We work with an extensive network of experienced trainers across Europe, working together to develop and share tools, practices, resources and activities which exceed participant needs. Together we define, design and deliver learner-focussed workshops and trainings which consistently exceed expectations..
G has been involved in social movement organising and education since the late 1980’s. He is a highly regarded trainer and has designed several training programmes covering areas such as psychosocial resilience in activism, the ecology of social movements, socio-political organising and systems thinking, as well as wilderness immersion and nature connection work. He has developed a number of training for trainers programmes. He is known for highly innovative work blending pedagogical methodologies, which has inspired numerous training initiatives across Europe. He’s what you might call the Ulex Programme Director.
The Klima*Kollektiv is struggling for a society which keeps the ecological balance and offers everyone access to the fundamental ressources. Furthermore, we want to create an economical and participatory system where those values and ideas are possible to develop and exist. Therefore the Klima*Kollektiv works on the three key fields of social change: education, creating alternative structures and debate & action
Ever since stumbling across the concept of Transition Towns back in 2007, Ana Huertas has been committed to deep social transformation for the regeneration of our human and natural ecosystems. Ana is part of the coordinating team for the Spanish Transition Hub, where she provides help to local citizen-led initiatives trying to respond to the challenge of climate change and building community resilience. She has worked as an international cooperation technician for community development, sustainable agriculture and holistic education, and is also a trained Permaculture teacher and trainer for the Transition Movement. She has conducted research on climate change, urban and rural resilience, group dynamics and participatory tools for social change.
With extensive experience in systems thinking and process work for group facilitation (through El Camino del Élder, IIFACE), she understands that most of the alchemical transformation we need takes place within group dynamics. She has served as vice-president for the meta-network ECOLISE and is currently the coordinator of the Municipalities in Transition project. Ana currently lives near Barcelona and is involved in several local initiatives on ecology and sustainability.
Sheila joined the Ulex team in 2019. She supports partner organisations and is taking a lead role developing Ulex’s work building capacity for POC and migrant led activism. She’ll get around to writing a bio at some point!
Gesine has been active in grassroots organizing for the last 20 years. In 2004, as a consequence of her own experience of trauma, she co-founded Activist Trauma Support in the UK with the aim to offer education and support to activists who suffered trauma through police brutality and state oppression.
Aware of the need for healing and transformation within activists’ communities she spent over a decade in Oakland, California, in order to develop competency and to heal. She is now part of the teaching body of generative somatics and co-organizes and co-teaches somatics courses in Central Eastern Europe with inourbodies_onthestreets.
Gesine holds the rank of black belt in Traditional Japanese Jujitsu, a Psychotherapy License in California, and an MA in Somatic Psychotherapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Among other modalities Gesine studied Generative Somatics, Hakomi, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Somatic Bodywork and Dramatherapy, and maintained for a decade a full-time practice as a somatic therapist and coach for social and environmental justice organizers. She is led by a commitment to support individuals, collectives and movements toward greater connection, healing, resilience, coordination and power through the body.
Alfred Decker’s passion in life has been ecological and social justice activism, of which permaculture has played a central part. Since his first Permaculture Design Course in 1998 in California, Alfred has been involved with social movements and projects throughout Europe and the Americas. He is an award-winning permaculture designer, a certified educator with the Permaculture Association Britain, and one of Europe’s leading permaculture educators.
Alfred is the founder of the 12 Principles Permaculture Design consultancy, Permacultura Barcelona and the Forest Gardens project at Can Masdeu; is a co-founder of the Spanish Permaculture Academy (Academia de Permacultura Íbera); and was a member of the European Permaculture Teachers Partnership and the Permaculture Council of Europe. Alfred holds a post graduate diploma in sustainable architecture and renewable energy (Centre for Alternative Technology).
After taking a permaculture teachers training with Rosemary Morrow in 2011, he undertook a two year mentorship and later co-taught six courses with her, ultimately earning a Diploma in Permaculture Education & Community Development in 2013 through the Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute (Australia). Committed to furthering the teachers’ training platform “Training Permaculture Teachers” (TPT) that Rosemary developed in over three decades of teaching experience around the world, Alfred co-edited her TPT manual and organised a successful crowdfunding campaign to develop the platform.
