Do you want to live in a more sustainable place? Would you like to work in decent conditions? Would you like to have a say in local issues, but decision-makers are not interested in your opinion? Would you like to recruit members for your group or for an important cause? Would you like to understand more deeply the society we live in?
Learn about these topics in a great community, because knowledge gives you power! At the School of Public Life, we help you to stand up for your own and others’ interests so that we can live in a more just society!
It’s not enough to be able to vote every four years when we have no control over what decision makers do. People can participate effectively in democratic processes if they know their rights and have sufficient knowledge about advocacy. But we do not learn in school how to take our fate into our own hands, organise ourselves as a group and actively shape public life. Unfortunately marginalised groups and people living in poverty have even less access to the knowledge and skills needed for active participation.
The School of Public Life is a community education and knowledge center where we seek answers to these issues.
- Our aim is to make available the knowledge and skills for grassroot organizing.
- We support movements and civil society organisations to operate more effectively.
- We build a diverse community where critical thinking, democratic participation and solidarity are valued.
We work towards our goals in the following four areas:
We organise free training courses and programmes for adults to enable more of them to participate actively in public life.
- The first step on the way of change is the deeper understanding of social relations, therefore most of our introductory programs are about the critical analysis of social inequalities.
- We also need to know what tools we can use to act for a more just society. Many of our training courses are about advocacy, understanding and asserting our rights as citizens, campaigning and the communication of social justice causes.
- Change can be achieved by a well-functioning group, so some of our trainings are about the internal operation and sustainability of organizations and social movements.
Publications and knowledge production
It is very important to have progressive Hungarian literature that supports our mission and activities. Thus, we write and edit books and articles related to advocacy, critical pedagogy, participatory action research and group organisation.
In our interview volumes we amplify the activists’ experiences, so many more people can learn from these stories. Our priority is to make our texts easily understandable for everyone, regardless the level of education.
Participatory action research
Are you interested in how community-based research works? Have you ever wondered how real social change can be achieved with the help of research? How can those become researchers who did not have the opportunity to earn a university degree?
We believe that everyone, regardless of their social status, has the right to ask questions, conduct research and produce knowledge. In participatory action research, people involved in an issue or problem investigate their own reality in order to understand and then change it.
The School of Public Life provides professional advice and consultation for groups or researchers interested in this method. Feel free to contact us!
Strategic planning for organisations
How can an organization achieve real impact and success? How can a group achieve its goals effectively? How can we build democratic, sustainable organisations where members feel appreciated? The answer to these questions is strategic planning, which – to put it simply – is the creation of a comprehensive plan of action and operation.
Since 2014, the School of Public Life has supported more than 30 organisations in strategic planning to develop their effective, sustainable and systematic operation. This work is tailored to the needs of every organization and takes shape in intensive multi-day retreats to develop their long-term goals. In recent years we worked with the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, Budapest Pride and an independent online news portal, Mérce among others.