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GULL - Global University for Lifelong Learning (GULL)

Updated on January 18, 2014

The GULL Vision - Building Community Through Developing Leaders

GULL is a nonprofit public benefit corporation incorporated in California, USA. GULL is recognized by the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and endorsed by other Governments, Leaders & Institutions. GULL's aim is to equip everyone, particularly the disadvantaged and dislocated, to acquire practical knowledge and skills through lifelong learning. This approach to personal and professional development is designed to give access to practical education to people who would not normally be able to access formal education.

GULL - Enabling YOU to Make a Difference in OUR World

Lifelong Action Learning for Community Development: Learning and Development for a Better World - The Story of the Global University for Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Action Learning for Community Development
Lifelong Action Learning for Community Development

I was privileged to launch "Lifelong Action Learning for Community Development" with one of the co-authors, Richard Teare (Founder of GULL). The book develops the paradigm of Lifelong Action Learning and then discusses Richard's work in Jamaica, South Sudan, PNG, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Tanzania, East Timor, Cambodia and Logan, Brisbane.

I discuss the book and its launch in a blog post on my business website:

Book Launch: Lifelong Action Learning

A more detailed review of the book is available here:

Lifelong Action Learning for Community Development: A Book Review

If you are If you are looking for a book that is at once inspiring and practical, visionary and grounded, conceptual and instructional, you have come to the right place.

The book can be purchased through these outlets:

Sense Publications


Book Depository

GULL's Mission

Enabling YOU to make a difference in OUR world...

Richard Teare, President of Global University for Lifelong Learning

The GULL Vision - Richard Teare, President of GULL, explains the vision behind GULL

Here Richard Teare talks about the power of recognition to build the sense of self-worth and belief of community volunteers. He explains GULL's role in providing recognition.

The GULL Approach to Learning

The GULL approach is highly flexible and adaptable to conditions as diverse as the jungles of Papua New Guinea and the desolated environment of Haiti. GULL employs action learning to empower individuals, communities and organizations to sustain learning and apply the outcomes to create a better world. A particular focus is developing and recognizing the capacity of community workers to contribute to their community. A GULL award is recognition of real learning-in-context and contribution to a local community or workplace. These young people are working way outside their comfort zone to make a community contribution.

While the make-up of the various degree awards (bachelor, master and doctorate) varies with the situation, the key components are listed below and demonstrate that the learning is embedded in the role and context of the participant and measured in terms of personal, organizational and community outcomes.

  • Personal Learning Statement - completed at the outset with the aid of a mentor and focuses on self-assessment, learning goals and desired outcomes (for self, community and organization).
  • Daily Reflection Report - a diary that builds reflective practice and focuses on what went well and not so well (and why) and what the participant would do differently (and how)
  • Outputs Report - focuses on primary learning outcomes (for self, organization & community), community outcomes and recommendations for further action.
  • External Review Interview/Presentation - the focus here is on explanation, validation and assessment of the quality of the in-context learning and community outcomes.
  • Action Learning Set - providing supportive challenge and engagement in a learning group focused on asking fresh questions, exploring assumptions and collaboratively identifying /overcoming learning barriers.

Haiti Earthquake Destruction Downtown

Haiti Earthquake Destruction Downtown
Haiti Earthquake Destruction Downtown

GULL, World Vision and HOPE for HAITI - Vision-GULL: Collaboration between GULL, World Vision and UNICEF

The Global University for Lifelong Learning (GULL) and World Vision International (WVI) have launched an education program in Haiti. This is the first time GULL has offered their education programs in a post-disaster setting. The Vision-GULL Program will give Haitians the opportunity to complete a professional degree (at a bachelor, master or doctorate level) through a unique community education approach built on action learning and measurable personal and community outcomes.

The GULL program in Haiti brings together GULL's unique approach to personal and community capacity building with World Vision's initiative titled. "Early Childhood Development Learning Space". The following characteristics of this FREE Program highlight its cascading effects for the Haitian community.

