Seeds for Change splits in two

IssueFebruary - March 2017
News by Milan Rai

One of Britain’s oldest activist training organisations has divided into two. Seeds for Change used to have two groups, one in Oxford, one in Lancaster. As reported last issue, Seeds for Change (Oxford) has become ‘Navigate’; and Seeds for Change (Lancaster) has become just ‘Seeds for Change’.

Seeds for Change say: ‘Towards the middle of last year, Seeds for Change Oxford and Lancaster realised we’d be able to offer more on-the-ground support through a looser relationship with each other. We are still working on joint projects but are now more like cousins than sisters.’

Navigate say: ‘this is more than just a name change. Becoming Navigate is symbolic of bigger conversations we’ve been having and changes that we’ve been making this past year. These included: getting clearer on the work we want to offer, loosening our relationship with Seeds for Change, and growing our team – we’re looking forward to welcoming Paul Kahawatte to Navigate in March.’

According to Seeds: ‘We have also been developing different strengths. Navigate have been learning and developing their expertise in the areas of conflict, group dynamics and sustainability whilst Seeds for Change (Lancaster) have deepened their expertise in helping co-ops with collective management methods and supporting campaign groups with practical skills.’

Dividing at maturity

Navigate explained their journey on their blog: ‘We asked ourselves “What makes us feel alive and excited?” and “How can we each thrive within this co-op?”. We put everything on the table, including the option of closing the organisation down. Each of us talked about what we needed, which sounds so simple, but it felt risky to say things that the others might not want to hear.’

From Wikipedia: ‘Dehiscence is the splitting at maturity along a built-in line of weakness in a plant structure in order to release its contents [especially seeds], and is common among fruits, anthers and sporangia. Sometimes this involves the complete detachment of a part.’

Topics: Activism