Fly Over The Grass

Imagination Changing Lives

Fly Over The Grass is a module within the programme designed to fuel fellows with an array of creative strategies for social change. Informative, moving and practical, it supports fellows to imagine a better world and be audacious enough to pursue it.

The course takes its name from the late Brazilian theatre director and social changemaker Augusto Boal who said: “It is forbidden to walk on the grass. It is not forbidden to fly over the grass.”


Top (L-R): Muhammad Yunus, JR, Candy Chang, Martin Luther King Bottom (L-R): Tim Smit, Wangari Maathai, José Aberu, Saul Alinsky

Fellows learn from imaginative, courageous and often maverick people across the globe who are transforming lives for the better. They discover how a skatepark has helped young people get back into education in Kabul, how joining the theatre has transformed the lives of homeless people in London, why DIY spaces have become part of Australia’s national mental health strategy, and how a group of musicians are proving more successful than the police at challenging the drug lords in Rio.

The course pulls no punches about the determination needed to cut through red tape, win over nay-sayers and sustain meaningful communities. Meetings with artists and designers, gardeners and theatre-makers, chefs, sportspeople, musicians and gamers give fellows the opportunity to learn learn how almost all creative social leaders have had to overcome crises in cash, confidence and commitment.

The course is rich with practical tasks – including Year Here’s infamous 24 Hour Challenges – that provide the basis for developing the practical and creative ammunition to have real social impact.

Fly Over The Grass was developed and is taught by Sophie Howarth.

Visit Sophie’s website.

Follow Sophie on twitter.