Regenerative Activism: Revitalising Self and Society

Activism & Leadership

Regenerative Activism: Revitalising Self and Society

Regenerative Activism Workshop with Justine Huxley, Asad Rehman, Alasdair Roxburgh, Sophy Banks, Bayo Akomolafe, Pat McCabe, Rachel Lilley, Natasha Adams, Sarah Corbett, Fatima Ibrahim & 2 more

An exploration of tools and approaches that can transform our activism into a source for flourishing, both individually and socially.

Saturday 7th April 2018, 9:00am–7:00pm UK Time The Cockpit, Marylebone

Regenerative Activism: Revitalising Self and Society

Join Advaya Initiative and Ulex Project for a unique and timely contribution to addressing a key challenge of our time: how to achieve effective social change while creating personal and collective resilience, enabling our action to be a source of flourishing - individually, together and for society.

A day of presentations, discussions and workshops bringing together leading activists and change makers from across the UK and beyond, including:

Justine Huxley (St. Ethelburga’s) • Asad Rehman (War on Want) • Alasdair Roxburgh (Friends of the Earth• Sophy Banks (Transition Towns Movement • Bayo Akomolafe (The Emergence Network) • Pat McCabe (Indigenous Rights) • Sarah Corbett (Craftivist Collective) • Natasha Adams (Co-Director at Organising for Change) • Rachel Lilley (Aberystwyth University) • Guhyapati (Ulex Project & The Eco-Dharma Centre) • Gita Parihar (Legal Consultant) • Ruby & Christabel Reed (Advaya)

Those of us involved in social change are all too familiar with the challenge of meeting injustice and hardship in the world. Our aim is to explore a range of tools and approaches, collective and personal, to make our activism more effective and sustainable. We will look at the personal and inner dimensions, as well as the interpersonal and organisational factors that enable long term engagement and continuity in the struggles we face. We hope to understand how our work for social change can be a context for flourishing, both individually and socially.

We will explore these issues using holistic and participatory methods, drawing on popular education, ecological and systems thinking, as well as reflective practices. The day will bring together leading activists and change makers from across the UK and beyond, to share practice and strengthen networks. It will be made up of presentations, discussion and workshops, which will aim to:

  • Explore methods of working effectively with the personal and inner dimension of activism, helping us take better care of ourselves, equipping us to avoid burnout and to better empower ourselves for action.

  • Share ways of supporting more skilful interpersonal work in our groups and networks, and enable ways of organising which exemplify the values we want to realise in the world.

  • Create a vibrant and supportive space for those involved in social change work to reflect deeply, analyse and share our experience of the personal and interpersonal dimensions of our work – finding nourishment, inspiration and learning from each other.


09.30 - Opening Talk - Ulex Project

10.15 - NGO Panel Discussion Hosted By Gita Parihar:

11.00 - Break

11.15 - Talks Part 1 + Q&A

12.25 - Lunch

13.10 - Talks Part 2 + Q&A

14.20 - Break

14.30 - A Choice of Workshops

16.00 - Closing Reflection & Group Discussion

17.00 - End

The Talks:#

Justine Huxley
Awakening the Heart: Inner & Outer Regeneration

Rachel Lilley
It’s Not How It Looks: How Neuroscience & Buddhism Informs Our Activism

Natasha Adams
Community Organising and Transforming Collective Culture

Bayo Akomolafe
A Post-Activism of Desire, Wellbeing, Justice & Failure

Pat Mccabe
Thriving Life: Indigenous Ways of Knowing

Sarah Corbett
Craftivism: The Art of Gentle Activism

A Choice of Workshops#

Once you’ve bought your ticket you will receive an email to choose your workshop.
First come first serve!

  • Ulex Project: Regenerative Activism
  • Justine Huxley: Integrating the Shadow: Systems Thinking for The Mind
  • Sarah Corbett: A Positive Note in Collaboration with Mind
  • Sophy Banks: Thriving Projects, Thriving People
  • Pat McCabe: Alignment with Earth And Purpose: Moving From The Inside To Meet The World, As The World


Ulex Project#

Organiser, Speaker & Workshop Host

Opening Talk:

A keynote opening presentation, drawing on 10 years of running workshops for activists in personal and organisational sustainability. Touching on the themes of the day the presentation will enable the audience to reflect and share on the importance of the issues at hand.

Workshop Description:

Drawing on the toolkit from their Regenerative Activism training, the Ulex collective will use participatory methods to help us reflect on the personal, interpersonal and political dimensions of activist sustainability, to deepen our understanding of the challenges that face us, and develop strategies to stay inspired and effective for the long haul.


