be half-day to day-long workshops with colleagues or within your networks. During the training we will support a design process to help develop material for these workshops. We will commit to a coaching process, where we support you to debrief and evaluate the workshops you do back home and to carry your learning forwards.

Note: This event will take place at the Abella site of our partner centre, close to the Ulex project.

Suggested Contribution
In the solidarity economy: €300/€500/€950
(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.