We’re dedicated to promoting social and ecological justice; to strengthen civil society and active citizenship through education and training. This involves us in an on-going of trends and needs in social movements, and building of capacity to keep our work responsive and relevant.
For over a decade in Europe it’s been easy to recognise the validity of Frederick Jameson’s claim, that it was “easier to imagine the end of the world than it [was] to imagine the end of capitalism”. The erosion of organised labour since the late 70s, the ultimate collapse of the soviet alternative, the allures of an ahistorical consumerism, the cognitive dissonance of business as usual amidst failures to address climate change, left many in the penumbra of a reflexive impotence. For years capitalism has seamlessly occupied the horizon of the thinkable.
Today, that has changed. Foreclosures on an alternative future are being levered open. The post-2008 crash economy shows no signs of anything but a stalling recovery; there are less than five years to the date when many say carbon emissions must have peaked if we’re serious about addressing climate change; a popular sense of distributive injustice is growing alongside an intransigent politics of austerity; bankrupted political leadership remains trapped in the mind-set of the failing neoliberal project. Where neoliberalism claimed There Is No Alternative (TINA) it is now clearer than ever that This Is Not An Option (TINA-O). The fading promises, the failure of leadership, and the blinkered vision, are the cracking façade. Behind it a renewed radical imagination is sparking up in Europe.
The kindling of this renewed social confidence, in a sense of possibility, can be seen in numerous political developments across the continent. In many places the ground is moving. And what is emerging is so new that the old parties just can’t read the change. The embers are glowing, but they’ll need us all to focus our energies if they’re going to burst into strong and transmuting flames.
As always, however, opportunity carries risk. The economic challenges of a post-2008 Eurozone are contributing to increased economic precarity, straining social provision, and aggravating political tensions between European countries. More recently, increased rates of migration and asylum seekers, looking to Europe for security and opportunity, pose numerous challenges. Such factors threaten to give rise to an increase in parochial responses such as xenophobia, racism, exclusionary and other intolerant tendencies – jeopardising socially progressive developments of international solidarity, multiculturalism, tolerance, inclusion and diversity.
We consider this a crucial moment in which there is a need for civil society institutions and actors to strengthen connections across Europe based on progressive values of diversity, inclusion, equality, solidarity and meaningful democratic social participation.Transformative Education is about strengthening our collective capacity to grasp the opportunities and to guard against the dangers. It’s about supporting individuals, communities and organisations to empower themselves – to realise individual, social, and ecological wellbeing. It’s not just about the claim that ‘another world is possible’, but about the specifics of how we can build capacity across Europe to support deeply empowered personal and collective agency – for the good of the whole.
We want our educational work to:
- strengthen progressive tendencies in European civil society
- to enhance the capacity of individuals and organisations in active citizenship
- to support an increased sense of connection across Europe based in values of solidarity, inclusion, diversity, participatory democracy, social justice and ecological intelligence