Working with Ulex

Do you want to join a team that is using activist education to help challenge the interlocking systems of oppression that undermine social justice and ecological integrity? Do you want to be strategic about that and foster the ambition to have a powerful and transformative impact? How about joining the Ulex team?

CURRENT OPPORTUNITIES

We are currently recruiting for two people to join our core team. These are the two roles we’re recruiting for (click to see more information about each role):

Project Coordinator & BIPOC (Black, Indigenous & People of Colour) and Racial Justice Strand Lead

External Communications Lead and Project Coordinator

The deadline for applications is Tuesday 19th October, end of the day. The start for both positions will be early January.

To find out how to apply, please read on!

Towards the end of the autumn we will also recruit for a volunteer course organiser, so sign up for our newsletter if you want to keep in the loop about that.

 

WHY JOIN US?

OUR PURPOSE

Through activist training and education we support social movements in Europe to contest the future – for social justice and ecological integrity.

We see the problems we face as interconnected. Systemic problems require systemic solutions and connected approaches. In our globalised world social movements and changemakers need increased connections: across borders, across issues, across constituencies. Creating and strengthening such connections enhances both impact and resilience. Sharing experience and learning increases movement responsiveness and vitality. That is why Ulex brings people together from across Europe from diverse groups and movements to learn together and build solidarity.

Over the last ten years we have innovated, piloted and networked. We’ve trained hundreds of activists from over 20 countries, during tens of thousands of hours of residential training. We’ve supported diverse organisations and collaborated with numerous international organisations and facilitators. We have done this mostly through residential training in our centres at the foothills of the Catalan Pyrenees. Recently, we have also been researching and generating training resources to increase accessibility of all the experience and knowledge that we have developed in collaboration with many engaged and talented activists and trainers. We’ve also done many other things, you can have a peek at them in our recent Impact Report.

 

CULTURE AND VALUES

We are a diverse bunch in many ways. Here is a list of many things we value. We value many more too. Please do not take this as an exhaustive list of the “must haves”. We fall short of them sometimes too.

Politics: we come to our work with the urge to challenge the interlocking systems of oppression that undermine social justice and ecological integrity. We’re strategic about that and ambitious to have a powerful and transformative impact

Self-management: everyone has personal autonomy and responsibility to do their best work to achieve their role’s purpose. But we are aware of other roles and work collaboratively to ensure all our work aligns together

Interconnectedness: we navigate with curiosity the tensions between autonomy and cooperation. We believe that our wellbeing and resilience as individuals are tied to those of the group, as well as the earth

Synergy: we reuse and recycle ideas and practices where appropriate and relevant. We don’t want to reinvent the wheel

Effectiveness: we have high standards for our work, which involves the ability to learn and grow from mistakes

Resilience: we deeply care for each other’s sustainability

Passion: we get energy from each other’s commitment to social change and our role within it

Compassion: we aim to support each other and generate safer spaces for people to know themselves more deeply and bring out their full potential

Self-awareness: we just do not envision working without it, we expect to be able to reflect with each other about our tendencies and behaviours

Transformative friendship: we place a lot of value in the quality of our relationships

Going for the good of the whole: we apply systems thinking and understand that the good of the whole also involves “me”.

 

OUR TEAM

We hold each other with a lot of respect, love and appreciation. We are a very hard-working team, made up of some very committed people – and we strive with integrity to support each other to stay resourced and resilient. 

A few snapshots:

– We can embody quite a lot of playfulness (e.g. some of us use “just dance” youtube videos to have organised breaks during intense administrative times);

– All of us meditate (some more regularly than others!);

– You can expect occasional good jokes and sarcasm in our internal communications;

– When workload allows throughout the year, we engage in collective political study to have a shared vocabulary for making strategic decisions together;

– The ‘integral activist’ approach that we hold for our trainings, also applies to how we think about our work together;

– You will be able to geek out about productivity systems and systematising everything, or on the contrary find others who like to keep things organic and flowing (we do achieve a good balance and all those people still love each other after years of working together);

– We take processes for both support and accountability seriously (individually and as a whole team) to help each other grow;

Read some brief descriptions of team members here.

 

OUR GOVERNANCE

We are implementing Sociocracy as our governance structure. This means we value empowerment and a dynamic balance between autonomy and cooperation. We’re not typically hierarchical, but neither are we simply horizontal! Sociocracy offers an agile structure that distributes decision making and aims to be empowering, efficient, and ensure we take care of each other. You will become part of the circles that are relevant to your work (a bit like working groups or teams). In these circles, as a full member, you will have equal power to consent or object to any decisions. You will have both autonomy and responsibility and be expected to consider the good of the whole.

