Unconference for Transformational Learning and Culture (UTLC2016)

Dear readers,

Sorry for the prolonged silence. It’s been Easter holidays time for me and my family. I’m currently writing to you from the Canterbury YHA Youth Hostel where we’ve been based, touring around the Kent coast. It’s been breezy…but beautiful!

Anyway, I’m very excited because this weekend is the ‘Unconference for Transformational Learning and Culture‘ (UTLC 2016). I’ve set this up with support from Warwick University where I’m (for just one more week) a research fellow and the Independent Social Research Foundation who have funded my research over the past 12 months.

The UTLC brings together 25 wonderful people who are in their own ways reimagining and seeking to recreate this world. We have political economists, artists, foodies, permaculturalists, knitters, dramatists, life coaches, and many more.

I want to use the UTLC to properly launch the Centre for Transformational Learning and Culture (CTLC) (website to come soon) that I’ve been busy building the foundations of recently with five other friends.

The overarching goal of the CTLC is to create opportunities for people to come together to produce knowledge and culture together – knowledge and culture that helps us see ourselves and our world in a different light and empowers us to change our lives and our world too. This can be by creating projects or events, works of art or drama, or even websites that invite people in to the process of collective creation.

The short-term goal, as we see it so far, is to create a wide network of individuals and organisations interested and involved in producing transformational learning and culture. The medium-term goals are to create a website showcasing output from the projects of affiliated organisations as well as research, zines, blogs, podcasts, and films produced by CTLC members. The longer-term goal is to secure core funding to establish a physical centre for the CTLC – a space to teach/learn, create, grow, eat, and from which individuals and communities emerged ready to take power for themselves.

While the current institutions that produce knowledge and culture in our society – the media, the university, the art school, the think-tank, etc – do so in authoritarian, hierarchical ways that passify and deform us, the CTLC seeks to become and create institutions of democratic knowledge and culture co-production that active and empower us, helping us all to become active, understanding citizens and, indeed, agents of our personal and collective history so that we can transform ourselves and our world.

The creation of such centres, of such institutions, is an urgent historical necessity.

I’ll be back with a report from the UTLC2016 and with much more information about plans for the CTLC. I really hope you’ll consider joining us and being part of the CTLC.

In the meantime, you can follow events at the UTLC2016 on Twitter here.

Thanks, as ever, for reading.


  2 comments for “Unconference for Transformational Learning and Culture (UTLC2016)

  1. April 7, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    This very exciting and I hope to hear lots more about it. Will you be able to come to Manchester on April 30th? Perhaps you could do a talk about it. And are you going to Demfest? I think we would be honoured if the UTLC became one of the affiliated orgs of Assemblies for Democracy.

    All the best

    Penny >

    • April 12, 2016 at 1:09 pm

      Thanks Penny! Really appreciate the comment and will email you v soon about organising a time to discuss all this.

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