We run training for individuals, groups and organisations, as well as supporting the development of trainers and training organisations who work for social and ecological justice.
We believe that education serves a crucial function in supporting authentic social engagement and empowering social agency. We believe that empowered social agency is a key to individual, social and ecological flourishing. We practice and promote educational approaches that are participatory, holistic and transformative. We believe that the transformation of individuals and society are wrapped up with each other. People shape societies and societies shape people. Societies and people together impact and influence ecological well-being.
With these things in mind we:
- Support and nurture a community of trainers and organisers through training, collaborative projects and material support
- Offer training to individuals, groups and communities
- Encourage research, innovation and the sharing of best practices amongst trainers who broadly share our values and vision
Since 2009 our trainers have been providing training to civil society entities and individuals in the UK and Europe. We have built a network of trainers and organisers who are highly committed to our vision of education for social change. Our educational approach is innovative and contemporary.
In recent years we have identified five priority areas of work:
- Trainings in collaboration: In social movements and grassroots organising we have identified a serious deficit in skills and capacity for effective collaborative work. These trainings support people to understand how groups work, to learn skills for organizing and structuring work together.
- Trainings in sustainable social engagement: Burnout and drop off of people involved in social engagement leads to a continual haemorrhaging of talent, skill and experience form social movements. These trainings explore methods of working that help people avoid burnout and to better empower themselves for action.
- Trainings that integrate personal transformation with the resourcing of social engagement: Ideas of social change or personal transformation that neglect the way that these two dimensions inter-penetrate each other through mutually conditioning influences are less effective that approaches that honour their inseparability and develop strategic approaches that take this into account.
- Training of trainers: High quality training and facilitation that integrates contemporary approaches and innovations can make a crucial difference to social movement building and civil society organisations. Training of trainers offers opportunities for exponential impact and optimising the scope and influence of our work.
- Creating space for innovation in learner centred education for social change: Learning, by its very nature, is open ended. Actively creating spaces for innovative exploration is essential for anyone interested in educational approaches that seek to remain responsive and relevant to changing needs and circumstance.
During 2015-17 we have been increasingly involved in Refugee Solidarity Work. This has involved our network in work across Europe and given rise to some new challenges. We are currently exploring ways to bring greater resilience and security to trainers and activists taking on this kind of work.
Other key areas we are currently developing include: Trainings for Transversality and embedding Anti-Oppression Pedagogies. Both are intended to increase our capacity to support greater transversal cooperation across European civil society amidst an increasingly fragmenting political climate.