The Enlivened Cooperative is a worker-owned, not-for-profit, eco-social learning organization. We are reimagining learning in support of people, grassroots communities and organizations with tools, practices and sensibilities to co-construct inter-cultural and ecological worlds. For us, this involves bringing together principles of cooperativism, biomimicry, inter-cultural learning and well-being. We organize ourselves as an eco-social learning cooperative, enlivening how and what we learn together and in places we are currently rooted. We also enliven learning by connecting our heads, hearts, hands and home, emphasizing joyful learning in and with diversity and our relationships.
What are we offering?
We offer enlivened and cutting-edge learning experiences and services (programs, courses, workshops, among others) that prioritize accessibility, relevance and joy. We are immersed in and draw from diverse knowledge systems to learn with 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 we have been developing over several decades. At its core, our approach prioritizes learning in and through relationships, learning-in-place, designing 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 and responding to bioregional needs, processes, and histories, putting knowledge and learning 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 different ways of organizing and leading than what tends to be offered in mainstream education. For us, this involves bringing together principles of cooperativism, biomimicry and intercultural learning. We are creating a new form of regenerative and dynamic learning organization which makes central the core values of cooperativism while innovating through the dimensions of: Radical Inclusivity including indigenous and local knowledge systems, ways of being 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 and joyful interactions. Also, our members/faculty are both teachers and practitioners in their fields.
Why this approach?
We seek to model ways of approaching learning, leadership and funding that re-imagine the current education system. As we see it, the current educational system is not only riddled by crises, it is reproducing bureaucratic forms of leadership and knowledge systems that are intensifying the urgency of the crises we all face today - planetary heating, the destruction of ecosystems and biodiversity, the wholesale destruction and loss of indigenous knowledge systems, 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, there are a multitude of inspiring experiments of hope blossoming all around the world in the fields of agriculture, energy, education, arts, community regeneration, localization, solidarity economies, and many others. It is these experiments that we all have so much to learn from, wherever it is that we dwell.
In the Enlivened Cooperative we are deeply committed to addressing the structural challenges of education (and beyond) through our way of organizing, leading and facilitating learning. As educator-activists, we intervene within the pedagogical, epistemological, leadership and economic aspects 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. 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.
To know who are the current members of the cooperative, visit this section.