  • The primary outcome focus is on providing relevant learning for young (often traumatized) children (under 8 years of age) who live in the dense, tent camps without access to education because of the destruction of their schools and/or lack of money.
  • 500 volunteer educators (aged 17-25) are working as pre-school teachers for the children. They are unable to access high school or university because of the earthquake destruction. The educators will able to achieve a Bachelor of Professional Studies (Community Education) through GULL by engagement in, and reflection on, their work with the children.
  • World Vision staff in Haiti who will act as coaches and mentors for the volunteer educators will be able to enter a pathway to a Master of Professional Studies (Community Education) degree. The GULL action learning approach will be supplemented by training inputs from World Vision. The WVI staff will be awarded their degree on the basis of proof of the outcomes they achieve for the volunteer educators and documentation of their personal learning and growth in professional skills.

Tent Camp in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Tent Camp in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Tent Camp in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Vision - GULL for Haiti

This initiative will help Haiti's next generation find a future for themselves in this country.

Noach Ochola, World Vision's Senior Advisor for Children in Emergencies

Haiti Recovery - from the Gift of Gifts

Haiti Recovery - from the Gift of Gifts
Haiti Recovery - from the Gift of Gifts

GULL Endorsements from World Leaders

The Global University for Lifelong Learning (GULL) is a nonprofit public benefit corporation, registered in California, USA on 18 July 2007. GULL is recognized in perpetuity by the State and Government of Papua New Guinea & endorsed by other Governments, Leaders & Institutions.

GULL seeks government endorsement wherever it supports lifelong learning. In this way, GULL's global recognition is localized to provide regional and national identity in the form of letters of support from government ministers, deputy ministers and other agencies. The endorsement formats include: official letters, videographs, speeches and testimonials and items from journals, magazines and newspapers.

GULL University - Insight into GULL and action learning


The Concept of GULL,

GULL in the Community,

GULL in the Workplace,

China Launch 28/12/2012,

Personal Viability,

The Grassroots University of Life

GULL and Practical Professionalism

Recognition and certification for those creating change in the community

GULL develops practical professionalism by recognizing and certifying the effort and outcomes of people in the local community who are creating change for a better world. In discussing practical professionalism, Dr. Sarone Ole Sena had this to say about GULL's approach in Africa:

"professionalism is a process that is developed ‘by doing’ reflecting and refining over many years".

This statement resonates with Donald Schon's classic work, "The Reflective Practitioner", where he discusses the true nature of professionalism.

GULL's approach to developing practical professionalism may relate to community facilitation, farming, education or any of the other change-related activities in the community.

In Kenya, GULL through its holistic action learning approach has been developing the confidence and commitment of community facilitators. In this endeavor, they have worked closely with World Vision International, Tearfund, Compassion International.and other organisations.

Gull's broad-based education approach enables people to learn through living and growing as individuals in the context of creating positive change for their communities. It brings education to the people, not people to education.


Richard Teare on the virtual university, organizational learning and the hospitality industry. Also, "The Life and Times of Sir Howard Cooke".

GULL - A Samoan Perspective

I think that GULL is going to give people hope, a greater sense of their worth and in so doing, help

restore or boost their human dignity. Nobody wants to be 'Nobody' - everyone wants to be 'Somebody'...

In so doing, it will assist many people to realize the potential that they have within them to help themselves, their families and the wider community...and create hope for the future.

Faimalotoa (John) Pale, Samoan Chief, Community Leader and President, 'Voice of the Samoan People' Qld

MIRIAM MAKEBA & NINA SIMONE - Thulasizwe / I Shall Be Released

GULL is a Tribe

...a group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader and an idea.

Seth Godin (Tribes)

The Most Important Thing

Great leaders create movements by empowering others They establish the foundation for people to make connections...

There are three things needed for a tribe:

- a leader

- a shared interest

- a way to communicate

With Tribes flourishing everywhere, there's a vast shortage of leaders. We need YOU!