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. 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 works with numerous individuals and organisations to design and deliver our training programme. They 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.

Participants in the NGO Panel#

Asad Rehman (War on Want)
Fatima Ibrahim (AVAAZ)
Alasdair Roxburgh (Friends of The Earth)

Sophy Banks(Transition Towns Movement)#

Participant in the NGO Panel & Workshop Host

Workshop Description:

Thriving Projects, Thriving People.

In this workshop we will come to understand the three core aspects of group life, so that we are better able to take care of the life blood of any group: the relationships between people. This workshop will offer practical tools to help groups create balanced, enjoyable, effective ways of working together.

Justine Huxley (St. Ethelburga’s)#

Speaker & Workshop Host

Talk Description:

Awakening the heart: Inner and outer regeneration

To bring our world back into balance, we need to go beyond dualistic thinking and oppositional activism, transforming frenetic activity into change that arises from a deeper, more holistic place. We need to establish the wisdom of interbeing in the core of ourselves, as well as in how we live and work and organise. Justine will translate the key concepts of ecological rewilding into daily life practices and inner work that enable us to regenerate ourselves from the inside out, fall in love with life, and bring about social change from a place of honouring what is most sacred.

Workshop Description

Integrating the Shadow: Systems Thinking For The Mind

Systems thinking and biomimicry are transforming the way we live and work and organise. But how is that reflected in our inner lives? By recognising and reclaiming our shadow – those parts of ourselves we have disowned - we gain access to more wisdom, energy and wholeness – all of which can be used to power our efforts towards social change. When we are no longer caught in judging ourselves or others, we liberate primal energy and rewild ourselves from within. Gradually discarding the cloudy lens of our own conditioning, we learn to pick our battles more wisely and engage with joy rather than anger. In this mini workshop you’ll meet an aspect of yourself you look down on, and see how it can help you come alive.

Bayo Akomolafe(The Emergence Network)#

Speaker (via Skype)

Talk description:

Activists are made of apples, pixels and monstrous things: a postactivism of desire, wellbeing, justice and failure.

Who is the subject of activism or burnout? To whom do we refer when we speak about the ‘activist’? At what point would our actions and practices have sedimented long enough to be considered a heap of justice? What does victory look like in a rhizomatic world that resists beginnings and endings? And what if we fail? Are there new questions we can ask about caring for ourselves? Are there new capacities that emerge from noticing we derive our being only in the relational matrix of other nonhuman agencies? In this story about postactivism - a queering of the usual trope of ethical responsivity in a more-than-human world - Bayo Akomolafe shares why we are seductively drawn into new understandings about our entanglement with the world, and why this destabilizes our usual lines of reasoning about how to be more efficient, or take better care of ourselves, in our quests for ‘justice’.

Pat McCabe(Indigenous Rights)#

Speaker & Workshop Host


Thriving Life: Indigenous Ways of Knowing

Workshop Description:

Alignment with Earth And Purpose: Moving from the Inside to Meet the World, as the World

The Elders say we are made for ritual. Our biology, our electrical system, our spiritual aspect. I will speak about what my practices are and lead some to practice.

Sarah Corbett (Craftivist Collective)#

Speaker & Workshop Host


Craftivism: The Art of Gentle Activism

Activism often conjures up quick transactional signing of petitions, clicktivism, loud and aggressive ways to demand justice. Craftivist Collective’s mission is simple: we believe craft can be a tool for gentle effective activism. By working with your hands, head and heart, craftivism can help us explore injustice issues and how they affect the world around us, we can create something beautiful, considered, positive and potentially world-changing that creates critical thinking, conversation, connection and long term social change.

Workshop Description:

‘A Positive Note’

in collaboration with Mind, the mental health charity (all profits go to Mind)

A special opportunity to send a positive message to your Member of Parliament (MP) encouraging them to help improve the lives of people with mental health problems. This is an important time in the campaign for health equality because we have a new UK Government in place where every MP vote and seat counts, and we have lots of new MPs because of the General Election, so it’s important as a constituent to engage them and their local staff in what you care about. Furthermore, mental health was in the manifestos of all the political parties as an important issue to tackle so that they are more accountable to show they are working towards better mental health support. The issue of mental health is finally becoming less of a taboo. It is being discussed more and features more frequently in the media and in daily conversation. Sadly one in four of us will experience a mental health problem in any given year. I truly believe (and so do Mind) that we can make a positive difference with these positive notes. One stitch at a time.

Natasha Adams(Co-Director at Organising for Change)#


Talk Description:

Community Organising and Transforming Collective Culture.

