University of the Trees is a global participatory framework - online and on the ground - recognising different kinds of thinking and knowledge, and prioritising experiential knowing.
University of the Trees is a global participatory network enabling creative initiatives to share their different kinds of knowledge and approaches to understanding and envisioning how we might live in the world without destropying it and each other.
University of the Trees is an alternative, mobile university that offers 'instruments' and approaches for exploring the connection between imagination and transformation, between the poetic and the practical, and for developing new forms of creative action in response to the huge challenges facing us all.
University of the Trees is a 'kit' that creates an arena for exploring our relationship to the world and for developing actions based on new insights. It can used by an existing group or organisation, or by individuals to set up a group.
It is a flexible framework for social-ecological action in which the trees are our teachers and the ecological crisis is seen as an opportunity for consciousness.
It also presents key ideas like 'instruments of consciousness' and 'new organs of perception' that are central to the University of the Trees project.
University of the Trees
enables groups and individuals around the world to participate in processes of joined up thinking, perception and action.
The project also takes forward the social sculpture strategies and commitments embedded in Joseph Beuys' ‘expanded conception of art', especially the awakened relationship to nature and the emphasis on ecological consciousness initiated with his 7000 Oaks.
Explore the ARCHIVE section for documentation, reflections and resources.
Local groups constitute this growing social sculpture network - connecting individual insight, focused dialogue and collective action towards the shaping of a humane and ecologically viable world.
04 July 2014
University of the Trees is in the process of becoming a social enterprise. We are also busy working on a 5-year strategy. This is being made possible by the generous contribution of change management consultants based in Germany and England.
The enormous potential of the University of the Trees has, like a tree, revealed itself over a period of time: since its small beginnings as "A Place for New Vision" in Ireland, in 2000, through many exchanges and fora and an intensive research-through-doing approach with several thousand people, both as individuals and in groups and organisations. The huge success we have had over the past few years with new practices and modules like "Earth Forum" has clarified and extended our understanding of what UOT is, how it needs to work and how people round the world can participate and be enabled to spread the practices themselves. Now, we feel we can finally understand what the nature and potential of this mobile, alternative University, and can truly take forward this work.
Between now and spring next year, when the restructuring process concludes, we are continuing to work actively, introducing the UOT and practices like Earth Forum, in different countries and contexts, as well as doing training for those who wish to create a University of the Trees "Field of Awareness" and be able to offer the "Earth Forum" practice.
Several things outlined on the current website have been redeveloped and extended, for example: the process of "how to start a UOT group" and "how to join a group".
For further information about current projects and activities of both the Social Sculpture Research Unit (SSRU) and the UOT, please check the SSRU website www.social-sculpture.org and Facebook page for the SSRU until the new UOT website is launched.
20-26 February 2012
The UOT, in collaboration with the Citizen Art Days - Berlin will faciltate 9 Earth Forum processes, as well as a two day training workshop for people wanting to become Earth Forum faciltators themselves. Contact Citizen Art Days to book a place.
Shelley Sacks and Hildegard Kurt are running a UOT workshop as part of the Radius of Art conference in Berlin. During the conference Shelley Sacks will speak with Davide Brocchi and Michelangelo Pistoletto on a panel convened by Sacha Kagan.
If you would like to contribute to developing the University of the Trees - Berlin - come to this meeting!
Meet at Haus der Kulturen der Welt 14.00 -17.30
Contact Shelley Sacks or Hildegard Kurt for further information
An action - open to all!
Shelley Sacks and Wolfgang Zumdick are collaborating on an action as part of the NRW Green Party Congress. This action explores the idea that "Nachhaltigkeit ohne Ich-sinn ist Un-sinn".
Earth Forum and the Climate Summit
Earth Forum facilitator training in South Africa. This first group of Earth Forum facilitators is being trained. The focus is youth leaders in the run up to the 2011 Climate Summit. We are in the process of producing a Guide for the Earth Forum faciltators. Anyone can become an Earth Forum facilitator after a short apprenticeship.
Earth Forum - South Africa is a collaboration with the Climate Fluency Exchange in South Africa, coordinated by Dylan McGarry. It is being developed and tested in SA as part of the preparatory work towards the COP17 Summit, and is part-funded by the British Council and the Commonwealth Institute. Our first journey in South Africa - with the Earth Forum in Cape Town, Laingsberg and Johannesburg - also served to develop the first team, who are training youth leaders and others to facilitate the Earth Forum process over the coming year and beyond. See Earth Forum -SA on Facebook. We are developing an Earth Forum handbook for those wishing to initiate EF's themselves. The handbook will be available to individuals who have participated in 5 Earth Forums.
The UOT - Berlin 'field of awareness' is being initiated in the Tiergarten, Berlin, radiating out from the Siegesaeule. Between 18.00 and 20.00 Shelley Sacks will be one of the 4 presenters in the ULK Klub, where she will respond to the theme - 'What happens when we have reached utopia?' and offer particpants a new UOT 'instrument of consciousness'. For details of event on 31 May, see Ueber Lebenskunst.
Oxford's new university!
In autumn 2011, we will continue to develop the 100 trees 'field of awareness' in Oxford.
If you would like to be involved in creating the 100 Trees 'Field of Awareness' : Volunteer now!!!
We are hoping to get the new kits out soon to the first of the many waiting people and groups.
This year Shelley Sacks is working closely with Johanna Korndorfer of CCANW in Haldon Forest to introduce and develop aspects of the UOT. Two very successful workshops took place in March 2011. The next events are in June, followed by several events in Novermber 2011, include a Forest Forum on 18 Nov 2011. See CCANW for details.
One reason for the long delay has to do with the redesign of some elements of the kit. Another has to do with needing regular assistance. We are in the process of making applications for this.
..if you have written to us and not yet had a response.
We have so many requests and are very behind responding to them. We are also simplifying and clarifying lots of things -about the KIT and how you can be involved.
In January 2011 Allan Kaplan and Shelley Sacks met to develop the first draft of the HANDBOOK and how we can offer facilitator training in 'the (re)schooling of the senses' . We are also in the process of developing a NEW WEBSITE which will offer space for 'practice centres' round the world to share what they are doing; a focus on scienctific, philosophical, cultural and interfaith perspectives and actions; a directory of global campaigns and initiatives; an arena for questions, issues and reflections; and space for online discussion.
So please stay with us - we are getting there.
In the meantime - let us know who you are, and go to LINKS to sign up for Get UP! protecting the Australian Native Forests and developing sustainable plantations for logging.
University of the Trees is becoming a mobile alternative university! After feedback from groups using the kit, it has become clear that a special training programme would be useful - for people wanting to start a group or to use the kit with their organisations or communities. A small group who work in the area of 'new organs of perception' met in London in May to begin developing this.
IF YOU HAVE WRITTEN ASKING FOR A KIT... By end of August 2010 the new kit should be ready. Simpler, cheaper, more durable and including the first elements of the UOTs new 'training' modules.
Creating the 100 Trees 'Field of Awareness' : Volunteer now!!!
1st process: What is a tree? What is a human being?