In the coastal mountains of Montnegre, Catalunya, Alfred is the co-director of the community biochar project Montbio, which won a 2017 Lush Spring Prize for Social and Environmental Regeneration.
Kara Moses is a facilitator and trainer in nature connection, outdoor education and grassroots activism. She is passionate about nature, connection and the transformation of self and society to be more deeply connected and life-affirming. This involves facilitating practical applications of nature connection, to fields including direct action and social change, architecture and the built environment, mental health and emotional resilience, sustainability and climate change adaptation, and social inequality.
She has spent her life working in service of the earth in diverse ways, from direct action, grassroots organising and community work to environment journalism, academic research, environmental education and conservation management.
As well as independent facilitation and journalism, she works at the Centre for Alternative Technology where she manages woodlands and water, delivers courses, works with school groups and lectures on masters courses.
May is an experienced nature facilitator, who’s been helping people to connect with nature for over 13 years with Forest School Camps (FSC) which brings large groups of children and adults together in temporary community for 2-week camps. For the past 6 years she has been involved in developing and delivering training for FSC staff to help reinvigorate their passion for nature and fuel the fire in the bellies of the kids on camps. This work formed the foundation for Wild Time Weekends, which May and the Co-Resist team set up to bring better access to nature to adults from a range of backgrounds. More recently she co-founded the Natural Resilience Project, which builds personal resilience though connection to nature with migrant women in East London.
In her free time May is a passionate campaigner and activist, and for the last decade or more has worked on a range of issues, often with an environmental emphasis. With Plane Stupid she focused on aviation, and went on to help establish Grow Heathrow, a squatted community food growing project in the path of the proposed 3rd runway. More recently her energy has been with Reclaim the Power, fighting dirty big business, and standing with communities being damaged by extractive industries.
This work has been both exhilarating and exhausting, and after a bout of incapacitating burn out, she found a life-line at Ecodharma, on Sustaining Resistance: Empowering Renewal. Gradually returning to better form, she became aware how essential personal resilience is in a world where social change can thrive. In November 2015 she undertook training at Ecodharma in how to facilitate resilience work for others, and has been weaving this work into the fabric of her nature connection and activism work ever since.
Charlotte Millar is Head of Training for the New Economy Organisers Network and is a co-founder and strategist with the Finance Innovation Lab. Her specialist fields are strategy, organisation building and leadership.
NEON is a network of people working for an economy based on social and economic justice. Its main aims are to connect its members, build their power through training and give them the narratives and media skills to shift the debate. Within this network, Charlotte leads on training NEON members to build the effective and sustainable leaders, organisations and movements needed for large scale change.
The Finance Innovation Lab incubates the people, ideas and movements building a financial system that serves people and planet. Charlotte co-led the design of their incubation programme for innovators in alternative finance and specifically focuses on building participants’ collaborative leadership skills.
She is also Chair of Positive Money, who campaign for a fair, democratic and sustainable money system. She is also a Trustee of the Public Interest Research Centre, who develop the stories and communication strategies campaigners need to affect deep cultural change.
In her limited (!) spare time, Charlotte finds ways to deepen her connection with Buddhism, nature and the arts.
Byron has a background in health and social care, community adult education, counselling and leadership development; and has spent the past 25 years supporting individuals, teams, communities and organisations build inclusive practices, systems and cultures. During that time he has supported the equality, diversity and inclusion work in many small, medium and large organisations; engaging with front-in workers and senior leaders and teams. His passion is supporting individuals, teams and organisations weave together different sources of knowledge, wisdom and practice to support collaborative learning, address sensitive issues and building inclusive practices and cultures. His current work involves supporting people involved in equality, diversity and inclusion develop a compassionate approach in their work, including self-care, engaging with difficulties, and compassionate action.
Jael is part of a grassroots facilitation and training collective for social movements called KommunikationsKollektiv (www.kommunikationskollektiv.org) and the German action training network Skills for Action (https://skillsforaction.wordpress.com/). They have been facilitation workshops on sustainable activism, consensus decision making and anti-oppression. In recent years Jael has started to focus on the somatic part of transformation and social change and is part of a European politicized somatics group. Jael is also a part time organic grower.
