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ONLINE: Deep Change: Regenerative Activism 3

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Rich Mix

35-47 Bethnal Green Road


E1 6LA

United Kingdom

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How we respond to the challenges of our time for deep change at every level. (Online details soon confirmed).

About this Event

Due to COVID19 this event will take place online via Zoom. Although we are restricting our in-person activities, the times are calling for renewed energy and adaptive capacities to respond to the crises we are facing. How we can reframe social distancing as the social solidarity movement?

Participant details and slight changes to the format will be confirmed soon.

The third in a series of annual gatherings by Advaya, Ulex Project and Gita Parihar, with:

  • Ann Pettifor, political economist
  • Carlotta Byrne, Gaia Foundation
  • Fran Boait, Positive Money
  • Gita Parihar, Environmental Lawyer
  • Guhyapati, Ulex Project
  • Hiba Ahmad, Our Future Now
  • Laura Guarch, Thalweg
  • Maria Llanos del Corral, La Bolina
  • Mama D Ujuaje, Community Centred Knowledge
  • Nick Dearden, Global Justice Now
  • Paul Powlesland, Barrister & Lawyers for Nature
  • Rachel Kennerley, Friends of the Earth
  • Shaun Chamberlin, Dark Optimism
  • Sheila Menon, Ulex Project & Wretched of the Earth
  • Shivali Fulchand, The Stolen River Campaign

This is a non-profit collaborative gathering. Admission is £20 including lunch, or £35 for 2 days. The ‘pay-it-forward’ ticket is an option for those who find themselves in a position to support the event. It allows us to charge a low price as standard, and opens access to activists and those on a low income to attend.

We’re living at a critical moment which contains both great peril and promise. The challenges we face are simultaneously socio-political, cultural and spiritual. It is a historical point of disruption demanding radical transformation.

The fierce urgency of the climate crisis, combined with the twilight of neoliberalism, impoverished political leadership, and an increasing sense of distributive injustice, are the cracks out of which something new must emerge.

To meet this crisis, we need strategies for deep change on multiple levels.

Deep Change brings together activists, doers and thinkers, who are trying to get under the surface of this crisis, people who are asking deeper questions and constructing deeper responses.

Although we can see that “the old is dying and the new cannot be born,” the contest for our future is very much alive. But do we have the depth of analysis we need? Can we strategise effectively amidst such complexity? Can we find the deeper resources we need to face the steep climb or descent ahead? How can we realise the deep shifts in both socio-political structure and in consciousness that this crisis asks for?

The patterns and symptoms are clear enough: The once looming collision with non-negotiable ecological limits is now here; the previously indomitable expansion of neoliberalism has stalled; the confluence of post-democracy and big data threatens a shocking political impotence; nationalist populism turns against international solidarity. These are symptoms of a profound dysfunctionality.

Beneath the symptoms lie the mutually interdependent conditions of socio-economic structures, needs, mindsets and world-views - that together entrench the failing system. The deep change we need involves transformative strategies that address both structure and consciousness.

We’ll bring together people immersed in tackling the climate crisis, activists working on radical alternatives and pragmatic responses, and those creating new stories for deep cultural regeneration.

We’ll look for new understanding at the intersection between hard political realities and paradigm shifting insights.

We’ll seek to go beyond radical critique to find pathways for radically transformative action.


Doors: 9am; Start 1 Starts: 9.30AM. LUNCH INCLUDED.

These are probably the most important years in our history. We’re facing the gnarly, and interlinked problems of climate crisis, stark inequality and a post-democratic reality. Earth’s life support systems are under attack, while authoritarian, racist and intolerant nationalist populism is on the rise. Our survival involves deep transformation and a shift beyond the failing capitalist system that underpins our extractive and destructive economy.

These sessions explore three core dimensions of structural change we need and the deep shifts in worldview and consciousness they depend upon:

> Session 1: New Economy and Systemic Transformation

Ann Pettifor, an architect of the Green New Deal says, "We can choose to survive. But in order to survive, everything must change. Everything". This is the scale of the challenge that new economic thinking and radical collective action needs to face. The structure of our economic system, driving both environmental destruction and social fragmentation, needs a radical overhaul. This panel brings together activists and thinkers who are facing the scale of that challenge. Each of them is developing inspiring approaches to systemic transformation, asking deep questions about the assumptions and beliefs that drive the system and the specific structural changes that are needed.

Participants: Gee, Ann Pettifor, Shaun Chamberlin, Fran Boait.

> Climate Justice: Identity, History and Power

The climate crisis is as much about power and politics as it is about the environment. This session explores the challenges involved in ensuring climate justice and designing a just transition beyond our carbon-belching system for all communities and workers. How can we achieve the changes required in a way that promotes justice and equality by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing the historic oppression of frontline and vulnerable communities and countries? How can we ensure that the structural transformation required doesn’t strengthen the hand of those who already use their power to exploit and oppress? Understanding the power dynamics of race, class, gender and our economic and political systems – both locally and globally – are crucial to building a climate justice movement. It involves reconstructing our identities, building renewed understanding of our histories, and re-forging our socio-political relationships.

