Announcing the Purple Thistle Institute

Passing along the exciting news of the launch of the Purple Thistle Institute from Matt Hern, an associate of the ISE who has lectured and published widely on alternative education topics:

WHAT IS IT? The PTI will be something like an alternative university, or maybe better: an alternative‐to‐ university. The idea is to bring together a bunch of engaged, interested people to talk about theory, ideas and practise for radical social change. We’ll have a great time, meet good people, get our praxis challenged and with luck refine and renew our ideas, politics and energies.

Importantly, the conversations will very deliberately cut across radical orientations – anarchists, socialists, lefties, progressives, anti‐colonialists, anti‐authoritarians, ecologists of all stripes are welcome. The idea is to work, think and talk together – to articulate and comprehend differences sure – but to find common ground, get beyond factionalized pettiness and stimulate radical ecological and egalitarian social change. We want to get good people with good ideas together to talk and listen to each other.

WHEN IS BEING HELD? July 4th – 23rd, 2011

For more information visit or send email to

2 Replies to “Announcing the Purple Thistle Institute”

  1. Great, another social forum that sounds like it will achieve as much as the current social forums (i.e. nothing) or perhaps we’ll get lucky and try for a new Popular Front) it is sad to see the Institute becoming a hodge-podge of ill-defined “progressives”. Where is the effort to build groups in the communities we live in now and reach out to newly radicalized people, instead of trying to convert or find common ground among conflicted groups (and conflicted with good reason). Sad.

  2. I would rather think that it is too early to judge this project. Who knows if this initiative will not help to build communities there, to radical the groups there, etc.
    Besides, don’t forget Michael that this is not an ISE project, but rather a project of an associate. Both shouldn’t be linked as proof of what the ISE becomes, don’t you think ?

    Should we be critical or should we support him for his project and make promotion of what is good in it ? Organizing people have to start by something that gather them. Will it works or being, as Michael said, a new forum where people are chating and doing nothing, I can’t tell. Depends on the people that will go there, certainly.

    I wish good luck to this alternative university, hoping it will truly work.

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