Dr. Louise Hemmerman studied sociology at the Universities of Durham and Leeds and in 2006 she received her doctorate, for a thesis exploring the health impact of intensive caring responsibilities on women in mid -life. Upon completing her post- doctoral fellowship, in 2009, she left academia to pursue her growing commitment to climate activism. From 2009 to 2015 Louise joined the Ecodharma training collective, and drawing on her first-hand experience of emotional fatigue from her involvement in direct action and its legal consequences, she began developing the Sustaining Resistance, Empowering Renewal programme of work and collaboration, as an organiser, fundraiser and facilitator. In recent years, her studies have centred more towards healing oriented and somatic topics, including the complex interface between trauma, body disconnection and burnout. In 2016, she left the Ecodharma resident team to write up her research and studies, train as a TRE practitioner and pursue further training in healing the energetic and embodied repercussions of experiencing trauma.
The Society of Anti-Discrimination Education (TEA) (Polish: Towarzystwa Edukacji Antydyskryminacyjnej), was founded in 2009 by people involved in anti-discrimination education in Poland. The Society brings together dozens of people who specialise in this area, including coaches, trainers and creators of projects which promote equality and diversity, as well as working to support groups and individuals who are vulnerable to discrimination. They develop and disseminate anti-discrimination educational activities so that everyone can co-create a world free of discrimination and violence.
As a social activist and trainer, and a member of SPINA trainer’s for social change collective and European Action for Youth (EYFA) network, Ewe leads trainings on group dynamics, consensus decision making, conflict resolution and sustainable activism. Their work is primarily with grassroots groups involved in social and environmental struggles, as well as NGOs working in the areas of social and environmental justice, in Poland and internationally. Ewe is deeply committed to the work and involved also in trauma and emotional support for grassroots activists, currently dedicating most of their time to feminist, trans* and queer struggles through writing, performing and leading workshops. Ewe is also a WenDo trainer – a self defense and self assertiveness method for women and trans* people and they are passionate about working with body awarenesses and different bodywork methods as a radical mean of deconstructing internalized systems of oppression. They are a member of the Ulex core team.
Kathryn has campaigned on a wide range of environmental and social justice issues for more than 30 years and has been offering training and facilitation to grassroots groups with Seeds for Change and now with Navigate for more than 13 years. She is continuously re-inspired by the commitment and creativity of the groups she works with. She enjoys working in an organisation that values learning, where we continuously reflect on and evaluate our work, develop our skills and learn new ones. She’s passionate about working cooperatively, ending oppression, building strong communities of resistance and staying energised, balanced and resilient and supporting others to do the same.
The Initiative for Sustainable Action (ISA) is a multi-disciplinary collective of trainers, facilitators and activists who seek to support human rights defenders at risk, in the development of strategies and tactics for well-being, digital security and overall protection. It is coordinated by: Daniel Ó Cluanaigh, Sandra Ljubinkovic, Ali Ravi, Peter Steudtner (see their individual entries for details).
Daniel Ó Cluanaigh has worked on protection of human rights defenders through research and advocacy at an international level, as well as grass-roots peace work, observation and accompaniment of communities at risk. He has extensive training and accompaniment experience in digital and overall protection of human rights defenders at a global level, and led the development of the concept of ‘Holistic Security’, including co-authoring the Holistic Security Manual. He is a member of the Strategy Committee of Peace Brigades International Mexico.
Sandra Ljubinkovic is a feminist activist with a professional background in feminist counseling, gender based violence, and trafficking in women and children and advocacy work for women’s human rights and the rights of marginalized groups (sex workers and LGBTIQ). As a counselor, facilitator and trainer she accompanies human rights defenders in developing sustainable approaches to activism, with an emphasis on self-care and well-being. She has been actively collaborating in the Holistic Security community since 2013.
