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..
Mika (she/they): Woven with the seeds of my white migration family stories, I joined my first grassroots group 25 years ago. Today, I am a trainer and facilitator as part of the Berlin-based collective Movement School – Bewegungsschule (https://bewegungsschule.org/). Bewegungsschule is integrating Transformative Organizing, intersectionality, Training for Change (https://www.trainingforchange.org/) methodology and Processwork. I’m an organizer for a labor union and constantly learning new things on strategizing, organizing, and movement building. I deeply believe in the power of experiential learning. I root in activism, diversity, community, heartfelt joy and connection. Currently, I am most intrigued by mycelium and what futures may arise for our movements and societies if we engage more with it. I like to think and feel small and big at the same time: how are our everyday lives entangled in what we’re trying to change?
As a Ulex core team member, Ella has been facilitating on trainings for many years. She brings a diverse experience and background, with 10 years external working with not for profit and community based organisations across diverse themes including: advocacy for migrant communities; local community engagement in national policy making; community mental health, and linking national education provision with community development. Her training and facilitation experience is diverse: from delivering formal certified training courses, multi-day residential courses, hosting community focus groups, small group accompaniment, and coordinating informal mental health and community engagement spaces. She has 20 years’ experience of working in teams and has spent the last 14 years developing and practicing approaches to radical, solidarity based collaborations, which underpins her approach to collaborative methodologies.
Binta wears many hats – educator, facilitator, organizer, activist, social entrepreneur, and mental health advocate – in support of community-led initiatives focused on social and climate justice. She has 10+ years experience working internationally on issues related to digital literacy, educational, social, and economic inclusion of marginalized communities, capacity and community building, and intercultural communication. In addition to organizing and working with anti-racist and feminist organizations in France, her current work focuses on helping movements structure and grow their impact, training youth leaders and activists in campaigning, community building and mobilization, and building networks of peer learning, support, and empowerment for marginalized communities.
Jay (formerly John) Jordan (they/them) is labelled a “Domestic Extremist” by the police, and “a magician of rebellion” by the press. Part-time author, sex worker and full time trouble maker, Jay is a lover of edges, especially between art and activism. They Co-founded Reclaim the street and the clown army, have choreographed carnivalesque riots, written a BBC radio play , facilitated community rituals, always applying joy and creativity to resistance. Education has always been central to their work, they deserted the academy in 2004 to apply pedagogy to social movements. Jay co facilitates the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination based on the ZAD of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, where creative direct action stopped a destructive airport project.
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.
Alberto 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.
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.
I’m the workshop lead at PIRC, and a geek for learning that centres participants—their experiences, knowledge, skills and creativity. I’m really excited about designing and delivering our workshops with this at the forefront, and doing my own learning along the way. Some things I’m particularly interested in are reframing trans liberation and how we talk about borders.
I have a background in grassroots campaigning, youth peer support, journalism and domestic and sexual abuse support work. I’ve designed and delivered workshops to adults and young people on a range of topics, from self care to drag king workshops. Outside of PIRC, I help run a queer poetry night, like to bake all sorts of vegan cakes and will occasionally make an appearance as my drag king alter-ego, Turkish popstar Tarkan.
Marina is an educator, organizer, activist, and researcher committed to build people power for a just and regenerative society. She has a background in psychology and education and about 10 years’ international experience in facilitating transformative learning processes with movements, civil society groups, and international organisations. Originally from Italy, she has lived and worked most of her life in “in between” spaces facilitating learning, collaboration and co-creation between people, groups, organisations, countries, and cultures. She worked with Actionaid’s Global Platforms in Africa, Asia and Central America and Europe coordinating political trainings, participatory research, and developing the capacity of activists, organisers, volunteers, to lead organizing campaigns for climate justice, gender justice, human rights and Panafricanism. While working in Ghana, she facilitated to the creation of national and international activist networks such as Activista Ghana and the African Creative Action Network. Currently, she leads the European Community Organizing Network (ECON) as Network Coordinator responsible for strategic organisational development and network building.
