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Resources from Jem Bendell on Deep Adaptation

I work part time with the University of Cumbria in the UK (less than 2 days a week). Cumbria is known as a beautiful part of the UK and being wonderful for hiking (opportunity for a fab landscape photo!). The University is not old, but builds upon traditions of its prior institutions and their emphasis on interdisciplinary research, experiential learning, outdoor education, critical sociology and the serving professions. Therefore the University has been ideal for me in how it welcomes interdisciplinary applied research with a social purpose. Aside from our teaching commitments, every so often we are asked to summarise some of our most relevant activities in research and outreach. I am sharing this information also here on my blog, so that it is easier for me to share with other audiences in future (and for me to find!). If you engage in the matter of our climate crisis, then I hope some of the links to talks, events and publications are of interest.

Invited conference keynote speeches:

“Introducing Deep Adaptation to climate chaos” June 10th 2021.
Keynote to the EU commission, organised by Globe EU (with participants from DG Grow, DG Environment, DG Move, DG Climate, and the EU Defence Agency.
Info on the event: https://www.globe-eu.org/globe-eu-wakeup-calls/
Transcript of speech: https://jembendell.com/2021/06/11/for-environmentalists-covid-is-the-elephant-in-the-zoom/
Video of speech: https://www.globe-eu.org/globe-eu-wakeup-calls/
Key commentary:
I explained the scientific basis for why leaders in society need to work on preparing for disruption, in ways that engage civil dialogue, to enable wiser responses than if panicked or decided by agencies without public scrutiny.

“Why help people express thoughts and feelings about perceptions of societal collapse” 13th March 2021
Keynote to New Zealand Association of Psychotherapy conference “Climate Crucible”
Info on the event: https://nzap.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Climate-Crucible-programme.pdf
Background notes on the presentation: https://jembendell.com/2021/02/18/should-we-discuss-our-anticipation-of-collapse/
Video of speech: not released yet
Key commentary:
I explained the insights from my autoethnographic exploration of the process of communicating about collapse risk and readiness, and how I had been interfacing that with readings in psychology. I explained the way ‘experiential avoidance’ amongst scholars and others working on environmental issues may be restricting dialogue on preparing for difficult scenarios.

“Taking Deep Adaptation to Heart” June 22nd 2021
Keynote to the ‘Open University’ event, University of Groningen, Netherlands
Info on the event: https://klimaatadaptatiegroningen.nl/en/events/live-event-open-university-on-climate-adaptation
Video of the speech: https://youtu.be/fLCXTeYv5f4
Key commentary:
I explained how the rise in epidemics can be undertstood in relation to the destabilising of ecosystems and the stress on species within them, which means we can understand widespread societal disruption from environmental breakdown as already having started (whether Covid has natural origin or a lab origin due to scientists conducting risky experiments to prepare for an era of pandemics induced by environmental/climate change).

“Organisational Implications of Anticipating Societal Collapse” December 2nd, 2020
Keynote speech to University of Bath
Info on the event: https://www.bath.ac.uk/events/deep-adaptation-and-system-wide-disruption-of-organisations-for-sustainability/
Video of speech https://youtu.be/VGtYBTdICEY
Key commentary:
This is my most comprehensive introduction to the deep adaptation agenda and framework, in the form of a lecture.

Panel presentations:

“Why Deep Adaptation Matters to Universities” 19th May 2020
Panel presentation to the Climate Commission of the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC)
Info on the event: https://www.eauc.org.uk/shop/mms_single_event.php?event_id=6915
Video of the speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AS-6rtQYuU4
Key commentary:
I explained how many scholars now privately anticipate societal disruption and even collapse, and there need to be more public conversations and initiatives about the implications, including ones that go deep into inquiry about what we learn and unlearn from this crisis, tragedy and predicament.

