Advancing the Movement of Deep Adaptation to our Climate Tragedy – New Governance and Strategy Processes

Message from the Founder, Professor Jem Bendell:

When I launched the Deep Adaptation Forum (DAF) in March 2019, my intention was to enable people to connect with others who shared an unusual and challenging outlook on the future. I could not respond effectively to the deluge of incoming mail that was precipitated by the release of the Deep Adaptation paper, but neither could I ignore the passion and pain being expressed by people from around the world. Therefore, an online network was launched to embody and enable loving approaches to our predicament. I thought that the framework of the ‘4 Rs’ might provide a guide, but the main aim would be to promote dialogue and initiative grounded in the principles of  compassion, curiosity and respect for others. Many volunteers stepped forward in that early stage, and a few donors, and I am very grateful to them. Now the Forum engages around 15,000 people, and supports some of those people to create local groups, give speeches and interviews, steward online discussions, launch initiatives, and facilitate gatherings both in person and online. Over 50 volunteers fuel that activity, with a core team of five freelancers providing support and coordination. Almost a year after launch, it is time for a new phase in the organising of the DAF, so it can better express and nourish what is becoming a global movement of deep adaptation to our climate tragedy. Therefore, as a Core Team, below we are making an announcement about the future structure. Thanks for reading on and for your continued co-creation of the DAF.

Jem Bendell, Founder, DA and DAF

Message from the Core Team on the future of the DA Forum:

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new governance mechanism for the DAF. The Holding Group is comprised of fourteen people who will together provide a formal means of confirming that the core team stays on track in developing and managing the DAF. A full outline of the role and processes of the Holding Group is provided here.

We are delighted to welcome onto the Holding Group fourteen individuals from a wide range of relevant backgrounds who are giving their time freely to help advance the movement (listed here). These members have been selected to enable a diversity and depth of perspectives on the broad DA agenda as well as the specifics of the DAF. Eight of the fourteen members are either current or past volunteers, with three of these selected by volunteer groups according to their own chosen processes. Six of the members have been chosen to provide quite different perspectives, as we anticipate how the DA agenda may unfold and how the DAF may change over time.

It is not an official board of trustees, as the DAF continues to be administered as a programme of the Schumacher Institute. We anticipate the Holding Group will oversee the incorporation of the DAF if and when activities and finances make that necessary. Many of the members are also active in other parts of the Forum. When acting as a Holding Group member, they will abide by the protocol for that role, which means that any issues about DAF activities, participants or personnel are discussed by the Holding Group as a collective, rather than acted upon individually by one member. Therefore, if any DAF participants have suggestions or issues they wish to raise, the first step remains to engage within the relevant volunteer group, and the second step is to reach out to the Acting Coordinator in the Core Team.

We are also pleased to announce the launch of the Deep Adaptation Strategy Options Dialogue this week, which will run until the end of April this year. This process offers an opportunity for volunteers and funders of the DAF to discuss ideas for action on the Deep Adaptation agenda and the role of an international network. People can either participate in online video meetings or provide written submissions on behalf of groups of volunteers (apply now here!). The process will produce an options paper which will be published and the Core Team will publicly respond to it in the third quarter of 2020. We hope we will have the resources available to implement some of the ideas.

We believe that both the Holding Group and Strategy Options Dialogue embody our intentions for growing the DAF until now. That is, a participative, emergent, dynamic, non-profit, free-of-charge, and volunteer-fuelled movement, where people act in service of truth and love in the face of a terrifying predicament. Going forward, the founder Jem Bendell will remain as a member of the Holding Group, and a member of the Core Team, specialising in research, education, communications and strategic advice for the coordinator. By the end of Q3 2020, the Holding Group will confirm new means of ownership and control of the digital assets of the DAF so that Jem can hand them over to a new and accountable system.

Thank you for your continued enthusiasm, trust and patience, as we do our bit through the DAF to advance the movement of deeply adapting to the unfolding disruptions from climate change.

Dorian Cave (Acting Coordinator, November 2019 to March 2020, Professions’ Network Curator)

Zori Tomova (Forthcoming Coordinator, April to August 2020, Platforms and Advocates Assistant)

Katie Carr (Senior Facilitator and Secretary to the Holding Group)

Jem Bendell (Founder)

Matthew Slater (General Assistant)


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