Ali Ravi is a strategy and security advisor, mentor, facilitator and trainer with 20 years of leadership and ICT experience focusing on the longterm security and sustainability of NGOs and human rights defenders. Ali co-authored the Holistic Security Manual and has facilitated important events within the community of support to HRDs including the Internet Freedom Festival, and is a mentor in Hivos’ Digital Integrity Fellowship.
Peter Steudtner is a documentary filmmaker and activist, wth 20 years of experience supporting peace workers and human rights defenders through trainings on conflict transformation, non-violent action, the do-no-harm approach and holistic security. Peter co-authored the Holistic Security Manual and his current projects include long-term accompaniment of journalists and HRDs in Kenya, Mozambique and Angola through his Digital Integrity Fellowship at Hivos.
Ruth Cross makes things happen. Her practice has developed from landscape performance and micro-choreography into coordinating projects which bring people together to talk, play, inspire and collaborate. She is an associate artist with Encounters Arts and Battersea Arts Centre and co-founder of The Eroles Project, an international network that explores inner work for outer action. Ruth founded Cross Collaborations in 2009, a collective who devise social actions and intimate live art performances which focus on voice, listening with compassion and connecting to the earth.
George is a practitioner of the Theatre of the Oppressed, writer, performance poet and natural farmer who has travelled extensively across Europe and Asia working with groups ranging from the homeless in London, subsistence farmers in India, victims of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, to recovering heroin addicts and street kids in Kuala Lumpur. As founder of the training collective Reboot The Roots they have a decade of experience as a facilitator and educator in fields ranging from TESOL and drama therapy to drug rehabilitation and conflict resolution. They qualified in their Certificate in Joker Training and Certificate in Rainbow of Desire whilst working with Cardboard Citizens in 2010.
LABO vzw is a non-profit educational organisation that strives as a movement towards a strong civil society that collectively work to create social change and a commitment to social justice. LABO vzw believes in the power of communities to facilitate radical transformation of the current model of society. A crucial condition is the sustainability and democratization of community associations that have come under pressure. LABO vzw advocates for the extension of a creative community of discerning global citizens who transform our society. The acronym LABO literally stands for “Learning, Acting, Movement and Organizing.”
Sami is a grassroots organiser and facilitator, and one of the coordinators for the London Roots training collective. She supports groups around a variety of issues, including: group dynamics, intersectional and accountable organising, and managing diversity/inclusion and exclusion; group and campaign planning and strategy; training and preparing for direct action. Her bases are within anti-racist and de-colonial, feminist and queer/trans movements – and downtime between workshops is normally going into supporting these networks.
Natasha’s years as a grassroots activist focused on environmental and social justice, and anti-militarism, evolved into a career as a professional campaigner which has spanned the last decade. She is a self described social change geek, obsessed about bringing fresh perspectives to the important question of how best campaigns, especially those focused on transformative systems change, can succeed. To this end she has convened numerous workshops and events exploring the theory and practice of many aspects of campaigning, and has gained a reputation as an activism expert in the UK. Having become frustrated with the limitations of NGO campaigning, Natasha now works as a freelancer, prioritising projects promoting community organising approaches and nurturing European social movements. Natasha also runs the Engaging Activists Facebook group and writes her own blog on activism and social change.
Boaz Feldman is is a trained psychologist in trauma healing, cognitive-behavioural, psychosomatic and systemic therapeutic processes as well as a certified Mindfulness trainer from Bangor University. He regularly facilitates community-based bio-psychosocial capacity building trainings in humanitarian interventions both in conflict affected-regions (Afghanistan & Myanmar), natural disasters (Thailand) and development contexts (Mozambique). He is an engaged contemplative committed towards positive social, environmental and spiritual changes in the world, working in an interdisciplinary clinic in Geneva. He provides Mindful Leadership classes for the Trinity College Dublin MBA programs and integrity trainings in Switzerland.
SPINA are a training collective for grassroots groups specialising in burn-out prevention and sustainable activism courses.
