How does it work?

UOT has developed a 'kit' or 'set of instruments' that makes involvement in the UOT network, practices and processes possible.There are two main ways to participate in the UOT: online or on the ground.

Who can particpate?

'Practice centres', think-tanks, small groups, organisations and networks, individual citizens wanting to form groups, and teachers, faciltators and activists working with groups, can develop a branch of the UOT, use the kit in their netowrk, group or organisation, or participate in its global forum processes.

The criteria for participation

The criteria for becoming a member of the UOT-Global Forum or for setting up a UOT -On the Ground, include agreeing to the UOT ethos-principles.

The Kit - its two main versions

There are two versions of the kit that offer two main ways for participating in and becoming part of UOT.

VERSION 1: University of the Trees - On the Ground (in a permanent place, or in changing locations)

VERSION 2: University of the Trees - Global Forum

The 'On the Ground' and Global Forum versions of the kit share many features.

Forming a regional group

UOT groups begin with one or more people in a region deciding they would like to develop a regional UoT group and to participate in this growing global network.

A new UoT group can be formed independently, or linked to an existing organisation that wants to explore and integrate the UoT process alongside its other activities.

Contact is made with the UoT coordinating team to discuss what this is involved and how to proceed.

Working with existing trees as a locus for University of the Trees

The regional group identifies and agrees that a particular area of trees or forest will be the locus for the University of the Trees. This need not be pristine forest. Each area of trees has its own history to reveal and issues to bring to the surface. Unlike many eco-art tree projects, the University of the Trees begins with an existing area of trees, although it is likely to include the planting of new trees as well.

A kit of 'instruments' is made available to each regional group

Included in the kit are various instruments and mobile labs for use by individuals, small groups and in large forums. All instruments and mobile labs involve dialogue and reflective processes.

golden mantle instrument prototype exeter june 2006

The instruments in the kit are designed to:

initiate the UoT process

open up new relationships to trees, forests and social-ecological questions, and

inspire appropriate action.

Initiating the 'main forum' of the University of the Trees

The initial 'instrument' is a set of 7 to 12 bands that creates the ‘main forum' -through minimal intervention. These bands, placed on the trees in one or more areas of woodland or forest, initiate the University of the Trees in a particular region.
See Main Forum section.

This 'main forum' also establishes and defines the context for all subsequent processes with the mobile labs and large-scale forums

A physical base or coordinating network needs to be established that can also take care of the 'instruments'

In order for the mobile labs to be accessible to members of the public, an organisation (like CCANW in the Exeter, UK) or a coordinating network (like the group in Oxford, UK or Bonn, Germany) needs to provide access to the different instruments and help to organise the dialogue processes and actions as well. Although the tree bands remain on the trees, access to instruments / mobile labs, as well as the dialogue processes and forums will take place on agreed dates.

Everyone is invited

Individuals of all ages and backgrounds as well as organisations, groups and decision-making bodies with a particular involvement in trees, forests and related social-ecological issues are potential participants and stakeholders. Who prticipates in each group will obviously vary from place to place.