UOT- Berlin in collaboration with Heinrich Boell Stiftung

8/9 February 2012

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.

UOT-Berlin: Open Meeting

16 October 2011

Mit sieben Filzbändern an Bäumen im Tiergarten und einem „Earth Forum" startete Ende Mai die University of the Trees-Berlin (Oya 9 berichtete).

Am 16.10. um 14 Uhr findet, beginnend im Berliner Haus der Kulturen der Welt, ein nächstes halbtägiges Treffen statt, an dem Shelley Sacks, Initiatorin dieses Soziale Plastik-Projekts, mitwirkt.

Die UoT ist eine neuartige Universität, in der alle, unabhängig von Alter und Status, Lernende und Lehrende sein können. Doch sind insbesondere auch die Bäume Lehrer. Eine UoT kann überall dort entstehen, wo Menschen sich mit Fragen beschäftigen wie: Was ist Wissen? Wie erkennen wir die Welt? In welcher Beziehung stehen wir zu ihr? Die einfachste Art anzufangen ist, an Bäumen ein Band mit der Aufschrift „University of the Trees" anzubringen, woraus ein „Bewusstheitsfeld" entsteht: eine Art Arena, in der Prozesse eines vertieften Verstehens, Workshops oder Seminare zu ganzheitlichen Formen des Wissens stattfinden. Auf welche Weisen das genau geschieht, hängt von den jeweiligen Akteuren ab.

Zu dem Treffen am 16.10. sind alle eingeladen, die in Berlin oder anderswo eine UoT entwickeln möchten.

Kontact: Shelley Sacks oder Hildegard Kurt



UOT and the Green Party
15 October 2011 -Bonn
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". 

For further information see the NRW Green Party website or contact Wofgang on

0049 (0)211 38 666 32

UOT-South Africa 2011 

Earth Forum and the Climate Summit

Earth Forum is another new process of the University of the Trees. It has been adapted for South Africa by Dylan McGarry working closely with Shelley Sacks and the Sustaining Commons Institute, Rhodes University, Grahamstown. The initial training is being focused on 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.
Contact Dylan McGarry for more information.

Earth Forum South Africa has been generously assisted by the British Council.
If it proves successful the aim is to offer it to other countries as a reflective social practice that gives participants an experience of the importance of imagination in the process of transformation and in our work toward a sustainable future!

UOT and Ueber Lebenskunst
31 May 2011 - Berlin

The UOT-Berlin is being launched as part of the Ueber Lebenskunst Klub, in Berlin, on Tuesday 31 May 2011.
This launch will be initiated by 7 bands being placed on trees surrounding Berlin's Siegesaeule, and with an Earth Forum process in Berlin's Tiergarten at 14.00.
A follow up meeting is planned for October 2011, to explore the ongoing development of the UOT in Berlin, and it links with other sister organisations.

The bands around the Siegesaeule in Berlin are a form of city acupuncture, and speak of another kind of victory. Not the victory of the enlightenmentand colonialism over other cultures and nature, but the victory of connectedness and care.

Huge apologies - October 2010

... if you have written to us wanting to start of join a group! and not yet had a reply

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 will complete 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.

UOT Development process
May 2010 - London

A small group of UOT co-workers will meet in London from 19 -23 May to develop the new elements of the UOT Phase 2 kit. This group includes Allan Kaplan (South Africa/Brazil), Isis Brook (UK), Wolfgang Zumdick and Hildegard Kurt (Germany), Caroline Tisdall (UK),  Becs Gasson (UOT-Oxford), Johanna Koorndorfer (UOT-Exeter), Shelley Sacks and Chris Seely (UK). Other coworkers will join us on 22/23 May -to give feedback on our proposals.

International Weekend Forum - 26 and 27 July 2008

University of the Trees at CCANW, Haldon Forest, Exeter

On 26 and 27 July, University of the Trees (Exeter Region, UK) will become an exploratory forum to experience and consider new ways of connecting with the world and what we mean by developing ‘new organs of perception'*.

It will also be an opportunity to get closer to the social sculpture ideas and their relationship to the University of the Trees as an ‘instrument of consciousness' in our work toward a humane and ecologically just society.

The three guest speakers -Dr. Chris Seeley, Dieter Schuhmacher and Prof. Volker Harlan are all actively involved in the University of the Trees project or related connective practices. See www.universityofthetrees.org (about / project people)

Through presentations, discussion and experiential processes in the forest they will open up the space to explore how the University of the Trees relates to our work towards an ecologically just society.

