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Interview with an Activist: Mike Cormack and Welfare Reforms

Mike Cormack is involved in Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty. This is an interview with him discussing his work and the issues which he sees at stake particularly as the current welfare reforms are pushed through in the UK. Offering counsel and support to people who receive benefits to understand their rights and resist unfair sanctions, Mike has been involved in activism for many years. Read more

Interview With An Educator: Julian Edge

This is an interview with Julian Edge, which took place in Manchester Central Library in July 2015.  Julian Edge has a long and rich career in teaching, and has later moved into counseling, he talks about how he came to education as well as the ways he sees us learning.  In the interview he takes us through the history of how he got into teaching, and where across the world he has taught; all time being drawn back in to learning as he meets a new set of problems. Read more

An Interview With A Development Worker: Shahid Khan

Shahid Khan is the founder and CEO of the Indus Earth Trust, a development project which is based in Pakistan.  In this interview he talks about his work helping people to build their own earthquake proof house, start their own business, and become an autonomous agent in the local economy.  Starting the informal interview out with questioning me, Alex Dunedin, about the Ragged University project, he then goes on to talking about his experience of trying to get people to adopt sustainable development techniques which take account of the cost to the environment.

Indus Earth Trust was established with the aim to build the natural environment and foster community development through supporting the local people and understanding the culture rather than imposing ideas and values on people from the outside.  A key focus is on creating community based infrastructure.  The methods are about empowerment, not about sterile notions of charity.  The local peoples are given the resources, training and agency to build what they need rather than having things done for them. Read more

Interview With An Educator: George Wilson

George Wilson has worked in higher education for the last 14 years. In Edinburgh and Lothians, in both paid and voluntary positions, he has been involved in formal education as well as community education.  With a particularly interesting view on the questions which should be asked surrounding widening participation and who it is benefiting, here his challenge shifts the issue from inside the institutional space to considering wider participation from the external perspective. Read more

Interview With An Educator: Colin Kirkwood

This is a conversation and interview with Colin Kirkwood who was one of the instrumental people who were involved in setting up the Adult Learning Project in Edinburgh over 30 years ago.  Inspired by the work of Paulo Freire, it took an innovative stance of valuing local knowledge and building educational processes around the ideas and issues which the community felt were pertinent to their lives.  This is an opportunity to hear Colin talk about how he, and others, proposed the project and brought it into a reality which has served the Edinburgh community for decades. Read more