Fergal is a senior lecturer at the Department of Adult and Community Education, Maynooth, National University of Ireland and is a co-director of the Doctorate in Higher and Adult Education and the PhD in Adult and Community Education programmes. Fergal has been involved in campaigns and social movements most of his adult life. He worked in community adult education before becoming an academic and these interests led his to set up with others a Masters in Community Education Equality and Social Activism. His main areas of interest are equality, education, transformative education and participatory research and helps run a network on Active Democratic Citizenship and Adult Learning.
Niccolo is a director of European Alternatives. He has worked throughout Europe and North Africa networking movements, civil society, academics and artists, with a particular focus on the place of imagination and strategic foresight in opening up a pathway to change. He has been involved in founding various organisations, magazines, festivals and movements on both sides of the mediterranean.
Jana is a facilitator, activist and organiser dedicated to creating transformative learning spaces and building capacity to collaboratively strategise for system change. With a background in education, she has a passion for critical and experiential pedagogy and research interest in how social movements learn and engage in counter-hegemonic knowledge production. Organising in different networks across the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, the UK, and Germany, she is an adventurer of coalition building and practioner of transnational activism. Drawing from experience in the social and climate justice movement, she recently coordinated the programme for People’s Summit with the COP26Coalition and now works with European Alternatives and the School of Transnational Organizing. Keeping it up with the grassroots; Berlin based.
Toni works with WildWise (‘Being Nature’ and Call Of The Wild), Ulex, The Emergence Network and Tough Cookie amongst others. She has an Action Research based MSc in Responsibility and Business Practice and is trained in a range of facilitation modalities; embodied awakening, deep ecology, trauma informed leadership, The Work That Reconnects. She says that her work as a facilitator, consultant, artist and mentor “seeks to support a homecoming to presence within the context of modernity. In the face of increasing socio-ecological crises, how can we follow the cracks in the dominant paradigm and listen to the wilder margins? How does this inform our work as activists, educators and community builders? What does Deep Adaptation, solidarity and decoloniality look like? Feel like? Taste like?” These question and more inform her poetry, pedagogy and prefigurative practice.
Other recent clients and collaborators include Schumacher College, St Ethelburgas, the Transition Town Movement and Encounters Arts. She is the founder of [the pause… in practice] and Acornucopia (The Feral Kitchen).
Details to follow!
There is a long history of student and staff activism at the National University of Ireland Maynooth, a key centre for popular education and research on social movements. A Masters in Community Education, Equality and Social Activism ran for five years, working with experienced activists across a very wide range of movements and social groups. The Maynooth members of MLC are experienced movement researchers and adult educators as well as activists themselves.
European Alternatives works to promote democracy, equality and culture beyond the nation-state and imagine, demand and enact alternatives for a viable future for Europe. They: articulate a radical, long-term vision of democratic, just and culturally-open politics, society and culture beyond the nation-state for Europe and for the world; experiment with forms of action that contribute to transformative change in political institutions, society, the economy and imagination; build the capacity, the mutual-awareness and connection of members, activists and organisations working in line with our values; and advance and defend human, fundamental, civic, democratic and social rights across borders.
Nontokozo says: I have always been passionate about building community, inner engineering, group dynamics, motivating and empowering others. I enjoy tackling women issues, building bridges of hope and healing between Africa & Europe and beyond, I love sharing knowledge on conscious living, advocating for climate and social justice, and regenerative education. My work includes education on diversity and racism awareness. I am a firm believer of UBUNTU an Indigenous African Knowledge System – “I am because we are”. I am committed to creating safe spaces and holistic events for individuals and group processes, to support in achieving desired goals and creating a common vision, using indigenous wisdom, processwork facilitation and other methodologies.’