Laurence is a writer, teacher and activist specialising in social movements. If you went searching for key academics in the field in Europe Laurence’s name would pop up pretty fast. He co-founded the practitioner-oriented social movement journal Interface, co-ran an activist Masters for five years and works with activists doing PhDs on their own movement’s practice. His books include Why Social Movements Matter; Understanding European Movements; Voices of 1968; Silence would be Treason: Last Writings of Ken Saro-Wiwa; and We Make Our Own History: Marxism and Social Movements in the Twilight of Neoliberalism. He has been involved in many different kinds of movement since the 1980s, including ecological, international solidarity, human rights and organising against repression, antiwar, community activism, radical media, self-organised spaces, alternative education and the alter-globalisation ‘movement of movements’.
Maria worked for the Red Cross for seven years in community development, strengthening civil society, education, and food security in Latin America and Africa. Building on her studies in social psychology and international cooperation, she decided to take on a Economics for Transition Masters at Schumacher College, UK. This led her into work on organisational change and facilitation for both NGO´s and grassroots organisations. Maria specialises in systemic thinking and participatory methodologies applied to organisations, designing and facilitating training’s around organisational culture, project management, strategic planning, leadership, and skills to work in a complex, changeable and uncertain context.Maria co-founded the Eroles Project a learning for action project, and co-authored Tools for collaborative Work for Social Organizations as well as a book on “acitivism and spirituality”.
Senior Research Associate School for Policy Studies in the UK. His research interests include practices of freedom and community self-governance. This work draws on and sits between queer, anarchist and autonomous geographies, movement criticism around anti-/oppression and ‘community accountability’ and empirically grounded feminist governmentality scholarship. Recently Nate was Knowledge Exchange Fellow on Know Your Bristol on the Move, and then as Project Coordinator and Co-investigator on Mapping LGBT+ Bristol. He runs and co-facilitates workshops on non-hierarchical decision-making, community accountability, conflict resolution, and personal/collective resilience. He has strong connections to the Kebele Social Centre in Bristol, England. His facilitation work draws on and brings together anti-oppressive pedagogy, nature connection work’, secular mindfulness practices and ‘The Work That Reconnects’.
Paula was INTRAC‘s Training Manager for more than 5 years. She was responsible for managing INTRAC’s broad range of training programmes including tailor-made, open, and blended courses. She has continued her work with INTRAC as an associate and trains on training of trainers, facilitation skills, M&E of training and managing roll outs effectively. She is a co-founding member of the Training Providers Forum which is an informal network of non-profit training providers working across the development and humanitarian sector. The forum has been running for five years, sharing best practices in training provision, forming collaborations, and offering yearly workshops to sector on key themes such as M&E of training and building the capacity of local training providers. Paula has also been exploring how inner practices can help to support social change work through building personal awareness, resilience and insight. She is training to be a mindfulness teacher and is a co-founding member of the Mindfulness and Social Change Network.
The Ecodharma training collective have innovated and delivered programmes across 20 countries for close to a decade, collaborating with diverse organisations and trainers, to support hundreds of activists from across Europe. They’ve developed a renowned training programme that has supported a culture of sustainable activism.
Founded in 2003, Tactical Tech is a non-profit that has been working worldwide to demystify and promote technology in the context of activism for over a decade. Working at the intersection of tech, activism and politics, Tactical Tech reaches more than three million people worldwide annually through events, training, online resources and exhibitions. They work with citizens, journalists and activists to raise awareness about personal data, privacy and digital security.
MovingSounds is a collective of facilitators, professional artists, musicians, performers and permaculturists who are passionate about the power of creativity and nature to transform lives and create a more sustainable future. As experienced facilitators they offer engaging and dynamic workshops to inspire and educate. Their workshops offer learners the opportunity to explore important issues around active citizenship including sustainability, social justice, leadership, creativity, and nature connection but always through a fun, engaging process that brings out the best in ourselves and each other.
The Eroles Project began in 2014 as a learning /training for action centre in the village of Eroles (Spain). They facilitate events, training programmes and summer residencies with the aim to grow a resilient network of change-makers, across Europe and beyond, who create participatory systemic projects within environmental, social and human rights movements in order to achieve impactful, creative and sustainable change.
