Oxford practice walk

buzz fundraiserLush threw us a fundraiser in Oxford this weekend, raising £57 for us with sales of their Charity Pots.

Then we visited bike co-op Broken Spoke, and set out along the beautiful canal and Port Meadow and passed the ruins of Godstow Nunnery.

Further out we found Fai Farms providing artifical bee homes. You could provide living space for bees in a similar way. IMG_20140405_175550

We passed Wytham Woods a Site of Special Scientific Interest where the habitat is being preserved.

In total the four of us walked about 35km, mostly on the second day which was a good long IMG_20140405_153142practice!

Insight Share donates video equipment

Thank you to Participatory Video experts Insight Share in Oxford who have donated a video camera to us for the walk! We’ll be using it to create a higher quality short documentary of the tour. The first part of which we aim to screen for the first time on 20-22nd June at the Tandem environment and music festival in Oxford.

102_1455Operations Manager Marleen Bovenmars introduces Participatory Video:

The way we do it is straight away to hand over the camera and they tell their own story through activities and games. So they’re learning straight away. Once they have the basic skills we help them with storyboarding.

A storyboard consists of pictures representing video scenes, to help plan and visualize the shooting of the footage.

 

Seeds For Change and consensus decision making

We spoke to Richard Howlett from Seeds For Change in Oxford about their work providing training and resources for grassroots activists.

Richard Howlett from Seeds for Change

Richard Howlett from Seeds for Change

We believe in bottom up change, that we should have power and responsibility for our own lives, and collective action is more powerful than individual action. That is a reflection of how we go about learning – as facilitators rather than teachers. We’re trying to help the learning come up through you. It’s pragmatic but it’s also political and ideological too. Doing something real, that’s where you are really going to learn.

Amongst the very useful things that Richard shared with us were information booklets about facilitation skills and consensus decision making – very handy for the walk!

Consensus decision making is a process where the group as a whole can come to agree to a proposal rather than just a majority vote. With proper facilitation the process can be more successful and democratic than traditional group decision making.

Oxford – city of spokes

On our practice walk this weekend we visited the biking co-operative Broken Spokes in Oxford. Co-founder Elle Smith tells us about forming the group.

One of the striking things about a visit to Oxford is the thousands of bikes, chained to everything. It’s common to see women in skirts and smartly dressed people cycling to work, as well as the thousands of students. Broken Spokes savages bike and helps people repair their own bikes by providing knowledge, space and tools. They also help people to take up  cycling, and provides a great community hub. We meet Owen who is cycling to Austrailia and Dave Thomas, Green Party Candidate for Holywell Ward Oxford.