The Enlivened Cooperative is a federated eco-social for-impact organization offering relevant, meaningful and innovative learning experiences developing services, research projects and advocacy aimed to support people, grassroots communities and organizations with tools, practices and sensibilities to co-construct inter-cultural and ecological worlds.
Our goal is to establish the first bio-regionally focused, cooperative, for-impact, multi-sited university of its kind. The cooperative (a worker and faculty-owned non-profit) will offer highly relevant learning experiences to equip people with the tools, skills, concepts, and sensibilities to co-construct an ecological civilization whilst drawing from, learning through, and honoring diverse indigenous and non-indigenous knowledge systems, with particular emphasis on indigenous knowledge systems. We will offer a more agile, inclusive, and affordable model for learning that is also adapted to the times of economic and social inequality and injustice, COVID-19, and climate change whilst being connected to the real needs of individuals, communities, and ecologies. These are our main values:
People involved in and touched by our organization deserve to be a part of the decisions that impact them. Power and decision-making structures that allow people with direct experience of issues are not only more supportive of personal and communal sovereignty, but also more effective in achieving goals.
Power With, Not Power Over
We are co-creating spaces where all people can step into their power. We interrogate and transform relationships where one person’s empowerment relies on the disempowerment, control, or coercion of another. We support each other to exercise our power in ways that nurture the power, visions, and development of one other and the communities and land we work with.
We are co-creating spaces where all people can belong, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, religion, race, age, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability, or any other dimension of their experience. A central focus of our organization is to learn in-between cultures, and to learn in ways we might not recognize or have experienced before, to learn from/ within/ beyond diversity. We acknowledge that we live within and have been conditioned by a system that centers some dimensions of humanity and ways of knowing-being-doing-relating at the expense of others and the land in which we dwell. In order to create radically inclusive spaces, we must take proactive steps to support people, the land, identities, cultures, and ways of knowing-being-doing-relating that our dominant system tends to marginalizes or oppress.
Our work and our liberation is deeply bound together with our communities and the land in which we dwell. We foster relationships and learning encounters that will allow us to do our work in a way that nourishes all people, their communities and local ecologies. We recognize that this requires taking proactive steps to ensure our activities do not unintentionally reproduce the oppression of the dominant system by excluding the needs of women, people of color, indigenous people, disabled people, or any other group that is often denied voices in the decisions that impact them. We engage in the ongoing practice of solidarity, and remain open to feedback from all communities we touch.
Learning in Solidarity
Learning is central to our work, as individuals, as learning facilitators and as a collective of and organization of learners. We are committed to exploring what an enlivened learning entails across all aspects of our work, whilst invoking self-reflection, kindness, and compassion to support others in their own inquiries and discoveries for the flourishing of people, communities and ecologies.
The Enlivened Cooperative is made up of a team of diverse and highly experienced learning practitioners who have been actively engaged in the field of education in various roles as teachers, professors, researchers, activists, leaders, artists, filmmakers, programers and learners. We are actively engaged in re-imagining learning and education over many decades in schools, universities, indigenous communities and marginalized communities, at local, regional and planetary levels.
The Enlivened Cooperative has emerged out of the ongoing work of the Ecoversities Alliance, which has been active over the last 5 years, and of the multiple partners which make up the Alliance who have been working in a diversity of transformative and engaged learning practices in higher education for decades. This project emerged as a strategic response to the inability of current higher education models to adequately respond to our planetary crises.