Who we are

A hub of collaboration, the Ulex Project is run by Col·lectiu Eco-Actiu, a non-profit involved in the design and delivery of residential trainings since 2008. The Ulex Project is a fresh initiative building on that experience.

Our ethos

Connectivity is a key to cognitive vitality and learning. Diversity is crucial to resilience and adaptive capacity. We live at a time where social and ecological challenges require a shift from atomised individualism to networks of solidarity. It implies a new collectivity which still honours individuality. It requires cooperation balanced with autonomy. Ulex thrives on connectivity and seeks to be a reference for value based collaboration.

Ulex works with numerous individuals and organisations to design and deliver our training programme. We establish partnerships with organisations across Europe and internationally. We bring diverse groups and individuals together in learning communities. We support organisations, groups, and individuals to foster collaborations, build networks, share experience, and deepen movement resilience through meaningful connection.

Core Team

Róż

Location: Catalunya

Róż (they/them) is a queer-feminist designer, producer, curator, and facilitator. They nurture creative processes focused on changing social attitudes and countering exclusions. They address themes of diversity, gender equality, and inclusion. They are the external comms lead at Ulex Project. They co-create holistic and transformative spaces that invite participants to connect with the inner power and take action towards more sustainable ways of being. They co-founded the Open Institute- an academy for artists and activist from diverse cultural backgrounds in Poland, and the School of Antiracist Practices. For 15 years they have been an activist and researcher, responsible for numerous protests in Poland min. “Black Protest”, anti-capitalist protests in defence of LGBTQ+, people in move rights, Queer Fests and the ecological justice actions in Białowieża Forest.

Onyango

Location: Nairobi

Onyango has more than a decade of experience helping people grow and improve themselves in his community and beyond. He is skilled in facilitating Compassionate Integrity Training (CIT), Social Emotional & Ethical Learning (SEE Learning), and Emotional CPR. Onyango strongly believes in creating a society that includes everyone and actively works towards that goal. He teaches people how to be compassionate, empathetic, and make ethical choices. His efforts contribute to building a better community where people understand and care for each other.

Ziska

Location: Catalunya

Traveling in New Zealand Ziska discovered that the yellow-eyed pinguin is not extinct there yet, only because it was granted dedicated protected habitats. That’s when she decided to become a ranger and study Nature conservation. Since then her passion to make a change went through a lot of shifts from animal activism, over Permaculture, the ecovillage movement and youth education to her work at Ulex as project coordinator. She believes in the power of communities and that true systemic change can only come from a holistic approach.

Abi

Location: Aragón, Spain

Abi has been involved in migrant solidarity organisations and collectives over the last 5 years. Most recently she was managing the fundraising, finances, and infrastructure of a non-profit immigration clinic in Wales supporting migrants to regularise their status. Abi has been living in Aragón, Spain for the last couple of years and is an enthusiastic hiker, linguist, and wild swimmer.

Sinan Eden 

Location: Portugal

Sinan is an activist of Climáximo, a grassroots climate justice collective in Portugal. He is 35 years old, originally from Izmir, Turkey and holds a PhD in mathematics. He is a climate activist since 2007 when he launched an ecologist group in his university in Istanbul, later migrated to Portugal where he participated in the creation of Climáximo in 2015. He is an organizer, facilitator and an trainer of organizers . He is active in campaigns on just transition and against fossil fuel projects, as well as in international networks for climate justice. He’s helping Ulex with administration of courses over winter and spring.

MARINA

Marina has been active in the animal liberation, environmental and feminist movements for over 15 years. Organiser of many international gatherings, festivals and meetings, in recent years they have shifted more to managing projects for non-profits while still organising with the reproductive justice movement. They are a founding member of Abortion Network Amsterdam as well as a part of the Abortion Without Borders Network and have worked as a project coordinator in numerous LGBTQ+, environmental and feminist non-profits. Marina joined the Ulex Project in 2022 and is a project coordinator for our Erasmus+ programmes. In their spare time they are into sewing and rock climbing.

An

Location: Catalunya

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.

Hilal

Location: Istanbul/Catalunya

Hilal Demir, a cook, an artist and a DJ at home. A nonviolent trainer, facilitator for 20 + years with lots of experience on nonviolence and related topics such as organizing, conflict management , nonviolent action, understanding power, resilience, strategy etc. She is passionate about leading informal learning experiences, community organizing, group dynamics and supporting activists and organizations to build long lasting healthy social movements for a just future. As a nonviolent queer-feminist activist she has been instrumental in creating organizations and groups in Turkey committed to spreading nonviolent culture.