Day 1: Presentations at CCANW and participatory processes in the forest with the three visiting presenters, introduced by Shelley Sacks (10.30 -6 pm)
Day 2: Further exploratory day for UoT Group, Exeter and interested Day 1 participants (10.30 -4.30)

Detailed programme
Day 1: (Open Forum for all interested in the UoT and connective practices)
10.30 Introduction to the day and the focus on ‘new organs of perception' - Shelley Sacks
11.00 The forest as social sculpture and the human social sculpture - Prof. Volker Harlan
1.00 Lunch (Bring a packed lunch)
2.00 Working toward an ecological just society and the UoT - Dr. Chris Seeley
3.15 Tea
3.45 Developing ‘new organs of perception' (practice session - in the forest) - Dieter Schuhmacher
5.30 Closing reflections
6.00 End

Day 2: (for UoT Group, Exeter and interested participants from Day 1)
10.30 Experiential processes in the University of the Trees
1.00 Lunch (will be provided)
2.00 Reflections and insights
3.15 Actions and emergent proposals
4.30 End

If you have not been involved in the University of the Trees meetings and processes before, please come one hour earlier on Sat 26 July. Shelley Sacks will introduce you to the project. It would be helpful if you could look at the UoT website to acquaint yourself with the project beforehand.

Booking is essential for both days. Please contact Johanna Korndorfer at CCANW.  j.korndorfer@ccanw.co.uk
or Tel:  00 44 (0) 01392 83 22 77
Day 1:  £10 (Consc. £8) -Bring a packed lunch
Day 2: £5 (Lunch provided)

*‘New organs of perception' is a phrase that stems from the scientific work of Goethe, who contrasted a participatory, holistic mode of seeing to onlooker consciousness. Joseph Beuys' used this phrase too to emphasise the need for new forms of knowing and perceiving that would lead us to act in a more connected way. Some of our organs of perception -like eyes, ears and tongue - are already fairly well developed at birth. But others, our higher human organs of perception - like the ability to empathise, to develop a conscience, to perceive the idea in things and the interconnections in the world- need to be developed.

University of the Trees creates an arena and a framework for exploring our relationship to the world, and for enabling us to develop actions based on new insights and perceptions.

Exeter region - meetings
13 January 2008, 31 March, 8 May, 21 June 2008

The Exeter region University of the Trees has been meeting at CCANW since January 2008. This group - involving people who have been coming to University of the Trees presentations and workshops at CCANW for the past 18 months, and others, including geographers from Exeter University, who have been working with the Social Sculpture Research Unit on several other 'connective' projects - established itself at the 6 December 2007 meeting at Exeter University. The University of the Trees 'Main Forum' was created in May 2008.

For more information about the Exeter region group and how to get involved please contact:
Ruth Harvey-Regan 07824812011 or 01392 434636
email: ruthharveyregan@hotmail.com

Darmstadt region -recent meeting
2 January 2008   
Atelierhaus Vahle, Darmstadt

This meeting on 2 January 2008 of the Soziale Plastik Arbeitskreis, Atelierhaus Vahle networks and members of the wider public who have attended UoT meetings, reflected on the past year's activities and ways forward for the coming year. This included a consideration of how the University of the Trees in the Darmstadt region is structured, plans for meeting with the group in Exeter and initiatives that are emerging in the region.

For further information about the Darmstadt group and details of next meetings

Dieter Schuhmacher dr.suma@arcor.de 
Tel: 00 49 (0) 6151 36 89 244

See also: Joining a Group, the Darmstadt Blog and Archive section(coming soon)

Darmstadt - other news

Recent meetings of the University of the Trees group in DARMSTADT decided to extend the 'main forum' to the whole region around the city . University of the Trees main forum bands are now in three locations around Darmstadt.

Google Earth Coordinates of UoT in Darmstadt 

Band I
49 52 17.25 N
8 41 33.56 E

Bands II and III (Fasenerie)
49 53 13.87 N
8 41 2.83 E

Bands IV (Bollenfalltor)
49 50 46.8 N
8 40 7.75 E

Darmstadt - other news

The first public meetings of University of the Trees - Darmstadt took place on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 September 2007 in forests on the outskirts of Darmstadt. Prof. Dr. Volker Harlan and Shelley Sacks joined the local Darmstadt group to establish additional locations for UoT in the area, to consider the methods and ideas and to discuss the ongoing work. University of the Trees main forum bands are now in three locations around Darmstadt.

On Saturday 1 September 2007 Dr. Volker Harlan gave a talk in Darmstadt that explored how the leaf exemplifies the basic formative principles (Gestaltungsprinzipien) in the world, making reference to the statement by Joseph Beuys: 'Isn't the olive leaf not also a form of knowing the world?' This talk is linked to University of the Trees and was hosted by Atelierhaus Vahle, Darmstadt. Parts of this lecture and other recent talks by Volker Harlan - specifically related to developing new ways of understanding and perceiving trees, forests and their relationship to social sculpture processes - will be published as part of the University of the Trees kits. 

On Sunday 2 September 2007 the UoT group met in the woods between Bollenfalltor and Ludwigshohe.

Coming soon on this site:
Prof. Dr. Volker Harlan's text - presented at the Stetig Wachsen conference (Darmstadt July 2006) on The Forest as a Social Sculpture soon to be accessed from the Archive section in English and German.

World Environment Day talk
(5 June 2007) at CCANW

Coming soon on this site: The transcript of this presentation gives a sense of this long-term, participatory project, hosted by CCANW and being developed with Shelley Sacks, Director of the Social Sculpture Research Unit at Oxford Brookes University.