Participants: Gita Parihar, Hiba Ahmad, Nick Dearden, Sheila Menon, Rachel Kennerley.

> Rights of Nature: Law and the More-than-Human

Arguably, the view that humans are at the centre of things, above and superior to all that is non-human, is one of the fundamental flaws at the heart of our dysfunctional civilisation. And yet so much of our society is grounded in this assumption. In various ways, these speakers are all working at the edge of our understanding of agency, personhood and the extension of legal and cultural frameworks to embrace a fuller understanding of who we are and our relationship to nature. What might society and our legal system look like when we recognise rivers as sacred, forests as an aspect of our own breathing, and humans as plain members of the earth community? Where do such worldviews already exist? How might a radical shift in our society that redefines what it is to have sentience change our culture and translate into concrete frameworks for protecting and asserting the rights of nature?

Participants: Gita Parihar, Carlotta Byrne, Shivali Fulchand, Paul Powlesland and Laura Guarch.


SCHEDULE , 10am to 6pm

Four hours of workshops digging into key questions and practices for a truly regenerative activism facilitated by trainers from the Ulex Project and the Sustaining Resistance trainers network.

Details to be confirmed

Pot-Luck Lunch


Ann Pettifor, Political Economist

Ann Pettifor is a British economist who advises governments and organisations. She has published several books, including The Case for the Green New Deal. She was a key member of the working group developing the idea of the Green New Deal since 2007, an idea that is currently providing the central framework for progressive policy development aimed at a just transition beyond fossil fuel dependence. Her work focuses on the global financial system, sovereign debt restructuring, international finance and sustainable development.

Carlotta Byrne, The Gaia Foundation

Carlotta Byrne coordinates the Earth Jurisprudence Programme at The Gaia Foundation. She accompanies a growing network of Earth Jurisprudence Practitioners in Africa who are working at a local, national and regional level to revive Earth-centred governance on the continent. She originally trained as a lawyer specialising in dispute resolution. Disillusioned by a legal system destructively out-of-step with the laws of Nature and in pursuit of a more Earth-centred life, she swapped desk and screen for soil and scythe to study and work in the horticulture department at Schumacher College. During her time as a community food grower and course facilitator at the College, Carlotta explored indigenous cosmologies, deep ecology and alternatives to the industrial growth economy.

Fran Boait, Positive Money

Fran Boait is the Executive Director of Positive Money, a non-profit think tank, which campaigns for systemic change of the money and banking system to support a fair, sustainable, and democratic economy. Positive Money Europe launched in 2018, and Positive Money US is being set up. Fran is a Senior Fellow at the Finance Innovation Lab, and an Adviser at Avon Mutual Bank, she advised Rethinking Economics, CommonWealth, and sat on several Boards including Finance Watch. Fran is also a qualified kundalini yoga teacher. Fran stood as the Labour Party candidate in Gloucester in the last UK general election, prior to 2016 she was a Green party member. Fran has written for the Guardian, Red Pepper, Open Democracy, and recently the Alternative.

Gee, Ulex Project

Gee is a member of the Ulex Project collective, which runs a Europe-wide activist training programme. As the Ulex Programme Director he shapes the training programme in response to the ever-changing challenges and opportunities facing progressive movements across the continent. He is currently focused on developing practices that contribute to the health of social movement ecology, exploring the relationships between the multiple roles and strategies that our movements involve. His training work is grounded in the concept of Integral Activism, which takes and integrated approach to transformative learning at the personal, interpersonal and political levels.

Gita Parihar, Environmental Lawyer

Gita was Head of Legal at Friends of the Earth until July 2016 and has spent 15 years working with and for campaigning organisations, using her skills as a solicitor to bring environmental cases and advise at international negotiations on issues like climate change. This gives her a deep familiarity with the rewards and challenges of environmental activism. Alongside her legal work, Gita is passionate about exploring approaches to saving the planet that sustain us as human beings. Gita is a trustee of the UKYCC and the Climate Justice Fund and currently studying for an MA in Spirituality and Ecology at Schumacher college.

Hiba Ahmad, Our Future Now

Hiba Ahmad is a climate justice activist at Our Future Now. She organises against climate ignorance and green colonialism and for social justice for all

Laura Gaurch, Thalweg

Laura Guarch is a singer, composer, performance maker and workshop leader from Catalonia based in the UK. Her research and practice focuses on creating choral and sonic interventions in public space that challenge social perceptions of place and environment. She creates site-specific and participatory performances, facilitates voice and creativity workshops and sings on a number of London-based choirs, bands and ensembles. She recently presented creative work for Spitalfields Music Open Call, Totally Thames and National Trust and toured her vocal looping project 'Street Vocals' widely around Europe. As co-director of the artistic company Convex, she has developed Thalweg, a participatory performance project on river rights that led to a collective singing promenade along the Thames last year. Thalweg invited Londoners in their diversity to reconnect spiritually with their river.