Alex

Location: UK

Alex has been designing and facilitating training, geared towards social and personal transformation, for over a decade. They have been part of building long term programs for sustainable activism and psycho-social resilience which have informed Ulex’s work, and coordinated multiple international projects to support propagating this work throughout Europe. Their commitment to social justice and history of activism have involved them in direct action and affinity group work focused on climate justice, anti-capitalism, queer politics and gender identity. As part of the Ulex team, they are involved in project coordination, resource development and course facilitation.

Lou

Location: L'Escala

Lou’s background in academia and sociological research supports her ongoing passion for  documenting and communicating Ulex’s extensive body of work around burnout and trauma in the activist field. As a trainer and designer for the Resourcing Resilience, Working with Trauma training, Lou is currently training in somatic methods of working with trauma, tension, stress and overwhelm which she applies to her research work and embodiment practice.  In addition, Lou is currently the Ulex coordinator of an international project developing resources and training material for the newly emerging field of migrant solidarity resilience work.

Ella

Location: Catalunya

Ella brings more than 10 years’ external experience working with not for profit and community based organisations across diverse themes including: advocacy for migrant communities; local community engagement in national policy making; and structural relationships between poverty and disenfranchisement, and education and poverty. Immersed in critical theory in her early 20s she brings a holistic and questioning approach, and is passionate about systemic solutions that centre relationship and interconnection between ecology and society. A long standing member of the collective, Ella has been part of the core team since the inception of the Ulex Project. Her work bridges facilitation, developing project partnerships, governance, strategy, operations, and project and programme evaluation. She has developed and overseen more than 70 partnerships with a range of different actors across European social movements.

G

Location: Catalunya

G has been involved in social movement organising and education since the late 1980’s. He is a highly regarded trainer and has designed numerous training programmes covering areas such as psychosocial resilience in activism, the ecology of social movements, and leaderful organising. As a founding member of the Ulex Project, he is known for highly innovative work blending pedagogical methodologies. This holistic approach to activist learning has inspired numerous training initiatives across Europe. He currently steers the strategic development of the Ulex Project and its social movement capacity building programme.

Neus

Location: Catalunya

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.

Carol

Location: Catalunya

Carol Marin Alvarez has been a core member of the collective at the heart of the Ulex Project for over 15 years. Living and working as a member of the collective has given her key on-the-ground perspectives and extensive hands-on experience. With a degree in Philosophy and a post-graduate degree in Humanities from the University of Barcelona, Carol’s passion encompasses the connections between psychological drivers and socio-political transformation. Her exploration of the historical socio-political conditions in Spain and beyond, and fascination with the recent developments in the Spanish left, informs her passion for building bridges between social movements and methods for intervening in institutional politics. She currently gives attention to the dangers of the growing far right and opportunities for strategic links between grassroots organising and institutional formations.

Katusha

Location: Catalunya

Katusha’s social change practice started with zero waste grassroots initiatives in Russia, developing these into a regional project integrating citizens initiatives, local authorities, and international networks. Through the path of her own activist burnout journey Katusha discovered how somatic practices, mindfulness and nature connection  could provide resilience and resourcing.  She brings this experience along with skills of international collaboration and municipal level organising to her role as project coordinator at Ulex.

Ilaj

Location: Catalunya

Ilaj is an experienced trainer, mostly holding space for collective exploration of the topics of burnout, weathering repression, navigating trauma and cultivating solidarity in social movements. Ilaj is project lead for Ulex’s LGBTQI+ psycho-social resilience and holistic security programme. Before committing full time to Ulex, Ilaj was involved in various grassroots social movements, mostly in Eastern and Southern Europe. Ilaj is also a feminist self defence and assertiveness trainer and they are passionate about working with body awareness as a radical means of deconstructing internalized systems of oppression. Ilaj is a member of the Ulex core team.

Project Team Members

Sheila

Location: Brittany, France

Sheila has been involved in activism and campaigning for social change for about a decade, organising and facilitating with grassroots groups and NGOs, primarily in the UK climate movement. In the lead up to COP21, in 2015, she was part of forming a European network mobilising for grassroots action on climate justice. In more recent years she has been more focussed on developing anti-oppression training, to support the need for greater intersectional thinking in all movements in order to not recreate systemic racism and social inequality.  After a year working in the Ulex core team, Sheila is now leading a project to build capacity to support training for BIPoC activists, and to develop a Ulex training programme exclusively for BIPoC participants.

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.