 

WHERE YOU WILL WORK FROM

Our office and most of our team members are based in a small intentional community and project called Ecodharma. It’s in the foothills of the Catalan Pyrenees. It is a stunning place to live. It is perfect for somebody who enjoys living in a small community but also likes space for themselves (over the last year we’ve averaged 8 people, although longer-term we’re likely to be 10-12).

Ideally we’re looking for people to live and work here with us. We place a lot of value on the quality of our relationships, so being in the same place really helps with that. It also helps us to embody other aspects of our team culture such as regular study together, collective contemplative practice, and deepening friendship. However, we’ll definitely consider people for the posts who want to work remotely. But if you didn’t want (or weren’t able) to take this post residentially at the community, we would still like you to spend at least 1 month per year with us (probably January) to lay a solid foundation for our working relationships going forward.

 

WORK SCHEDULE

We agree to a minimum of 32 working hours a week. Typically the working week at Ulex is Tuesday to Friday. A “typical” day can be thought of as 9 to 6pm, with 1h for lunch (but we’re not all typical). We operate on trust, and nobody is watching or counting anybody’s hours. We essentially work whenever is best for us, bearing in mind that coordinated working hours are useful for communicating with each other and having enough overlap for effective cooperation.

So, we take the breaks we need when we need them. We can choose to work at the weekends to free up some of our time during the week or just because we want to. As long as we’re communicating clearly with the rest of the team if the change in our working pattern is going to affect them, all is well. If we end up with spare or idle time, we’re trusted to express this and take on more tasks/responsibilities. Equally, if we’re overstretched and need to constantly work overtime to fulfill our roles, and this is a challenge and concern for us, we’re trusted to bring this up so that we can find a collective solution. 

For the trust based approach to work, we need to be conscientious about making good use of the time we consider work time. 

If you need other working agreements for hours (for example, accumulating “toil” formally and then taking it), you can bring this up in a meeting and it can be agreed for you by the team.

 

TIME OFF

Six weeks per year. Generally any time will be fine as long as necessary tasks can get done while the person is away. We usually coordinate time in March for the following 12 months, to ensure adequate cover and time overlapping as a team. 

There are some times in the year that are not ideal for (long) periods of time off, namely funding application writing time from December till February.

We don’t take account of bank holidays or other public holidays. They are not additional to the 6 weeks per year.

Retreat time (for those living residentially) is additional to holidays. Historically at Ecodharma there has been a one month retreat in February. We have not been able to do this due to workload management with covid, and for now are changing to shorter retreats (6 days or so) a couple of times per year. Those working remotely can also ask for retreat time and join us with it.

 

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

We operate a ‘solidarity economy’. So, we don’t offer a wage or salary in the traditional sense. Instead, our approach is to consider the financial support that each of us needs to live a simple good life and feel resourced to contribute our work to the project. We will have a conversation and take into account your healthcare needs, caring responsibilities, debt, taxes and so on. However, as a social movement organisation, our funds are limited, so what we can offer will be limited too. 

As a guideline, this is what is currently happening for current team members per year:

– Residentially: between 12,500€ and 17,500€ (as a mix of financial support, and in-kind support)

– Remotely: between 15,000€ and 18,000€ net. 

As stated, this is what is happening at the moment. We do negotiate and review financial support on an ongoing basis, and on a needs basis. We think about our needs carefully, and we think of them with the spirit of generosity in mind. This comes together with a strong determination to take care of ourselves in the long-term even if we might be able to “live with less” in the short-term.

Depending on where you will be based there are options to be contracted under the Spanish or through a UK registered organisation. 

 

DIVERSITY

We are a diverse group with regards to gender, class, age and nationality. There are currently no BIPOC members of the team. We would like to continue to grow the diversity of our team and we strongly encourage people to apply with different experiences, backgrounds and identities. 

We believe our differences and uniqueness make us stronger and we have a culture where difference and authenticity is valued. We want people from diverse backgrounds to feel represented and welcomed at Ulex. Having a diverse team will also help us build a broad-based Social Movement Organisation which can support and welcome a wide range of people and groups across society.

 

MORE INFORMATION

Do contact Neus at support@ulexproject.org if you have any questions or need support with your application.

If you would like to apply for a residential post at the Ecodharma community: e-mail Neus at support@ulexproject.org before applying so she can send you further information about community life, agreements, accommodation, facilities and so on. If non-residential just follow the instructions below.

 

HOW TO APPLY

Send the following to Neus at support@ulexproject.org:

1) CV (2 page maximum)

2) a cover letter (maximum 1600 words) telling us:

i) What interests you about joining the Ulex Project core team? How long do you see yourself working with us?

ii) What role are you applying for? Why does it interest you and what will you bring to it?

iii) a) If applying for a residential post, what is it that interests you and inspires you to live in Ecodharma, in the ways described? 

Or

iii) b) If applying to take on the post remotely, what is your previous experience of working remotely as part of a team, and what challenges do you foresee? And where do you expect to be based whilst you’re working remotely?