The Deep Adaptation Retreat – June in Greece

22 — 29 JUNE 2019 € 520* inclusive


With Jem Bendell and Katie Carr

The emerging realisation that climate change is becoming a destructive tragedy, not just an urgent challenge, is profoundly disorientating for many people. How are we to feel? What are we to do? What might become the purpose of our lives and work in the face of imminent societal breakdown from climate chaos?

You are warmly invited to join us for a week of dialogue and reflection with people working on this Deep Adaptation agenda. We will focus on nourishing the inner resilience for us all to help make this a kinder and more sacred unravelling of life-as-we-know-it. We will draw upon the experiences of participants, a range of experiential exercises as well as facilitated connection and exploration that welcomes emotional, spiritual and somatic ways of being and (un)learning, as well as the cognitive. Our aspiration is that we will support peaceful empowered surrender to our predicament, where action can arise from an engaged love of humanity and nature, rather than redundant stories of worth and purpose.

This retreat is for you if you:

– are engaged around the implications of climate breakdown for your personal and professional future
– sense that a week in nature with people on a similar path could support your journey and healing

(View from balcony of the centre)

Within a safely held and gently facilitated space, we aim to explore the possibilities for meaning, purpose and joy amidst the climate tragedy, whilst cultivating the practice of welcoming the whole range of human emotions, including those that are painful and usually pushed away. The focus is on inner adaptation rather than policies for reducing the harm from societal collapse. The retreat is part of a wider movement on Deep Adaptation. Our hope is you leave better able to host future gatherings on this agenda, and feel more peaceful in your ability to be alongside and support others in their own journeys.

The retreat is hosted within an intentional community which lives lightly and beautifully on the verdant green and blue shores of the Aegean. The food is mostly locally sourced, all home-cooked and vegetarian. A stunningly wild beach is a 20-minute walk away, while old villages are nearby through forests. We can only host 10 participants at the centre, so early booking is essential.

You are invited to bring a reading, practice or insight to share that is helping you to explore living lovingly and actively in the face of climate-induced collapse.


Katie Carr pic

Katie has hosted and facilitated collaborative learning processes for 15 years, within formal education settings, with communities, and within organisations, most of which can be summed up as “exploring what it means to be human and alive together”. She brings to this work a love of people, and heaps of gratitude and respect for the privilege of being alongside others, and of learning together to become increasingly lovingly aware of the dynamic relational space between us where connection happens.


Professor Jem Bendell is the originator of the concept of Deep Adaptation to near term societal collapse due to climate chaos. Five years ago, Jem began offering transformational professional development courses after 20 years pursuing a variety of methods for social change. From anti-globalisation activism and sustainability consulting in the late 1990s, via senior management in large environmental organisations and research roles with the United Nations. Jem’s approach to education is participative, experiential and focused on the whole person. He now dedicates his time to helping people, and himself, evolve in response to the latest climate science.


Include the workshops plus full accommodation with 3 daily vegetarian meals (except for one evening out in a Taverna) in a tent €520, a triple room €570, a twin room €670 and a single room €820.  All rooms are en suite with sea views and/or balcony.

(The coastline near the retreat centre is the Mediterranean at its best)


Friday, the 1st day, is our arrival with check-in, registration and the welcome meal in the evening. Dialogue and reflection will begin after dinner with an opening circle. The 2nd day includes a welcome circle with our hosts, the volunteers of Kalikalos. From the 3rd day onward our rhythm will flow as follows:

8:30am – 9:30am Breakfast
9:30am – 10:00am Opening Circle
10:0am – 10:45am Opening Seminar
10:45am – 11:30am Participants share a resource (text, art, other) or personal story, with discussion.
11:30am – 12:00am Drinks break
12:00am – 1:00pm Group Activity (experiential exercises)
1:00pm – 1:30pm Closing Circle
1:30pm Lunch
2:30pm – 6:00pm Free time for individual or shared reflection (beach, forest, villages).
6:30pm Karma Yoga (supporting the community)
8:00pm Dinner
9:15pm – 10:30pm Optional evening activities (some activities such as Ecstatic Dance are organised at nearby centres).

On one of the days the morning session will involve a walk. The flow of the daily sessions above is indicative; actual activities will be woven organically from the programme above in response to the emergent needs and wishes of the group.

In the spirit of collaboration and community-building, you will be asked to contribute about 4 – 6 hours/week to some center tasks like food preparation or joining the washing up team.

Afternoons are leisure time – to enjoy marvellous beaches, to dive into a wild untouched nature with great hiking paths and waterfalls…..   or just hang out in a hammock to rest…



99 thoughts on “The Deep Adaptation Retreat – June in Greece”

  1. Amazing how people cannot just *stop* and live/learn where they are, instead of Consuming just one more Experience. The combination of lack of self-awareness along with high self-regard is something our race cannot escape even In Extremis, it would seem.

