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  • Julie Hutchison

Trust The People

Updated: Nov 22

The 2nd of my election pledges was to complete the Trust The People Course.


Trust The People was born out of the Future Democracies hub of Extinction Rebellion. The 3rd demand is Citizens Assemblies. When I started my journey into activism, I was really interested in what Future Democracies did.


At the time, Future Democracies were working alongside Flatpack Democracy and putting a lot of time developing pooled knowledge and resources into something tangible, and this is what we now have, it is the free Trust The People online course.


The course concentrates on giving people the skills to go into their community and create change. So often, many voices are not heard when it comes to making decisions that affect our communities - it is often the loudest voices that dominate the room, or people in authority.


What this course teaches us, effectively, is how to be neutral. It teaches us to challenge our own biases in the first instance, to understand ourselves and others, because this fundamental layer is where all of the work really starts from: creating a safe space for everyone. The course then goes on to engaging communities and creating strong ties, to embrace empathy, in how to effectively facilitate Peoples Assemblies, hearing from all voices.


Each week offers up 4 hours of learning, you can do as little or as much as you like. If you miss a session, then they are recorded so that you can catch up, however if you do this then you miss out on the breakout rooms. They also have an inspirational session where they collect 8 speakers to talk about projects that are going on all around the country.


To say this is the best course I have ever taken is an understatement. I learned some in-depth, interesting studies, I learned about initiatives that are going on. I felt positive, because I knew that I could make this work in my community.


Whilst I was doing this course I kept thinking.. if this course was offered up all over the Isle of Wight, to Town and Parish Councils, to schools, to community groups, to people who work for organisations who need public feedback to develop... then those people would get the chance to meet and form those connections immediately, at the same time learning the tools needed. I know the power of community is strong on the Island - just look at what happened when Covid struck. People helped, and felt good for helping.


Many issues can be tackled by working together. We live in an individualised world, where decisions are made by few people at the top that go on to affect everyone. What Trust The People do is give people the skills, the inspiration, to make change for the benefit of their communities and for the Environment. Circular economies don't just happen overnight, they need input from everyone, so that they have a better chance of working.


I'd like to see people all over the Island take this course, make those connections, work together. In fact, I'm really looking forward to that happening.




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