About the Event:
An exploration of tools and approaches that can transform our activism into a source for flourishing, both individually and socially. 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.
About the Participants in the Q&A:
Award-winning campaigner 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. Sarah saw how she could use some of the beneficial processes of craft and the final products as tools for a more gentle, respectful and more targeted way of doing activism. Although as a principle ‘Craftivism’ already existed, it took no time for Sarah to develop her own unique and award-winning activism approach she calls ‘Gentle Protest’.
Bio: 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. She is a self described social change geek, obsessed about bringing fresh perspectives to the important question of how best campaigns, especially those focused on transformative systems change, can succeed. To this end she has convened numerous workshops and events exploring the theory and practice of many aspects of campaigning, and has gained a reputation as an activism expert in the UK. Having become frustrated with the limitations of NGO campaigning, Natasha now works as a campaign consultant freelancer, prioritising grassroots campaigning and strategies to nurture social movements. Natasha is a Co-Director of Organising for Change, a women’ training collective focused on community organising and transforming the culture of groups and organisation. She also runs the Engaging Activists Facebook group and writes her own blog on activism and social change.
Bio: 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. She has worked on homelessness, international development, Aids, Permaculture, climate change, human rights and sustainability education. She lived and worked in coops for over 15 years, where she brought up her two children. She is now a leading researcher on mindfulness as a means of supporting change and delivers a masterclass on her work at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. Her research looks at how internal awareness and development can create capacities in activists, leaders and change organisations to enable them to better deal with ‘wicked’ and complex problems such as climate change and social inequality. She has worked extensively with Welsh Government, developing and evaluating programmes bringing mindfulness together with the behavioural sciences. She has a background in combined social sciences, and is currently completing a PhD on this work at Aberystwyth University.
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.