Source: Seth Godin, Tribes: We Need YOU to Lead Us


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    • CrossCreations profile image

      Carolan Ross 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      The concept of lifelong learning and the genuine efforts toward philanthropy embraced by GILL(and YOU) are impressive.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      G'day Ron

      GULL looks a great initiative. From what I can see it offers practical learning and tools to those whose life goals include service and the elimination of servitide. My sense is that great leaders enable others to lead from within and with a compassionate connection to others. GULL sounds the goods. OI look forward to exploring the possibilities.

    • ronpass lm profile imageAUTHOR

      ronpass lm 

      8 years ago

      @OhMe: Yes, the leaders are very passionate about their mission to bring education and recognition to the under-priviledged and disadvantaged. Their approach is based on the work of Reg Revans, Father of Action Learning.

    • ronpass lm profile imageAUTHOR

      ronpass lm 

      8 years ago

      @JoyfulPamela2: Thanks Pamela, there are certainly some amazing people behind the movement who have a great vision and determination to make a difference.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I had never heard of GULL and it sounds like a wonderful organization. Thank you for all this great information.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image


      8 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Ron, this looks like a wonderful organization. Thank you for sharing this opportunity with us to help people around the world. : )

    • ronpass lm profile imageAUTHOR

      ronpass lm 

      8 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks for your comments Michael - it was great to catch up with you in Brisbane and be inspired by your global work in helping to educate communities and provide support for community-based volunteers..

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Community-based volunteers are the unsung champions of many a successful education, health, or income generation initiative hidden in difficult parts of the developing world. They find ingenious ways of adapting well-intended models or practices that donât really fit the realities of local contexts and making them work. With GULL, we finally have a system that further builds the capacity of these creative action learners and then professionalizes the critical role they play in the development process at the same time.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Ron, the new GULL website is being redesigned to be made entirely from raw multimedia files (no more pdfs or flash slideshows, instead just raw text and images). Hopefully this will be easier to implement into Squidoo...It is likely that we will change our video host to Youtube for the new site. Hope to hear from you and keep up the great work on Squidoo.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Ron, I support you and GULL 100% and I am working with colleagues to use the Gull processes with the Samoan community in Brisbane, Queensland. Meanwhile I am overseas and trying to finalise my new book which discusses GULL as an example of action leadership.

      All is well here in Germany. I hope the same with you!

      All the best,


    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hi Ron - Thanks for sharing about GULL here and this lens (with audio) is superb!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hey Ron,

      I have a super idea involving the audio and trends. Thanks for the heads up, old boy.


    • ronpass lm profile imageAUTHOR

      ronpass lm 

      8 years ago

      @anonymous: Great to be of help Brett. I think the applications for this audio player are endless. It makes Squidoo even more powerful as a marketing platform. The beauty of it is that you can personalize your message with your own voice, orient the reader of your Squidoo lens and highlight key features of what you are promoting, whether a charitable cause like GULL or an affiliate product.

    • ronpass lm profile imageAUTHOR

      ronpass lm 

      8 years ago

      @SusanDeppner: Thanks Susan - it really contracts the world. As Seth has pointed out, if you have a leader (like Richard Teare), an idea (bring lifelong learning to the disadvantaged), and communication strategies (incl. video, alliances and personal appeal), you can create a global movement (Tribe) that generates its own momentum.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      8 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Amazing how the world is shrinking and how organizations such as GULL are able to reach out to so many different communities worldwide. Quite an ambitious and important undertaking!

    • ronpass lm profile imageAUTHOR

      ronpass lm 

      8 years ago

      @chefkeem: Thanks Achim - Richard is not only acting as a leader of a Tribe, he is creating an environment worldwide for developing future leaders of Tribes.

    • chefkeem profile image

      Achim Thiemermann 

      8 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Thank you, Ron, for telling us about this valuable organization. Let's try to support GULL as good as we can, and really make a difference for thousands of people!


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