Natasha will talk about community organising and transforming collective culture from the perspective of her work with Organising for Change, which is delivering training on these things, framing it within the context of her own personal disillusionment with much funded campaigning and personal transformation through mindfulnness and meditation.

Rachel Lilley(Aberystwyth University)#


Talk Description:

It’s not how it looks… How Neuroscience & Buddhism Informs Our Activism

A brain is not evolved for rationality, happiness or accurate perception. Neuroscience and contemporary theories of the brain agree with Buddhist teaching, that the brain is not designed to see reality. We understand this more than ever, so how does this effect how we work as activists to create change?

By understanding the latest theories of the brain, combined with practices of insight and reflection, we can make our work more effective and understand better the challenges of change making. This work draws from empirical research, developing, delivering and evaluating programmes in change making organisations. Rachel shows that learning about the brain from both a personal (mindfulness) and theoretical (neuroscience, psychology, behavioural economics) perspective can transform the way people work. How an understanding of unconscious bias, the role of emotions and intuition in decision making, together with increased self-awareness, meta cognitive and perspective taking skills, could help create the next cognitive evolution that might help us achieve revolutionary change.

Gita Parihar(Campaigns Consultant)#

Organiser & NGO Panel Host

The CockPit#

The Cockpit is the only purpose built theatre-in-the-round in Central London. As well as performances, the theatre hosts classes and professional development courses. Both the auditorium and studios are available to hire, for shows, rehearsals, photo or film shoots, auditions, workshops, and seminars. The Cockpit is owned and supported by City of Westminster College.

The Cockpit, Gateforth Street, Marylebone, London NW8 8EH
Nearest stations: Edgware Road (Hammersmith & City, District, Circle, Bakerloo), Marylebone (Bakerloo, main line). Both are about a 7 minute walk.

Saturday 7th April 2018, 9:00am–7:00pm UK Time The Cockpit, Marylebone

Regenerative Activism

A series of annual conferences in collaboration with Ulex Project exploring activism for radical transformation.

Browse all Regenerative Activism events

Justine Huxley #

Justine is the Director of St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace where she has worked for over 10 years.

Read Justine Huxley’s profile

Asad Rehman #

Executive Director of War on Want

Read Asad Rehman’s profile

Alasdair Roxburgh #

Alasdair Roxburgh Director of Networks and Communities at Friends of the Earth.

Read Alasdair Roxburgh’s profile

Sophy Banks #

Coming from a background in engineering and computing, Sophy soon realised that there were many questions technology couldn’t answer, and in 1995 she started her inner journey. She has worked as a psychotherapist, family constellator and workshop leader combining insights from indigenous traditions, western therapy schools and meditation practices.

Read Sophy Banks’s profile

Bayo Akomolafe #

Bayo Akomolafe (PhD) is Chief Curator and Executive Director of The Emergence Network.

Read Bayo Akomolafe’s profile

Pat McCabe #

Woman Stands Shining (Pat McCabe), a northern New Mexico-based mother of five.

Read Pat McCabe’s profile

Rachel Lilley #

Rachel is a mindfulness academic, advisor and trainer with over 20 years’ experience in social and environmental change, through activism, community engagement, project delivery, training and yoga teaching.

Read Rachel Lilley’s profile

Natasha Adams #

Natasha’s years as a grassroots activist focused on environmental and social justice, and anti-militarism, evolved into a career as a professional campaigner which has spanned the last decade.

Read Natasha Adams’s profile

Sarah Corbett #

Sarah Corbett founded Craftivist Collective in 2009 when after years of marches, signing protests and working on campaigns for large charities, she had begun to doubt the effects of some conventional activism, and as an introvert didn’t feel she fitted in to many activist groups. The time felt right to add a slower and less aggressive approach to the activism toolkit, not to replace other forms of activism but to add more tools to do activism effectively.

Read Sarah Corbett’s profile

Fatima Ibrahim #

Fatima Ibrahim is a campaigner with the global citizen’s movement Avaaz, working on a variety of issues including the climate, land rights, and bringing the war in Yemen to an end.

Read Fatima Ibrahim’s profile

Gita Parihar #

Gita was Head of Legal at Friends of the Earth until July 2016 and has spent 12 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.

Read Gita Parihar’s profile

Gee (Guhyapati) #

Guhyapati has been spearheading a pioneering Eco-Dharma community in the Pyrenees for many years, and wants to see some of the principles of that movement brought to bear in our own lives of practice, giving rise to new projects that will re-shape the personal, economic, political and ecological landscape of the 21st Century.

Read Gee (Guhyapati)’s profile