Deep Adaptation Quarterly Winter 2020

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Every three months, this newsletter summarises activities happening under the banner of Deep Adaptation, as well as highlighting some relevant news and resources. We do not cover news on the latest climate science, weather, or impacts, as there are many other sources for such information.

Founder’s Commentary

From Prof. Jem Bendell

Last year we saw a major upswing in climate activism. But by the end of the year, questions were being asked by activists themselves about what to do next. A reminder of how difficult it is to generate significant political action came from the summit in Madrid. Greta Thunberg said, that from an emissions perspective “we have achieved nothing”. Within the climate protest movement Extinction Rebellion, activists have been debating whether its tactics will have a significant impact in future. One way that such activist movements could evolve is in accepting the slowness of change means that calling for political action for urgent and fair adaptation to climate disruption, including deep adaptation, is important. In 2020 we will likely see that happen.

This month I released a short documentary to contribute to that evolution of thinking within the youth climate strike movement, as well as XR Youth. The 30-minute video tells the story of Oskar, a 13 years old boy, who helped his school to engage with Deep Adaptation. I then discussed the subject with psychologist Dr Caroline Hickman, and I recommend our discussion. She was the first of 12 guests lined up for 2020.

For those of you who contributed to our crowdfund, either by donation or promoting it, thankyou on behalf of our small team of freelancers who support and coordinate the volunteers of the Deep Adaptation Forum. We have funds to keep going until July 2020 and are hopeful that with a new governance group in place from February, this initiative will be useful during the very difficult, but often uplifting, times ahead. I have been impressed at what can emerge, such as the regular Deep Listening sessions on the Positive Deep Adaptation Facebook group, and the launch of the Deep Adaptation Guidance database, which will become a place to find (initially free) counselling, coaching, facilitation and other forms of support. If you are able to help us do more, then please consider becoming a patron.

Those two initiatives are focused on the psychological and emotional aspects of this agenda. Even if you don’t have direct experience of climate impacts, being attuned to the devastation and suffering is difficult. Living with an expectation of worse to come can be even more challenging. Sometimes in the past months, emotions have run high on some of our platforms. With over 9000 participants in the Facebook group, the moderators do a difficult job for free, so I am very impressed and grateful. They often explain to participants how we welcome all emotions, including anger, as long as these are not taken out on other people within the group, or expressed with prejudice against ‘categories’ of person. Sometimes they need to remove posts or suspend participants for breaking or disagreeing with those rules. This is upsetting for us, but we are committed to maintain some spaces in person and online where we can explore the implications of our predicament with kindness and curiosity.

As we look ahead to the coming year, we would like your input. Members of the DAF core team and several volunteers are currently looking into a set of important questions: What are people learning (be it in practical or psychological terms, or otherwise) in part from their participation in the platforms of the Deep Adaptation Forum? How might we improve the usefulness of those platforms and activities?’ Please take 5 to 10 minutes to answer this questionnaire to help us figure these things out. Your input will be much appreciated and will feed into a strategy development process that will be announced on all our platforms later this month.

As I am writing a book and helping the Forum become established to run without my direction, I am not doing much teaching or public speaking before October 2020. So if you are a dynamic change-maker promoting Deep Adaptation – and live in mainland Europe so could get to Greece over land and sea, please consider applying for the last 6 places on my June retreat. Other activities around the world are listed on the events page of the Professions’ Network here. You can also check out local groups here.

Thanks, Jem

Our New Initiatives

DA Guidance Database

Lots of volunteer work has gone into creating the new Guidance Database, a list of practitioners who stand ready to support people struggling with collapse-awareness and its attendant emotions, a database of methods commonly used to support individuals or groups or children in processing collapse, and a blog with original content on this subject.

DA Podcast

We’ve compiled the best Deep Adaptation media into a podcast. We’re still in the process of listing it in the popular libraries. You can find the actual feed here.

New Landing Page

All the Deep Adaptation resources and platforms are now visible in one place from

Highlights on the Professions’ Network

We have selected a few highlights so you can see what is happening within the different platforms.

Community Action Group

Super thread about engaging with the Transition Towns network.

Philosophy Group

What role, if any, does philosophy play in Deep Adaptation?

Lets’s talk about forgiveness

Narrative & Messaging Group

David Baum continues to invite feedback on the Deep Adaptation pamphlet he has been working on and Dan Vie brought up the need for visual maps, infographics, and other promotional materials.

