You are invited to participate in a ten days educational camp in a delightful rural setting on an organic farm. The aim of the camp is to give students a basic knowledge of the essential tools of power. The title," Strategies for an Alternative Nation", is taken from chapter 14 of the Permaculture Design Manual by Bill Mollison, in which he describes frameworks within which his ideas of sustainable land use are placed in the context of a humane society.

The camp will feature workshops led by experts in their fields, largely held under canvas, and featuring group work as well as personal exercises. Participants will need to come prepared to be stretched intellectually and socially, and to share their existing knowledge effectively with other students.

The content of the camp will be focussed on imparting the essential tools to give students the power to work within their communities. To enable groups of ordinary people to take control of meeting their basic needs, for shelter, for proper nourishment, for non exploitative livelihoods and for building real and meaningful social networks. As part of Synaptic's comitment to addressing the issue of hierarchies of expertise within organisations it should also be noted that this training will deliver a generalist skillset for any persom working in voluntary,charitable or community organisation. In addition students ability to participate in the democratic process will be strengthened by enhanced critical awareness of financial and legal matters Broadly, the workshops will cover:

LEGAL FRAMEWORKS. How to set up and manage a limited Co., Charity, Housing Co-operative, Workers Co-operative. Why and how these structures are needed and how to decide which ones to use. What are primary and secondary rules.
FINANCE. How to raise funds and to account for their use. Where to go for loans, or grants. Why and how to produce financial documentation.

USING DEMOCRACY. How decision making is organised at local and regional levels, how to monitor and influence it.

PLANNING MATTERS. Any land or buildings based project must deal with the planning system, this will tell you how it operates and ways to deal with it.

PRESENTATION. Telling your neighbours what you are up to, or telling the world. Public meetings, using the media, using the internet. Reports and presentations.

Students will need to be prepared to provide their own shelter, the camp will have basic sanitation facilities and there will be a vegetarian cafe
To be shortlisted for this camp you will need to have an email address and to send a personal CV of no more than one thousand words to;


The camp is provisionally scheduled to take place in Herefordshire in late May/early June 2006. The cost per student is £200 to include a contribution to a bursary fund for low-income candidates.