Our team at the Werkstatt came together in 2019 in Berlin in order to provide a space for movement learning, thinking, and tinkering. After years of involvement in Berlin’s social movements, we observed the need for a space dedicated to bringing movement builders together to learn from each other and share notes on organizing methods that build collective power.
At the Werkstatt, we offer an approach to movement building that gears participants for deep and structural base-building no matter the structure or institution. Our methods aim for institutional, community, and cultural transformation in order to help movement builders create a world of solidarity across the difference that seemingly divides us.
With an advisory board that brings together scholars and organizers from around the world, we’ve thread together knowledge and insights from a variety of contexts, applications, and experiences to help movement builders get over blockages and dead-ends. We provide a space where we can re-examine the terrain of struggle and the forces that operate on them from multiple viewpoints, offering a workshop-environment to reconsider the nuts and bolts of your organization and its relation to movements in order to draft strategies, tactics, and practices that help build the better we all need.
At the same time, we ask our participants that we stay informed regarding their organizing efforts in order to see which tools they decided to apply from the Werkstatt, how they did so, and whether or not their application worked. This forms part of a mutual learning process that cements the connection between theory and practice, creating a process of co-research between participants and trainers. By doing this, we also integrate a feedback loop that makes a living curriculum.
Our trainers draw on years of experience and are excited to provide a space of learning and exploration. And we’re thrilled we’re not the only ones. There’s an ongoing bloom of initiatives and projects that are also building similar spaces – and that’s great. By approaching the problem from different angles, simultaneously, we can find out what works and what doesn’t quicker. In this way, we compliment each others’ work in trying to build a new common sense around organizing and movement building. And that’s what we’re all about.