Academic Slow Food Manifesto


‘Allegra Lab: Anthropology, Law, Art & World’ ( is a collective of academics, an association and an online experiment founded in 2013. It explores creative ways to fill the ‘dead space’ that exists between traditional modes of academic publication and ongoing scholarly and societal debates. Allegra Lab discusses issues related to anthropology, law, art and beyond, and it is run by a diligent editorial team of professional scholars.


Despite the name the Academic Slow Food Manifesto is not about food! This manifesto is a guide for better academic writing based on ‘real scholarship’ – which like the slow movement takes time to craft.


More more more!
This constant pressure to write more.
More of what?
Slogans, catch phrases?
Analysis for tid-bit quotations?
The same-old, same-old?
They want to stuff our brain
with indicators,
readily-chewed soundbites,
impact and
expected outcomes.
That is not stuff of real scholarship!
That is the stuff of auditing,
of successful annual reporting;
Signs of yielding to extra-academic pressures.
We reclaim the space
for the real pursuit
of unknown horizons,
Of reflection, philosophising
and mind-wandering
We want words, imagination, poetry!
Things impossible to report,
but only thus with real meaning.
But, like slow food,
REAL research takes time
to mature.
It needs tender love and caring;
A space to freely grow.
Less but more
of something
and only thus of true importance.



A list-based manifesto is easy to create. All you need is a list of rules, qualities or statements one after the other.

In contrast, crafting a worldview manifesto takes a little more care and attention to put it all together. Thus this style of manifesto is a consistent fit for the aim: considered academic writing.

More: Four Types of Manifestos


Christopher Richards, The Slow Movement

Lebbeus Woods, Slow Manifesto

John Robertson: Open Educational Resources Manifesto

John Robertson OER Manifesto

Creator: John Robertson is a researcher in the field of repositories and currently work for CETIS providing support for projects in JISC’s Open Educational Resources programme.

Purpose: “A brief rapid response to @Tore’s requests for a ten point manifesto on OER…”

An OER manifesto in twenty minutes

1. openness is a way of working / state of mind not a legal distinction

2. openness needs to be integrated into your way of working retrofitting is too expensive

3. value of open is potentially greater than the value of closed

4. open content affords new forms of scholarship and enterprise

5. stop having to ask permission: remove barriers with open licensing

6. use a common open license or don’t bother (lawyers read licences, users and machines don’t)

7. you need a good reason to keep publicly funded work closed

8. open content should allow you to build commercial services if you want

9. open content shifts the $ focus onto what is really valuable: expertise, support, and ‘accreditation’ [for various dftns]

10. open content has the potential to improve access to education (and consequently benefit society)


I’d also want to say something about

1. openness does have costs – budget for them [edit (for clarity): costs here are not just £$ costs]

2. you don’t have to be open all the time with everything – mixed economies may be practical

3. the transition to openness is unsettling

4. the (re)development of new business models, organisations, and practices challenges existing business models, organisations, and practices

The above is written without appropriate sources and without consulting existing manifestos but as an exercise in trying to quickly capture what I’ve absorbed and thought working in the OER community. If I’ve reproduced your work without realising it please comment  Doubtless a more considered version would look a bit different but as a discussion point in this amount of time that’s what I’d throw into the ring.



Post on John’s JUSC CETIS blog – 25 August, 2011


Icograda: Design Education Manifesto

A Design Education Manifesto

Creator: A collaboration from an international group of designers and presented to the Icograda Congress in Seoul in October 2000.

Purpose: To achieve “coordination and support for human agency” as a graphic designer.

Design Education Manifesto

Graphic designer

The term ‘graphic design’ has been technologically undermined. A better term is visual communication design. Visual communication design has become more and more a profession that integrates idioms and approaches of several disciplines in a multi-layered and in-depth visual competence. Boundaries between disciplines are becoming more fluid. Nevertheless designers need to recognize professional limitations.

Many changes have occurred?Developments in media technology and the information economy have profoundly affected visual communication design practice and education. New challenges confront the designer. The variety and complexity of design issues has expanded. The resulting challenge is the need for a more advanced ecological balance between human beings and their socio-cultural and natural environment.


A visual communication designer is a professional:

  • who contributes to shaping the visual landscape of culture
  • who focuses on the generation of meaning for a community of users, not only interpreting their interest but offering conservative and innovative solutions as appropriate
  • who collaboratively solves problems and explores possibilities through the systematic practice of criticism
  • who is an expert that conceptualizes and articulates ideas into tangible experiences
  • whose approach is grounded in a symbiotic conduct that respects the diversity of environmental and cultural contexts not by overemphasizing differences, but by recognizing common ground
  • who carries an individual responsibility for ethics to avoid harm and takes into account the consequences of design action to humanity, nature, technology, and cultural facts.

Future of design education

The new design program includes the following dimensions: image, text, movement, time, sound, and interactivity. Design education should focus on a critical mentality combined with tools to communicate. It should nurture a self-reflective attitude and ability. The new program should foster strategies and methods for communication and collaboration.

Theory and design history should be an integral part of design education. Design research should increase the production of design knowledge in order to enhance design performance through understanding cognition & emotion, physical, and social & cultural human factors.

More than ever, design education must prepare students for change. To this end, it must move from being teaching-centered to a learning-centered environment which enables students to experiment and to develop their own potential in and beyond academic programs. Thus the role of a design educator shifts from that of only knowledge provider to that of a person who inspires and facilitates orientation for a more substantial practice.

