The Enlivened Cooperative is a worker-owned, not-for-profit, eco-social for-impact learning organization. We offer relevant, meaningful, localized and innovative learning, research, projects and advocacy in support of people, grassroots communities and organizations with tools, practices and sensibilities to co-construct inter-cultural and ecological worlds. By embedding the values of learning with and through diversity, transparency, and connection to place, we organize ourselves as an eco-social learning cooperative, enlivening how and what we learn together. We also enliven learning by learning with our heads, hearts, hands and home, emphasising learning in and with our relations.
What are we offering?
We offer enlivened and cutting-edge learning experiences and services (programs, courses, workshops, consultancy, among others) that prioritize accessibility and relevance. We are immersed in and draw from diverse knowledge systems to learn with and articulate the tools, concepts, and sensibilities needed to co-construct pluri-(and inter)-cultural, eco-socially just, and flourishing worlds. In our offerings, we address ecological, social and economic problems, and learn from and develop innovative solutions drawing on multiple contexts around the world including indigenous communities, de-colonial and anti-patriarchal struggles, social/ecological movements, alongside scientific and artistic knowledge systems and practices.
What is our vision for learning together?
With faculty from diverse knowledge systems and experiences, together with learners across different communities, our programs embody an approach which has been developing over several decades. At its core, our approach prioritizes learning in relationship, learning-in-place, developing local projects and innovations, learning across cosmovisions (not only cultures), and well-being.
We offer a range of programs to adult and youth learners and families which:
- Are imaginative, vibrant, hopeful, critical, experiential, and practice-based, and that embrace local and indigenous knowledge systems, in sustainability, leadership, regeneration, media, and education.
- Are holistic, systems-based, and relevant focusing on solutions, practices, tools, skills and concepts.
- Are place- and practice-based, connecting intimately with bioregional needs, attributes, processes, and histories, where knowledge and learning are put at the service of people, communities, and ecologies.
- Are accessible and flexible with low student fees and opportunities for becoming part of an enlivened learning community.
How is our approach unique?
At the Enlivened Cooperative, we believe that how we learn together for eco-social regeneration and mutual flourishing involves ways of organizing and leading that brings together principles of cooperativism, biomimicry and cosmopolitics. We are creating a new form of regenerative and dynamic learning organization, which innovates and iterates upon models of cooperativism and the cooperative movement, by making central the core values of cooperativism with special attention given to the dimensions of: Radical Inclusivity including indigenous and local knowledge systems, practice, ways of being, relating and organizing; Ecological Interbeing including an ecological, regenerative and bioregional orientation and focus; Hospitality including the politics and economics of care and gift culture that promote a solidarity economy. Also, our members/faculty are both teachers and practitioners in their fields.
Why this approach?
At the Enlivened Cooperative, we see the present historical moment as a critical pivot point of epochal proportion. Humanity faces multiple catastrophes including planetary heating, the destruction of ecosystems and biodiversity, the wholesale destruction and loss of indigenous practices, and the disruptions of the very cycles that make life possible. We are also seeing tremendous violence and inequality perpetuated by unjust social and economic structures which disproportionately affect marginalized communities around the globe. At the same time, this moment of transition illuminates blossoms of experimentation and worlds to come in the fields of agriculture, energy, education, arts, community regeneration, localization, solidarity economies, and many others.
A neglected analysis and innovation to the contemporary crises lies in how and what we learn and the kinds of knowledge systems that are reproduced in order to sustain the status quo, especially as this relates to adult and higher education. Higher education systems are also riddled by systemic crises: neoliberalism and the commodification of knowledge; student debt and the precarization of academic labour; dominant knowledge systems felt to be irrelevant to the needs of the times and the lives of students; siloed disciplinary knowledges and disregard for other ways of knowing outside the Western canon.. As educators, we intervene within the pedagogical, epistemological, leadership and economic aspects of this field of education, to provide a model of how learning can be carried out in service of our ecologies, economies, communities, cultures, cosmovisions and life within our planetary home. In the Enlivened Cooperative we are deeply committed to addressing all of these structural challenges through another way of organizing, leading and facilitating learning. We also want to make learning more relevant, meaningful and accessible to people that historically have not had access to higher and further education and are actively engaging in transforming their communities and ecologies.
Who are we?
The Enlivened Cooperative is a growing collective of diverse and highly experienced learning practitioners who have been actively engaged in the field of education as teachers, professors, researchers, activists, leaders, artists, filmmakers, programers, and learners. We have been re-imagining learning, education, research and leadership over many decades in schools, universities, indigenous communities and marginalized communities working at local, regional, and planetary levels. We come from, and dwell in places from around the world immersed in experiments in community activism, cross-cultural and eco-social learning, and the open source movement.
The Enlivened Cooperative has emerged partially out of the ongoing work of the Ecoversities Alliance, which has been active since 2015 came to fruition as a strategic response to the inability of current higher education models to adequately respond to our planetary crises.