First seminar of TRISE


First seminar of Transnational Institute of Social Ecology, Mirtos, March 21 – 24 2013

21 – 24th of March social ecologists gathered to attend the first seminar of the newly established

organization Transnational Institute of Social Ecology (TRISE) in the village of Mirtos, Crete.

People with various backgrounds and from various places such as Athens, Iraklio, Rethymnos,

Udine, Grefenau, Leeds, Gothenburg, Oslo, Oulu, East Montpelier and Montreal had travelled to

attend this premiere event for TRISE.

The four day long program consisted of lectures, presentations and discussions thematically divided

into four blocs:

The Legacy of Social Ecology dealt with the concepts of Social Ecology and Communalism and

examined how these ideas could aid current social movements and show the way forward.

Urbanization and Radical Urbanism focused on the importance of the city in struggles for social

change and how social ecologists could work with these questions.

Urban Struggles consisted of case studies of recent social struggles in different places in Europe

such as Athens, Stuttgart and L’aquila.

Democracy and Social change looked at current movements for a real and participatory democracy

such as the M15, the Occupy movements and the Town Meetings in Vermont.

In addition to this, the program included two workshops based on hand-on experiences:

Campaigning for Participatory Democracy and Social Ecology and Municipal Elections.

The last day of the seminar was dedicated solely to plan and discuss future activities of TRISE.

This occasion was the first time many of the participants met and the exchange was open and

sincere. Many people expressed the importance of the event and were eager to stay in touch and be

part of future activities with TRISE.

From an organizers point of view it was a fantastic experience to see devoted social ecologists meet

and share experiences and ideas. Some crucial steps to enhance this new institute were made and

TRISE now stands firm to deal with oncoming challenges .

On the last day it was decided to have the next gathering during April 2014 – possibly

in Mirtos again, or in some other suitable place closer to Athens. The meeting also decided to

establish a Board of Administrators with nine members which consisted of members of the

Advisory Council present. Their tasks include to work further on an constitution as part of an

organizational structure, fund-raising and to work out an outlook and programme for the 2014


— Kristian Widqvist

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