Camille Sapara Barton (they/them) is an artist and educator who explores creative interventions that sustain life. Rooted in Black Feminism, ecology and harm reduction, they use creativity as a means to grow the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible. Embodiment, healing justice and drug policy are key threads within Camille’s work. They are certified in the Resilience Toolkit – a somatic modality that supports nervous system regulation, stress management and creates the capacity to recover from trauma. From 2015 – 2020 Camille led the Collective Liberation Project, providing workshops and training on embodied approaches to anti-racism.
In 2022, Camille launched the GEN Grief Toolkit, a collection of embodied practices to support grief work within movements for environmental and social justice. They are currently the head of Ecologies of Transformation, a temporary masters programme at Sandberg Institute, which researches how art making and embodiment can create social change.
Tashy Endres has 18 years of experience in movements for social and spatial justice. This includes long-standing involvements in the movement of unemployed and landless workers in Buenos Aires, Occupy Wall Street in New York City, Decolonizing Architecture in Bethlehem, Kotti & Co (a tenants initiative in the Berlin social housing system), Berlin Rent Referendum and the Jumpstarting Working Group of Expropriating Deutsche Wohnen & Co in Berlin, which she/they co-founded and is currently active in. Tashy works as a political educator, facilitator, trainer and strategy coach in social movements and political organisations in the fields of transformative (community) organizing, social justice and critical diversity, nonviolent communication and conflict transformation through an intersectional lense as well as regenerative organizing and activism.
Meera is an activist, facilitator and community builder. After 2 decades of working in activism and non-profit work on climate justice, racial equity, children’s rights, and human rights across her native Pakistan and now home Europe, Meera realized that we can’t move the needle on the things that matter if we don’t take the time to heal our relationships with each other. This led Meera down the path of developing her theory and praxis around what she calls a Culture of Care. Her goal in this work is to see people, communities, and movements become greater by centering empathy and building systems of accountability, support and care. She’s had a long and varied career, doing everything from community organizing, to guiding non-profits through policy, visioning and strategic planning processes, to negotiating with the United Nations, to scoping and booking indie bands for green musical festivals. Her proudest professional accomplishment has been doing this much-needed work of creating work environments and spaces where people can be their whole selves. Her work as a grassroots activist and community organiser has given her keen insight into what leads to transformative change. She takes an intersectional feminist lens when developing and delivering solutions.
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.
La Bolina is based in El Valle, south of the city of Granada. It is a project that integrates regeneration, integration and sustainability. As well as regeneration of land and repopulation of rural villages, we are dedicated to the dignified and respectful integration of migrants and refugees through running education and training programmes, building just and ethical employment opportunities and providing community living whilst constructing alternative food systems based on local and circular economies. La Bolina has developed an eco-business growing and distributing veg boxes to a community of customers and to restaurants and eco-shops.
Tatiana is an organiser and facilitator with over ten years’ experience of working on issues around race, migration and climate justice. She has led strategy development processes for social justice organisations, facilitated work exploring liberation, and delivered training on movement building across the UK and in Europe.
Tatiana has worked with Quakers In Britain, HOPE not Hate, Migrants Rights Network and Latin American Women’s Rights Service, amongst others. She is also a long-standing grassroots activist – co-founding London Latinx and Wretched of the Earth, groups she is still heavily involved in.
ECON is a hub for the community organizing movement and supports organizers to build an effective counterbalance to the rise of right-wing extremism, racism, and nationalism in Europe. ECON serves as a hub for the community organizing movement across Europe with a focus on developing the craft of organizing through training and mentorship, technical assistance, and by creating a space for organizers from different countries to collectively develop their strategic practice.
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.
As a member of SPINA collective, Asia often co-facilitates workshops and trainings with different activists. Her main topics are burnout, sustainable activism, community care. She is also committed to approaches that bring more body and somatics work into radical politics and social activism – nowadays mainly by co-organizing trainings within ourbodies_onthestreets collective. She also works in the field or reproductive justice, supporting activists’ networks and people who need access to safe abortion services. Member of Abortion Network Amsterdam, based in Netherlands, coming from Warsaw/Poland. In her free time she does feminist/anarchist illustrations.
