Last weekend we launched the first practical element of our partnership with NEON – the New Economy Organisers Network – set up by the New Economics Foundation, NEF, to strengthen the movement working for an economy based on social and environmental justice.
Action Learning Associates will be providing pro bono Action Learning Facilitation, and a series of Action Learning Facilitator Training programmes between now and next Spring. The first Action Learning Facilitator Training coincided with the Bermondsey Street Festival, so day two of the three day programme had various musical accompaniments. The contrast between the buzzy street fair and the intensity of the middle day of the programme was both extreme and welcome, allowing a lively lunch break.
NEON has around 1500 campaigners and organisers in its network, working on a wide range of threats to the well-being of all people, environmental degradation and climate change. The Action Learning Associates/NEON plan is to train as many action learning facilitators as we can, and to offer them continuing development support as they each run a set focusing on the topics that most interest and engage them. The sets will look at ideas, at barriers to implementation, at personal effectiveness.
When we completed the long introductory exercise, I said, in the What Matters To Me Now section, that staying steady in the face of the suffering happening now and what is to come as climate change, war and poverty continue unchecked, is exactly what matters to me now. What I really meant was, why do I not just stay under the duvet? Isn’t it impossible to be effective? How can we get our largely useless leaders to do what matters? Well, these guys are our hope and inspiration….working hard on all sorts of social justice themes, tackling power and privilege, succeeding in making non-hierarchical structures deliver…and staying cheerful, thoughtful and generous throughout.
As you might expect, they weren’t about to sit passively and be fed information. The meeting was challenging in a bright, thoughtful way, not a doggedly resistant/let’s all be clever way. They care, and they act: and up-scaling them seems like one of the most useful contributions we can make to the future of all beings.