Mama D Ujuaje, Community Centred Knowledge

Mama D is a natural and life-long learning facilitator through plant whispering and embracing the mysteries of the primordial. As a life-journey guide, Mama D works towards encouraging people of all descriptions to embrace agency in affirmatively reshaping our shared environments. She encourages considerate, mind-and-body-full and wholistic living through the use of a range of enjoyable, reflective, engaging and sometimes disruptive experiences. Transformation, Mama D feels, requires at least momentary detachment! Mama D is a Food and other Social Justices advocate and organiser, writer and mediator who works at soil-soul level where the grass roots are to be found. She supports the navigation of our relationships within the context of the ordinary extraordinary and using the me-ness of us-ness to bring Ubuntu irrationalities into our exchanges. She loved you before we came here and will after we are long gone.

Maria Llanos del Corral, La Bolina

María is a social psychologist with an MA in International Cooperation. She worked in this field for 8 years with the Red Cross in Peru, Malawi, Niger and Spain in the fields of community development, economic development, strengthening civil society and education. María shifted into being an organisational change consultant and facilitator after a Masters in “Economics for Transition” at Schumacher College, where she realised the importance of shifting the paradigm from where we act in the world in order to co-create a sustainable future. She is a specialist in applying complex living systems theory and collaborative methodologies focusing on leadership, values, culture creation and the structures and methodologies needed in our organisations to better understand and thrive within the complex, changeable and uncertain reality we live in. Some of her published work includes: Collaborative tools for Social Organisations and Activism and Spirituality.

Nick Dearden, Global Justice Now

As Director of Global Justice Now, Nick manages the staff team and resources on behalf of Global Justice Now's members. He is also the public face of the organisation. Nick started his career at War on Want where he became a senior campaigner. He went on to be corporates campaign manager at Amnesty International UK. As director of the Jubilee Debt Campaign, he built strong relationships with campaigners in the global south. He helped win a new law to stop Vulture Funds from using UK courts to squeeze huge debt payments out of poor countries. Nick joined Global Justice Now in September 2013.

Paul Powlesland

Bio to come soon

Rachel Kennerley, Friends of the Earth

Rachel Kennerley is an International Climate Campaigner at Friends of the Earth.

Shaun Chamberlin

Shaun Chamberlin has been involved with the Transition Network since its inception, authoring the movement’s second book, The Transition Timeline. He is managing director of the Fleming Policy Centre and former chair of the Ecological Land Co-operative. In exploring the cultural narratives charting society’s course he has written and edited a diverse publications, including Surviving the Future: Culture, Carnival, and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy, with his close friend and regular collaborator David Fleming. His website is www.darkoptimism.org.

Sheila Menon, Ulex Project

Sheila supports partner organisations and is taking a lead role developing Ulex Project's work building capacity for POC and migrant led activism. Prior to joining Ulex her activism was primarily focused in the UK around grassroots organising, including the anti-fracking, anti-aviation and anti oil sponsorship movements.

Shivali Fulchand

Shivali is a junior doctor and has taken a year out of clinical practice after selection for a national medical leadership fellowship. She is based as an editor at The BMJ and one of her key responsibilities is to co-ordinate the ‘Year of Climate Change’. Within her faith community, Shivali works to engage youth members with environmental issues. She is also the London Project Co-ordinator of ‘The Bhumi Project’, a global platform representing the Hindu voice on environmental issues.

About the Organisers:

Advaya Initiative

Advaya Initiative is an alternative think-tank seeking solutions to the interconnected crises of environmental destruction and mental health. We see the crises we are faced with today as a call to radical action: an opportunity to evolve, to come together and co-create. We inspire and empower young people and change makers to become activists for a better world, addressing narratives of disempowerment and exploring how to lead authentic lives in harmony with nature. We seek transformation at an individual and collective level while cultivating purposeful lives of connection and belonging.

Ulex Project

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. Ulex Project believe that connectivity is a key to cognitive vitality and learning. Diversity is crucial to resilience and adaptive capacity. We live at a time where social and ecological challenges require a shift from atomised individualism to networks of solidarity. It implies a new collectivity which still honours individuality. It requires cooperation balanced with autonomy. Ulex thrives on connectivity and seeks to be a reference for value based collaboration. Ulex establish partnerships with organisations across Europe and internationally. They bring diverse groups and individuals together in learning communities. They support organisations, groups, and individuals to foster collaborations, build networks, share experience, and deepen movement resilience through meaningful connection.

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Rich Mix

35-47 Bethnal Green Road


E1 6LA

United Kingdom

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