The power to think the future, “near or far,” should be an integral part of visual communication design. A new concept in design promises to tune nature, humanity, and technology, and to harmonize east and west, north and south, as well as past, present, and future in a dynamic equilibrium. This is the essence of Oullim, the great harmony.



The Complete Design Education Manifesto


The Character Education Manifesto

Character Education Manifesto

Creator: Kevin Ryan, Karen E Bohlin and Judith O Thayer wrote the Character Education Manifesto in February 1996.

Purpose: “Distressed by the increasing rates of violence, adolescent suicide, premature sexual activity, and a host of other pathological and social ills assaulting American youth, we propose that schools and teachers reassert their responsibility as educators of character. Schools cannot, however, assume this responsibility alone; families, neighborhoods and faith communities must share in this task together. We maintain that authentic educational reform in this nation begins with our response to the call for character. True character education is the hinge upon which academic excellence, personal achievement, and true citizenship depend. It calls forth the very best from our students, faculty, staff and parents.”

The Character Education Manifesto (edited)

Principle 1: Education is an Inescapable Moral Enterprise
A continuous and conscious effort to guide students to know and pursue what is good and what is worthwhile.

Principle 2: Parents
We strongly affirm parents as the primary moral educators of their children and believe schools should build a partnership with the home.

Principle 3: Virtue
Character education is about developing virtues — good habits and dispositions which lead students to responsible and mature adulthood.

Principle 4: Teachers, Principals, Staff
The teacher and the school principal are central to this enterprise and must be educated, selected, and encouraged with this mission in mind.

Principle 5: Community
Character education is not a single course, a quick-fix program, or a slogan posted on the wall; it is an integral part of school life.

Principle 6: Curriculum
The human community has a reservoir of moral wisdom, much of which exists in our great stories, works of art, literature, history, and biography.

Principle 7: Students
Finally, young people need to realize that forging their own characters is an essential and demanding life task.


Character education is not merely an educational trend or the school’s latest fad; it is a fundamental dimension of good teaching, an abiding respect for the intellect and spirit of the individual. We need to re-engage the hearts, minds, and hands of our children in forming their own characters, helping them “to know the good, love the good, and do the good.” That done, we will truly be a nation of character, securing “liberty and justice for all.”



Full Manifesto: CAEC, Boston University – School of Education

Image from Alamy, as displayed on



A Design Education Manifesto

A Design Education Manifesto

Creator: Mitch Goldstein, graduate student pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in Visual Communication at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Purpose: “…how to go through a design program and get the most out of the experience, and beyond as a creative professional.”


A Design Education Manifesto (selected highlights)

Always take risks.

You should be pushing yourself and you should be taking risks, especially in school. Big risks. Trying what may not work. Asking questions that may not have answers. Seeing if what you throw against the wall sticks.

Be aggressive.

Some professors will push their knowledge on you. Others will make you pull what you need from them. Ask questions of both. Challenge their statements. Ask for precedents.

Break the rules.

Defying the rules forces you to stray from the path of least resistance and ultimately make work that is more interesting, more meaningful and more fun to create.

Look at everything. Dismiss nothing.

Everything has potential to be interesting and influential. Not everything will be, but the more you see the better your chances are at seeing something that will be useful to you.

Be obsessive.

Obsession is what drives you to explore and find out as much as possible about something that interests you.

Be uncomfortable.

It is easy to get into the habit of making the kind of work you are comfortable making. Truly great, interesting, inspiring design comes not from comfort but from discomfort.

Be opinionated.

You should have opinions about design and the world around you. Preferably, you should have strong opinions. Ideally, you should have strong and informed opinions.

Be a cop.

A designer needs to act like a cop. When you are a designer, you are a designer 24/7/365. Always noticing, always observing, always designing, even if only in your head.


Complete Manifesto:

Manifesto for Competitive Sport

Manifesto For Competitive Sport

Creator: Tennis Coach Dan Travis

Purpose: Competition is a valuable and rewarding experience for children and competitive sport should be re-introduced into schools.


Manifesto for Competitive Sport

1. Bring back competitive matches and races

2. Stop pushing away parents

3. Play sport for sport’s sake – not for ‘health’

4. Reinvigorate community sport by rolling back ‘child protection’ bureaucracy

5. ‘Self esteem’ is not the end of sport


Complete Manifesto:

Author’s Website:

New Rules of Golf Instruction

Charlie King's New Rules of Golf Instruction

Creator: Charlie King
Purpose: To raise the standard of golf instruction so you can become the kind of golfer you dreamed of becoming.


The New Rules of Golf Instruction: A Quantum Shift in Instruction Ideas That Puts the Power in YOUR Hands


Download the 60 page ebook:

As mentioned in Ann Handley and CC Chapman’s book Content Rules:

Ainslie Hunter: Courses That Matter

Ainslie Hunter: Courses That Matter

Creator: Ainslie Hunter
Purpose: Start an online Education Revolution – to improve membership sites, and the calibre of teaching within those courses.


Courses That Matter: Teach people, not topics

Teaching matters so turn up.
Reach out. Communicate. Transform.
Value contributions. Plant seeds.
Online communities are living beings.
Feed them your best: best knowledge, best ideas, best of you.
Support members to construct their own knowledge, solutions to their own problems.
Design a safe space with shared interest and connections.
Real learning is driven by students, nurtured by teachers.
Learners are hungry. Learning is messy. Make it matter!
Provide more doing, less reading.
Be personal.
Content that explodes onto screens.
Experiences that stick and spread.
Provide social and personal opportunities.
Be open to transformation.
Be ready for personal connections.
Take time to learn yourself.
Your learners will become teachers to new learners.
Encourage this ripple effect.
It can all be achieve online.