Reboot the Roots is a charity that promotes social inclusion through the arts. It uses theatre, music and workshops to support people who are denied their rights to full, happy and active participation in society. This includes those recovering from addiction, people living with HIV/AIDS and individuals who have been in conflict with the law. They facilitate workshops with the socially excluded, train trainers from other organisations and NGOs in techniques of art for inclusion, and help other practitioners to achieve their goals through logistical support, consultation and funding. They believe that creative tools for social transformation can enable people to participate fully and equally in society.
Seeds For Change work with groups and organisations fighting to defend their communities, stopping environmental devastation and creating socially just and sustainable alternatives. They offer training, meeting facilitation and online resources on collective organising and consensus decision making, developing strategy, campaign and action skills, setting up groups and co-ops, co-operative governance and training for trainers.
Conscious Collaboration have delivered workshops and consultancy from 2009 – 2016, and from 2017 will begin focussing efforts on writing a Conscious Collaboration handbook and creating online modules. Their focus is towards self-organisation beyond hierarchy working with groups and organisations to facilitate approaches and deliver resources which help navigate this complex territory.
Suvaco is a registered UKCP Core Process psychotherapist and cranio sacral practitioner who holds an MA in Mindfulness Psychotherapy Practice from Middlesex University. He incorporates aspects of psychodynamic, relational and dialectical behaviour therapy into his approach to psychotherapy, primarily focussed around treating trauma with empathic attunement. He work with people in a range of settings, including activists committed to making social or environmental changes. He trained in the Thai forest tradition of Ajahn Chah for 17 years as a Buddhist monk and currently teaches meditation as part of the teaching staff at Gaia House, Devon.
They, 46 years old, single parent, activist, bike mechanic, offset printer, psychologist, self-defense trainer for women. Unconditional love: Yohanes (13), Hermelijn (14) and Hazel (17). Loves playing football, cycling adventures on their own, kickboxing, colours, greasy and inky hands, creativity in all forms and actions, the vast landscape at the seaside. Ingriet worked in a publishing company as an offset-printer, in an environmental NGO on energy poverty, in an anti-poverty organisation as a coach on environmental justice, in an anti-militaristic movement as an organiser and as a coordinator in a movement for critical citizenship. Now focussing on training and coaching. “Strenghts: Intuition (and the courage to follow it), life experience (and the ability to translate it so others can take benefits of it as well), coaching, (parental) care, empathy, wondering about small things Confidence in group processes and ‘letting go’, loves unexpected twists in a training. Being the glue and the (bio-degradable) glitter. Prioritises the topics of sustaining resistance, healthy groups and movements,‘battlegroundsurgery’. Challenges: ‘over-caring’, dealing with intensity, mornings.”
They, Activist, traveler, idealist, Aries (fire starter). Loves: chocolate, making lists, kickboxing, writing, seemingly random encounters, dancing, trees, transformation, ritual, meditation, alpacas, purple, body-work and direct action. Trying to find a way to “reconcile their ‘hippie-side’ with my ‘anarchist-side’.” Has been active in a range of environmental and social justice issues, including a campaign against coal bed methane, squatting, forest occupation, and feminism. As a passionate traveller they had the privilege of observing or participating in different social movements and communities around the world. “Strengths: emergent design, enthusiasm, intuition, embodied work, energisers, ritual, confrontation, being critical, holding the group container. Challenges: theory, patience (especially towards themselves), speaking slowly, full group discussions, letting go.”
Elka is a member of the LABO vwz trainer pool. She has worked “mostly with groups of young adolescents from different backgrounds in different places on earth”. She values the well-being of the people working in the organisations, which she sees as compromised by overly quantitive mindsets. in her work she looks for balance between action and self-care. She sees her strengths as: “Keeping an eye on the well-being of the individuals in a group. Give space for all kinds of emotions. Listen without judgement. Ask questions, including about myself.” She recognises the challenges to: “Be more aware of my non-verbal communication. Take space for my own emotions/processing. Not to over-question.”
People who help us learn, remain responsive, and stay alive to what’s going down.
Groups, networks and organisations who participate in our trainings, disseminate the learning, and apply it in their struggles, campaigns and projects.
Talented and committed people and collectives who keep our educational work creative and effective.