APLab partnership with Ulex South for building capacity in Polish food sovereignty movement

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Since November 2020 Agro-Perma-Lab has been collaborating with La Bolina, an agroecology & permaculture community organisation in Southern Spain working at the cross-road of community arts, food-growing and social inclusion. Our partnership has recently developed to include a plan for 6 amazing trainings in 2021 at Ulex (South branch) – Col.lectiu Eco Actiu.

Agro-Perma-Lab Foundation in partnership with Ulex South, have applied for Erasmus Plus Mobility grant to co-fund participation of 26 community leaders and educators from Poland in residential 8-days long trainings in Andalusia, Spain. The Erasmus Plus KA1 adult education fund is set up to support exchanges of adults involved in non-formal and informal education work to develop their skills and competencies in another EU country. The trainings will be each time for about 20 participants from 4 organisations working grassroots in the areas of resilience, adaptive capacity, solidarity networks, cooperativism and deep ecological approaches to environmental work.


Sample Trainings

APLab and Ulex will develop the trainings further collaboratively, once the results of Erasmus bid are known. Here are, however, taster examples of the trainings already run in the past and offered as initial proposals:

Organizations Revisioned

Building social change organisations for resilience and impact.In recent years there has been an explosion of interest in agile and decentralised approaches toself-organising structures.

Drawing on systems thinking and complexity, information theory, and notions of agility and innovation, these approaches have revolutionised practice intraditional organisations from public sector institutions to corporations and businesses. Are those of us working for social change actually falling behind? What can we learn from these approaches that can be harnessed to the values we want to embody? How can we better design our organisations for resilience, agility, and impact. […]


Participatory Social Action

Everyone in a complex system has a slightly different interpretation. The more interpretations we gather, the easier it becomes to gain a sense of the whole. – Meg Wheatley.

In migrant solidarity, climate justice and the work of creating alternatives to the current oppressive and growth hungry system; we are faced with increasingly complex andinterconnected problems that require a systemic view and most crucially the participation ofall involved to increase our understanding of the plural realities involved. Participation is notonly central to create inclusive movements, but also to achieve innovative, adaptive andpertinent solutions coming from minority communities as well as the mainstream. Participation is sometimes experienced as an added extra to enhance a programme or project,or a burden that slows down development, however, it is not participation itself that should bequestioned but the approaches, methods, skills and moments in which it is used that we needto consider and get better at. This course aims to share theories, approaches and methodologies to integrate systemic and participatory processes into all stages of our workfrom research and analysis of the problem to project design and undertaking actions orcampaigns capable of adapting to changes in an inclusive quick and efficient manner. One central line of work we will base our week on is Participatory Action Research. A body of workthat encapsulates, learning in and about action in iterative and participatory ways designed by participants themselves. […]


Leading in the Midst of Complexity: reframing and enabling leadership forsocial transformation.

Revolutionaries do not make revolutions. The revolutionaries are those who know when power is lyingin the street and then they can pick it up. – Hannah Arendt

This course aims to build skills to leverage the capacity of self awareness, response-ability and empowerment amongst people in social movements involved in uncertain and rapidly changing contexts. The course will focus on three aspects:First​ reflecting on the ​nature and meaning​ of change-making within social, political and environmental movements whilst acknowledging the increasingly uncertain and rapidly changing global realities. Given this complex and volatile backdrop, we need to enable new ways of understanding and acting so that we can remain relevant, coherent, enlivened, available and sane. This capacity to see and act is what we will be calling leadership. […]


Social Practitioners: a relational and emergent practice

It seems to be an intention playing itself out unconsciously for us, but through our activities thatdespite the best of humanistic intentions, the unspoken habits of the sector hold sway. – Allan Kaplan

As social practitioners we often observe tensions between what is planned and programmed and the messy, complex, relational, ambiguous nature of what we see happening. This expresses itself through the dissonance between the intentions of the work and the outcomes.Our urgency to achieve change often lies on automatic ways of doing that we hardly question. Focusing solely on results, rather than process, on plans rather than response, on doing ratherthan observing. This course explores moving from an automatic response to observing the processes of life and nature where actions are not guided by linear pre-planned processes and/or undertaken by management teams; but instead are emerging responses from constant interactions amongstthe people involved.


Radically Thinking as a Species: Diversity, power and participation inmigrant solidarity work.

In the field of social and migrant solidarity work we find ourselves working within deep and diverse social constructions such as gender, race, class, culture, sexual orientation, legal statuses. These are constructions that we collectively create and give shape to our understandings and our actions. Our work in the social realm focuses on attending basic needs, offering tools for empowerment and spaces for political and social participation in the countries or social context people find themselves in.

Sometimes despite our intentions we recreate old power dynamics, unequal forms of participation, conflict and the bitter taste of repeating the same old relationships over again. This course proposes to start a few steps back looking to the forming of these social constructions. The course guides us into learning to pay attention, identify, and reflect uponthe building of social constructions, to then reflect and imagine the creation of renewed formsof understanding each other. Changing the relations among others, could influence the constructions of “you” and “I”. In the words of Patricia Shaw​ “I cannot go on being the same ‘me’ without continuing to relate to ‘you’ in a certain way, and if that way shifts we are both a little different”​ (Shaw, 2002).


About Ulex

A hub of collaboration, the Ulex Project is run by Col·lectiu Eco-Actiu, a non-profit involved in the design and delivery of residential trainings since 2008. The Ulex Project is a fresh initiative building on that experience. Read more..

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