Surviving the Future: Conversations for Our Time is a flexible, interactive online course, designed to build and inspire a global community of people who are seeking new insights to help themselves and their localities through these times of profound change.
May 31 – July 25, 2021
Participants are expected to have read the late David Fleming’s book Surviving the Future, have stable internet connection and be willing to engage in deep conversations about the interlocking crises we face.
Over the past year we have twice run Surviving the Future: Conversations for Our Time, an online course which offers a long moment to pull back and think together, amidst these confusing and frightening times of interlocking crisis.
It has attracted over 300 participants from every continent on Earth, from those already hard at work on responses to those seeking their calling.
You can read the exceptional reviews below and/or here. But we have also heard a yearning for more: for deeper conversation, with a smaller group, and a shared base of understanding. So this is our new, complementary offering.
In my private conversations with high-profile thinkers and activists we are clear that none of us have neat answers to the impossible conundrums of the day. Likely there are none.
And that at least raises some important questions.
As the late David Fleming wrote “Do nothing that matters without consulting a conversation”. So now we want to go deeper, together.
The likes of Paul Kingsnorth, Kali Akuno, Eve Annecke, David Abram and Nate Hagens have already expressed enthusiasm in participating. For all our lack of neat answers, we believe we have uncovered some questions worth sharing, worth chewing over together. And some paths worth walking.
You are invited to join us.
- – Shaun Chamberlin
“Most of human history was bred, fed, and watered by another sort of economy. But the market has replaced, as far as possible, the social capital of reciprocal obligation, loyalties, culture and traditions with exchange, price, and the impersonal principles of economics.”
—David Fleming, Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It
We hope it will be repeated, not just for myself and my wife but so that this dialogue may spread and engage others in envisioning, learning and preparing for the uncertainties ahead.
Very thoughtful, full of important ideas and information.
- Weeks 1 & 2 – Energy and Technology
- Weeks 3 & 4 – Economics and Growth
- Weeks 5 & 6 – Nature and Populations
- Weeks 7 & 8 – Culture and Story
Low-carbon education allows course participants to remain rooted in their home communities and makes perfect sense when adapting to a world in which travel is not so lightly undertaken. Yet, of course, none of us can go it alone – as individuals or communities – so the online meeting space offered by this international course represents a unique opportunity for meaningful conversation, in dialogue with an array of leading-edge thinkers from across the globe.
The online format includes:
Guided (and open) access to LeanLogic.online
Live reflection webinars with Shaun Chamberlin (20-25 participants)
Live webinars for discussion with expert guests
Live social sessions for smaller-scale breakout conversation within the group
Weekly reading assignments and video content
Facilitated written discussion forums
Conversations for Our Time: The Deeper Dive provides space and time for in-depth conversational and written exploration of responses in the face of the interlocking crises we face – economic crisis, political crisis, biodiversity crisis, food crisis, pandemic crisis, climate crisis, spiritual crisis… what ties these strands together, and what stories do we want our lives to tell through this period?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who are the expert participants?
At this stage we have not confirmed the participants beyond Shaun Chamberlin, but Paul Kingsnorth, Kali Akuno, Eve Annecke, David Abram and Nate Hagens have already expressed enthusiasm in participating. Former participants have also included Helena Norberg-Hodge, Rob Hopkins, Kate Raworth, Martin Kirk, Lucy Neal, Richard Heinberg and Vandana Shiva.
How is the Deeper Dive course structured?
It is split into four two-week sections, as named above. The first week of each section focuses on an exploration of the deepest questions raised by that topic, informed by supplied resources including readings from David Fleming’s Lean Logic and elsewhere. The second week of each section focuses on how we apply those conversations in practice – “how shall we respond?”.
How often will there be live webinars?
As a minimum, there will be three 90 minute live sessions each week. Further live sessions will likely be organised in response to the needs/interests of the group. In addition, written discussions will continue in our course forum throughout, with active engagement from the facilitator.
What is the time commitment?
That is up to you. Our Surviving the Future courses are designed to offer a balance of flexibility and interactive opportunities for participants. Especially in such times, we completely understand that different participants will have differing levels of time and availability, and may be more interested in the live sessions, or written discussions, or the reading/video resources. The materials will also remain available to you after the course closes.
When will the live webinars be scheduled?
In an effort to accommodate participants from as many time zones as possible and to work within reason for the facilitator (Shaun/Western Europe) live webinars are usually organised for early afternoon Eastern Time, which is evening time in Western Europe. There may be some exceptions to those timings, but all webinars will be recorded and available to course participants within 36 hours of taking place.
Are there discounted registrations or scholarships available?
We are pleased to be able to offer sliding scale pricing in addition to our regular course price. If you have the ability to pay full price, we encourage you to do so as it supports our efforts to make this course more accessible to others.
This course has vastly improved my understanding of the world we currently live in and our predicament. It has also given me inspiration for my future life and lots of further resources to engage with to keep me on this new path.
I feel so blessed, so enriched, so humbled and so eager for others to have the chance I had here.
Very well done. I’m also glad you’ll be helping us stay connected and to continue to build this community, going forward.
What an amazing journey you took us all on! Immense gratitude to each of you!
About your Instructor
Shaun Chamberlin has been involved with The Transition Network since its inception, co-founding Transition Town Kingston and authoring the movement’s second book, The Transition Timeline. He was also one of Extinction Rebellion’s first arrestees, chair of the Ecological Land Co-operative, and has spoken at venues from Occupy camps to parliaments. In exploring the cultural narratives charting society’s course he has written and edited diverse publications, including drawing together Surviving the Future: Culture, Carnival, and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy from the work of his late mentor David Fleming. He is also executive producer of the film The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation? His website is www.darkoptimism.org.
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