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New offering: Decolonising, Decarbonising & Democratising education workshop

February 18, 2022

Education plays a key role in tackling the climate crisis. The knowledge, skills, values and attributes exchanged during formal and informal learning have the power to either support learners to tackle the climate crisis and social injustice or to maintain the status quo: an unequal world of worsening planetary and community health.

We’ve been supporting educational institutions to harness the power of education to transform the world for nearly a decade through Responsible Futures, the For Good platform and a variety of consultancy work on Education for Sustainable Development.

We do this work because students are demanding their educational institutions address sustainable development. In 2020, our Sustainability Skills Survey found 83% of respondents would like to see sustainable development actively incorporated and promoted across all courses –up from 71% in 2014.

We're delighted to add to our transformational work by offering a workshop through our Learning Academy on Decolonising, Decarbonising and Democratising Education to continue supporting the sector in making meaningful changes required to realise a more just present and future. The interactive workshop supports participants to explore processes of decarbonising and decolonising and how they can be underpinned by democratising education, understand climate justice through real world examples and provides a supportive space to reflect on next steps.

What is decolonising, decarbonising & democratising education?

We’re framing this as the 3 Ds, and they are deeply interconnected for progressing climate justice. Decolonising, decarbonising and democratising education is a synergistic process for ensuring learners are prepared to contribute to and live in a socially and environmentally sustainable world by addressing the root causes of how our education system is currently contributing to climate injustice.


The process of decolonising education is to begin interrogating how colonialism shapes knowledge production and exchange, and reinforces systems of privilege and oppression within educational institutions and the wider world. Part of decolonising education is to recognise and value Indigenous knowledge systems and acknowledge the social and environmental harm caused by solely centring Western education/knowledge systems whilst delegitimising others.

The process of decarbonising education involves transforming how and what we teach and learn to ensure learners have the competencies to tackle the climate crisis, and are being prepared to question and actively contribute to transforming our carbon-intensive systems.


Democratising education is integral to achieving a just approach to decolonising and decarbonising. It promotes establishing mechanisms for engaged learning for both students and staff enabling a process of co-creation. By actively engaging students in a democratised learning experience, they are empowered to realise their potential to contribute towards a better world.

Why must we adopt the 3Ds in our education institutions?

The key to decolonising, decarbonising and democratising education is to ensure these processes work in synergy with one another.

The climate crisis is a social crisis dating back to the global advancement of capitalism via colonialism and imperialism. To tackle the climate crisis, we need to understand and address these harmful legacies and the injustices they perpetuate and explore how to move forward. We can do this by beginning to addressing and transforming the systems and practices in which these legacies are rooted.

This is a long-term process of transforming what and how we learn, , rather than a means to an end, or a checklist. Our interactive decolonising, decarbonising and democratising education workshops provide participants with both an overview and supportive starting point to begin this crucial journey and a space to reflect on ongoing work.


We are currently collecting good practice case studies of how institutions and students’ unions have linked decolonising,  decarbonising and democratising work. Please get in touch with us if you have an example you’d like to share at hello@sos-uk.org

Click here for more information on our Decolonising, Decarbonising and Democratising Education workshop, and how to bring the workshop to your institution or students’ union.

Click here to learn more about Learning Academy.

Click here to learn more about Responsible Futures Accreditation.

Click here to learn more about the For Good platform.