Upcoming Deep Adaptation Events

PortraitQ&A with Dahr Jamail, author of The End of Ice Feb 24th. Dahr is an award winning journalist and author who spent more than a year in Iraq reporting on the 2003 war and has also reported for The Guardian, The Independent, The Nation, The Huffington Post, Truthout, Le Monde Diplomatique, and Al Jazeera English, among many others. Since 2010 he focused his reporting on anthropogenic climate disruption and the environment and in 2019 he published The End of Ice. Join the Professions network to participate.

PortraitQ&A with Amisha Ghadiali from ‘The Future Is Beautiful’ podcast March 12th.
Amisha is an experienced facilitator and has a gift of bringing people into connection with themselves, each other and the earth. Her Presence Mentoring programme supports clients in clearing unconscious patterning, opening up new qualities within and anchoring daily practice and rituals which support a lifestyle that recognises the sacred, and creates a deeper connection with both the inner world and the earth. Amisha’a background has included working in political activism, the sustainable fashion movement and co-founding a tech start-up. Join the Professions network to participate.

PortraitQ&A with Sister Jayanti, European Leader of Brahma Kumaris April 14th.
Sister Jayanti is a spiritual leader and teacher for over 50 years. She is a pioneer advocate for the spiritual basis of caring for the earth and a key presenter at COP climate change conferences since 2009. She has championed the co-operative role of spiritual organisations in creating a just and peaceful world. She brings spiritual principles to the discussion tables of politicians, economists, business leaders, scientists and nearly every stakeholder of our times. Join the Professions network to participate.

Forest clearing UK Course Leading through Storms: business and climate change. May through to Feb 2021.
A unique 10-month programme for leaders and senior coaches & consultants who support them. It offers a community of practice to enable you and your organisation to understand and adapt to the climate crisis and related ecological and social impacts, using Deep Adaptation as a key part of our process. Led by a team including Alan Heeks, who has over 20 years corporate management experience. Jem Bendell will attend and help lead the first group.

Recommended Audio-visual

Some new podcasts have been launched. These include:

  • Come Together – Joyful conversation about climate change, the collapse of civilization, and the end of the world.
  • Embracing Apocalypse explores the many truths being uncovered by the tumult of our times, and openly wonders how we might best show up for, and adapt to, our changing world..
  • Poetry of Predicament is Dean Walker’s YouTube channel with wide-ranging conversations.
  • Rev. Michael Dowd has recorded many thoughful interviews and important articles, available as a podcast on SoundCloud.

The Deep Adaptation Groups Network includes:

Adaptación Profunda Positiva #APP (Positive Deep Adaptation – Jem Bendell) For the Spanish speaking community. Contact: Aline Van Moerbeke
Adaptation radicale : un guide pour naviguer dans la tragédie climatique For the French speaking world. Contact: Julien Lecaille
Deep Adaptation Discussion and Action Group A space to discuss the four “R’s” and how these questions may be used to redesign our individual lives, livelihoods, etc. and how they may apply to us, our households and communities. Contact: Silvia di Blasio.
Deep Adaptation Hungary – Készülj & Alkalmazkodj – for the Hungarian community, to share, support, plan and move ahead, together. Contact: Balazs Stumpf-Biro
Deep Adaptation Ireland For those located on the island of Ireland. Contact: Cian Langan
Deep Adaptation Parenting A safe and nurturing place for parents to share their thoughts, emotions, ideas, and resources on the topic of raising children in this challenging time.
Positive Deep Adaptation UK Local group, focused on the concerns of people based in the UK, who have shown an interest in the Deep Adaptation paper written by Jem Bendell in 2018, and the issues it throws up. Contact: John Cossham
Deep Adaptation | Wie leben im Angesicht der Klimakrise? For German-speaking people, mostly from Germany.
Dyp tilpasning Norwegian group, open to Swedes and Danish people as our language is understandable across borders. Contact: Sigrid Haugen
PNW Positive Deep Adaptation For the Pacific Northwest region of North America. Contact: Jim Chastain
Positive Deep Adaptation Oceania – Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand etc For the respective region. Contact: Aimee Maxwell
Positive Deep Adaptation: Santa Cruz County and Monterey Bay, CA For Santa Cruz County and Monterey Bay, California, US. Contact: Ami Chen Mills-Naim
Practical PDA Focusing on practical adaptation. Contact: Sarah Bittle
St. Louis and surrounding areas of Missouri and Illinois. A practically focused DA group, for communicating/organizing activities and discussions. Contact: Tim Ely
Extinction Rebellion A group anchored in the DA values and principles from the perspective of Extinction Rebellion, which is confronting and opposing systemic existential threat via the XR principles and constitution. Initiated in Southern Africa, open to global participation. Contact: André S. Clements