Combating discrimination and developing participation: these are two main areas of Magda’s performances. Magda is an anti-discrimination and social skills trainer with over 15 years of experience. Researcher, co-author of several publications on discrimination (especially in educational system and how economical system has affected women). Affiliated with The Society of Anti-Discrimination Education in Poland where she is currently coordinating project “CEE Prevent Net – Central and Eastern European Network for the Prevention of Intolerance and Group Hatred”. Also working as a consultant of communities’ participation in rural areas in Poland.
Do is an anti-discrimination and WenDo* trainer, based in Poland. She dedicates a huge part of her professional work to Anti-discrimination Education Society, delivering workshops and trainings for a wide range of audience. She is also associated with Rural Development Foundation and Feminist Fund in Poland, and a member of Kopacze-Diggers collective which is a self-organized queer-feminist, activist and collective living project that hosts workshops, retreats and events around social and environmental struggles. *Self-defense and empowerment training methodology for women and trans* people.
Valery is a labour organizer, campaigner, trainer and a social and migrant rights activist. She worked for 9 years in the Justice for Janitors Campaign throughout the U.S., and then went on to share and jointly adapt a “social unionism” organising model in South Africa, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK. She worked at the “Change to Win – European Organising Centre” for 8 years campaigning in various service and emerging economy sectors including airports, social care and renewable energy sectors. Valery is now working for the Strategic organising Unit at UNISON helping develop organising, campaigning capacity and worker organising centres for fragmented privatized workers in the United Kingdom.
Kinga is an anti-oppression facilitator connected to the Anti-discrimination Education Association (TEA) in Poland, for nearly two decades active in prevention of discrimination in the formal and nonformal education. Involved in many national and international projects she has been working with youth workers, teachers, school psychologists and pedagogues on issues connected to gender and sexuality (e.g. combating trans- and homophobia, supporting nonheteronormative kids and their parents). Also working as a sex educator with teenagers and a WenDo trainer – a self-defence and assertiveness method for women, girls and trans* people. In recent years focused mostly on empowering people from discriminated groups through working with body, voice and self reflection on internalized oppressions.
Esra has been active in a variety of grassroots groups and civil society organisations in Turkey and in Belgium. She is passionate about climate justice, anti-racism, communities of resistance, and networks of solidarity. She is part of LABO vzw, 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. She is currently working at European Network Against Racism (ENAR) and trying to contribute to a stronger and more resilient anti-racist movement.
Mo currently lives in Berlin and Warsaw, working in the European Youth for Action (EYFA) network, supporting social and environmental struggles from EYFA’s office. Mo is an experienced trainer, a member of the SPINA trainer’s for social change collective, delivering numerous workshops, facilitating group processes and helping groups in need to figure out unhelpful dynamics, informal power relationships and conflicts they are facing. Recently Mo has published a book about gender bending, as the Polish Academy wasn’t ready to accept it as Mo’s PHD dissertation.
Kyle Sawyer (they/he) is an anti-oppression facilitator and educator specializing in working with individuals and organizations on how to turn privilege into change. He is a trans, queer, mixed-race, white-passing individual. With over a decade of experience Kyle founded Building Allies in 2013 and developed the term Active-Ally, someone who witnesses injustice and responds to it in any situation. Kyle has worked with teachers, nonprofit organizations, students, therapists, social workers, community members, family members, and many others on learning how to be Active-Allies through an intersectional lens.
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.
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.
