Social Ecology in an Time of Crisis

June 19-24 – Online (via Zoom)

We are living in a moment of overlapping social, political, and ecological crises, now accelerated via the COVID-19 pandemic. Authoritarianism and fascism march on, fueled by rising nationalism, xenophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia, and ethno-religious chauvinism. Already anemic democratic institutions are under siege from the U.S and South America to the U.K. and India. Rosy economic reports obscure stark inequality and lowered expectations as precarious, part-time, and often multiple low-wage jobs becomes the new norm. The climate crisis is already here, as we face unprecedented wildfires, ocean acidification, climate migration, and other environmental problems. Deforestation, capitalist agriculture, and hyper-exploitation of resources has unleashes deadly zoonotic viruses like COVID-19 with increasing regularity. Recent movements and popular uprisings around the world have rekindled hope, but have been unable to translate mass anger into meaningful institutional change. There is a growing sense that we’ve reached a breaking point.

These social and ecological crises demand visionary new ideas and radical alternatives. The Institute for Social Ecology has been developing such alternatives for 45 years, fostering radical educational and movement self-reflection informed by long experience in the anti-nuclear, alter-globalization, climate justice, and Occupy movements, and in struggles for democratic autonomy by Kurds in Turkey and Syria. Social ecology provides a holistic analysis of the overlapping crises we face, and offers a radically democratic political vision for moving beyond them. It is with these themes and questions in mind that we invite you to join us for our Social Ecology Intensive, June 19-24, for five days of exploring social-ecological transformation in theory and practice. Due to COVID-19, this year’s Intensive will be held online via Zoom seminar. Our intensives bring together ISE faculty, activists and scholars, and participants from around the world for a week of classes, workshops, and seminar discussions. Participants will explore the fundamentals of social ecology in relation to contemporary struggles and issues.  ISE Intensives are always an inspiring experience of radical education, political strategizing, comradely networking, and utopian visioning. Draft program (subject to change):

Day/Time Course
                  FRI, June 19            
5-6 pm Opening circle
6-7:15 pm Introduction to Social Ecology – Dan Chodorkoff
7:15- Getting to know each other
SAT June 20  
10am-12pm Philosophy & Politics of Social Ecology – Chaia Heller
12-1:30pm Break
1:30-4pm Building Dual Power and Revolutionary Movements – Mason Herson Hord, Katie Horvath, Kelly Roache of Symbiosis
6:30-8pm Guest lecture: TBA
SUN June 21  
10am-12pm Philosophy & Politics of Social Ecology – Chaia Heller
1:30-4pm Building Dual Power and Revolutionary Movements – Symbiosis  
MON June 22  
10am-12pm Democracy in an Age of Crisis & Unreason
12-1:30pm Break
1:30-4pm Understanding & Overcoming Capitalism – Blair Taylor & Peter Staudenmaier
6:30-8pm Guest Lecture: TBA
TU June 23  
10am-12pm Democracy in an Age of Crisis & Unreason
12-1:30pm Break
1:30-4pm Capitalism/Climate & Food Justice – Brian Tokar and Grace Gerhuny
WED June 24  
10am-12pm Climate & Food Justice – Brian Tokar and Grace Gershuny
12-1:30pm Break
1:30-4pm Closing circle, reflections

To register or learn more, complete the form below or email us at  Everyone is welcome to participate, we ask for a suggested donation of $30 from those who can afford it to pay our guest speakers – no one turned away. And please help us spread the word!

Institute for Social Ecology Intensive Application