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  3. I’d be interested in this kind of gathering, but flying somewhere to discuss our personal relationship with climate catastrophe would fill me with such a sense of internal discordance, and a loss of moral compass. Why not have this event in the UK? It’s beautiful here in June. How do you justify this???

  4. I’m really surprised and shocked to read about this retreat…. being in Greece, and therefore encouraging people to fly. Can’t we connect with each other, support each other, listen to each other, process our grief, start to think about how to live etc without flying (and spending a large sum, 500 euros exc flight)? I don’t think this is a good idea AT ALL. Sorry to be so negative, I don’t generally comment negatively BTL, but this is really off. It shocks and nauseates me the same way as Davos – billionaires flying in on 1500 private jets to discuss poverty and climate change. If this is what those of us who are awake to climate breakdown are going to spend our time doing, then I fear the absolute worst. Very disheartening.

    1. Hi Cathy,
      Its true that less CO2 would be emitted if Jem visited everyone who asked rather than suggesting they come to him. Even better would be if more experts and facilitators were to pick up this theme and offer more workshops in more locations. Maybe they will. You might be more or less shocked to read this article Jem wrote as a full-on sustainability activist.

      1. Thanks for the quick response, Matslats. I have read that article, and I still don’t buy it because….. there are just as good, if different, alternatives. Such as: virtual meetings, bottom up local XR-type networking (rather than just relying on one key individual alone to spread the message), and, even though you mention it only to apparently dismiss it, travelling overland to meet the audience rather than the audience flying to meet you, like Greta Thenberg at Davos who travelled 32 hours by train to get to those massed billionnaires. I would even suggest they are better alternatives, because they are in alignment with our aims, and not jarringly counter to them. (of course you can criticise someone driving, or even existing, in this modern world where everything is outsourced to underpaid suffering fellow humans in far-off places, but that is what-iffery which avoids the issue here which is the *massive* carbon footprint of everyone flying to a Greek Island “retreat”).
        Even while I was reading & digesting your response, look what popped up on my Facebook feed:

      2. I’m really glad to hear that! Maybe you could mention that in front of the Greek retreat blurb so hopefully reducing the number of people flying to join a Jem workshop? People can then choose to not-fly, maybe spend some time in the beautiful English countryside, even find somewhere with a view as stunning as the Greek island one you show, and join the online conversation.

      3. I’ve only recently encountered the Deep Adaptation agenda and started exploring, with much interest, the articles here. I too was brought up short by this advertisement for a Mediterranean retreat holiday.

        I also read the ‘Carry on Flying’ article, which seemed to suggest that it’s OK to fly all over the place provided you’re an activist doing ‘important’ work; ordinary folk were requested not to fly.

        A couple of years on from that article, Jem Bendell’s Deep Adaptation paper mentions the idea of implicative denial and cites ‘renouncing flying’ as one of a number of ways we can be distracted from the possibility of climate-related collapse.

        I don’t know whether anyone even marginally engaged with the issue of climate change really feels that making a personal decision not to fly is sufficient to absolve them from considering the wider reality of our predicament.

        But I can’t help feeling there’s a moral case for not exacerbating the problems we all face. I also refuse to accept that imminent societal collapse means we can self-indulge as much as we damn well like on the grounds that we’re all f*cked anyway.

        I would very much like to understand the organisers’ and attendees’ justification for jetting out to this admittedly delightful looking retreat.

    2. I found this blog this week and after really enjoying and becoming absorbed in one post… I scrolled down to immediately see an advert for a holiday!? Extremely, extremely jarring and unreal. The scientists (and children) I have had most respect for on my journey of learning about climate change so far have been those that stick by their principles of not willingly making the problem worse. Let alone inviting other people to do it as well, to enjoy nature, for a price (moral and monetary.)

      I’m disappointed and I feel it’s wrong on a gut level, no matter the justification. I mean, for f*ck’s sake! Here I am scraping by so I can study sustainability whilst also working full time, and every day I carry immense guilt for even owning a car… mentally I could really do with some of this nice discussion stuff and a feeling of connection and sharing of grief where I am… and meanwhile, more educated people than me are throwing events that you have to fly to?! I quit my high-carbon job and moved back home so that I could reduce my footprint and join in with a community I’d grown up in; I felt I was needed here; to join up with others to better face climate change, and I felt that I needed to enjoy my home before it changes.

      But I can understand why some may feel called to the Mediterranean and not Kingston upon Hull.

      Greta Thunberg wouldn’t put up with this sh*t.

  5. Great to meet each other but we can do so much online without having to travel. I’d prefer to save that for in-depth meetings, for planning and the like. Online can be soooo powerful. I’ve made some of my most significant and “deep” friendships online, partly because we can meet over days and weeks and months – and years. A conference is over so quickly. I might try to impress people in an intensive conference setting and not let down my guard.
    I would actually prefer online first and fly to meet when and if there’s a very deep connection established. .

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