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 is a facilitator of socio-ecological regeneration. As an educator, Kara devised and co-developed ‘Radical Nature Connection’ as an approach and co-holds this strand of work at Ulex. Kara delivers courses and lectures on Masters degrees on radical, decolonial approaches to nature connection, rewilding and ancestral skills (with a focus on foraging, tracking and trees) at the Centre for Alternative Technology, Schumacher College and independently. Kara works as a freelance writer and is active on socio-environmental issues within grassroots movements, and spends the Winter months working in conservation forestry, restoring ancient woodlands. Kara runs a Wild Recovery program for people recovering from addiction and chairs a charity that runs the 350-acre Cambrian Wildwood project, which is restoring wild habitats in the Cambrian foothills and creating access to immersion in wild nature.
May (she/her) is an experienced nature facilitator, who’s been helping people to connect with nature for over 15 years and with Forest School Camps (FSC) alongside many other organisations. Most recently she co-founded the Natural Resilience Project, which builds personal resilience though connection to nature with migrant women in cities across the UK.
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. After many years spent fighting dirty big business, and standing with communities being damaged by extractive industries with Reclaim the Power, her activism most recently joined the dots between the aviation industry’s ties with the UK home Office’s brutal process of deportation by charter flight. She was one of the Stansted 15 defendants in a long running court case which spanned between 2017-2021.
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 and the German action training network Skills for Action. 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.
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.
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.
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 freelance trainer on Holistic Security and Nonviolent Conflict Transformation as well as a documentary photographer and filmmaker. His engagement in holistic security accompaniment is currently part of the Digital Defenders Partnership (https://digitaldefenders.org) as a Psychosocial Support Facilitator as well as within the Holistic Protection Collective globally for Human Rights Organisations, journalists and activists. He is one of the authors of https://holistic-security.org, https://digitalfirstaid.org and https://coping-with-prison.org.
Ruth Cross is co-founder of Eroles Project – an international learning for action centre, and, Asociación La Bolina – a visionary intercultural initiative working to regenerate land and lives through creating social integration and sustainable livelihoods for locals, migrants and refugees in El Valle, Andalucia, Spain. She is the Artistic Director of Cross Collaborations, an award winning arts for change immersive theatre company.
Ruth is an experienced arts activist, social theatre maker, researcher and educator specialising in instigating transformative and regenerative change. She can be found directing immersive performance with migrants and refugees, creating participatory arts action campaigns and coordinating cross-disciplinary projects with organisations, decision-makers, civil society and local communities.
For the last 10 years Ruth has facilitated capacity building training with activists and social movements. She is a research contributor with Schumacher Research in Action community, is a member of the international Delicate Activism community and of Social Arts network ImaginAction. As well as a collaborator with Asociación Solidaria Andaluza de Desarrollo (ASAD).
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 Dublin-based writer, teacher and activist, and one of Europe’s best-known social movement researchers. He’s been in many different movements starting with anti-war and anti-apartheid activism in the 1980s, including helping organise the anti-capitalist “movement of movements” in Ireland, media spokesperson for a summit protest, resisting Shell, networking between movements and parties, alternative schools and kindergartens, co-running a Masters for activists, helping organise a Zapatista tour and editing several radical publications, most recently the activist-researcher social movement journal Interface. In his day job as a researcher, he’s written or edited a dozen books as well as lots of free stuff which you can find here. Once he was a street musician but now prefers plumbing wood-fired hot tubs in a field for Buddhist camping retreats.
María worked for the Red Cross in community development, strengthening civil society, education, and food security in Latin America and Africa. Building on her studies in social psychology and international development, she studied Alternative Economics at Schumacher College, UK. This led her into work on organisational change with NGOs and grassroots movements. María specialises in complexity and participation applied to organisations: organisational structures and culture, emergent strategy, leadership amongst others. She co-founded The Eroles Project, a learning for action project and La Bolina, a systemic project looking at repopulation, inclusion and agroecology. María´s co-authored: Small is Important: Learnings from an integration and regeneration Project. Factores Clave para la Acción Reflexión Colaborativa, Enfoques y herramientas participativas en la cooperación al desarrollo, Activism 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.
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. Mees 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.