“Leading in a time of dying” November 9th 2020
Panel presentation at the “Leading at the Edge”, conference of the International Leadership Association
Info on the event: http://www.ILA-net.org
Notes for the presentation are here: https://jembendell.com/2020/11/09/leading-in-a-time-of-dying-notes-for-talk-at-ila-2020/
Video of the panel: https://youtu.be/LVhya0RO-v0
Key commentary:
I explained my insights from 2 years working to launch the Deep Adaptation Forum, where I had applied approaches based on a collaborative leadership approach to social change.

“Climate activists must advocate on adaptation” 9th May, 2021
Panel presentation at the XR World conference
Video of the talk: https://youtu.be/p11ylUmfhUE
Key commentary:
I explained how activists can be more open about how they now anticipate a breakdown in our way of life, and see it happening already around the world, and that is why we act to promote a just form of adaptation to these disruptions. It’s too late and unhelpful to stick merely to activism on mitigation as otherwise the adaptation and “restoration” policies are left to elites to counterproductively shape in their own interests.

Public lecture for Cumbria University:

“Universities facing climate chaos – approaching deep adaptation” May 18th 2020
Open Lecture, University of Cumbria
Video of the speech: https://youtu.be/81_n9wJJ9x4
Key commentary:
I explained how Universities are not getting ready for adaptation to climate change, in either philosophy, strategy, teaching, research or outreach, and what they could do if they fully recognised the depth and urgency of the implications of rapid climate change.

Public seminars (organised and participated):

Deep Adaptation book launch, 7th July 2021
Panel presentation about why we did the edited book
Video of the event: https://youtu.be/Phoe6H0laaQ
Key commentary:
Why it is important to help people in professional roles to understand that a wide variety of researchers and executives in all walks of life now anticipate disruption and even societal collapse, and are exploring how to change what they work on to respond.

“The Current Monetary System is Driving Us Faster Towards Collapse” 25th March 2021
Panel presentation and chairing discussion about a research paper on the monetary growth imperative
Video of the event: https://youtu.be/CZ81-IduGfg
Key commentary:
The current monetary system, with the requirements associated with new loans (the source of the money supply) and the levels of accumulation that result, mean that money becomes scarce for those who service debts, and thus the economy and the money supply must expand to enable the system to work, thereby necessitating increased resource consumption.

“Deep Adaptation Forum Q&A with Jem Bendell” 3rd September 2020
A seminar of DA Forum participants asking me questions
Video of the event: https://youtu.be/HCMV7STX_dI
Key commentary:
A wide range of issues came up, including the philosophy behind the Forum, which is to enable co-creation of this agenda.

“Deep Adaptation Forum Q&A with Jem Bendell #2” 19th January 2021
Another seminar of DA Forum participants asking me questions
Video of the event: https://youtu.be/p5dfO7I42Cc
Key commentary:
A wide range of issues came up, with some time exploring how people in the emerging Deep Adaptation movement might learn from, respond to and transcend the criticisms from people who think that our existence is counterproductive.


“What could possibly go right?” 30th March 2021
Interview with Post Carbon Institute
Video of the interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZKYJjDxeos
Key commentary:
I talked about the way a realisation that our current system has failed and breaking down has been unleashing people to transform the way they live, with new boldness and creativity about love-in-action.

“Navigating the realities of climate chaos” 4th July 2021
Interview with Facing Future TV
Video of the interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPr8-fmkI5w
Transcript of the interview: https://www.resilience.org/stories/2021-07-09/jem-bendell-on-deep-adaptation-to-climate-chaos/
Key commentary:
I gave what I consider the most comprehensive summary of what Deep Adaptation analysis, ethos, framework, community and movement. I also explained some of my own journey towards coming up with that concept and approach, including the role of Improvisational Theatre with practical anti-authoritarians in my personal and professional development.

Academic Publications

Here are some of my academic outputs in the since the beginning of 2020. Many are downloadable via Insight.

Bendell, Jem (2021) Psychological insights on discussing societal disruption and collapse. Ata: Journal of Psychotherapy Aotearoa New Zealand .

Bendell, Jem and Carr, Katie (2021) Group facilitation on societal disruption and collapse: insights from Deep Adaptation. Sustainability, 13 (11). e6280.

Bendell, Jem and Read, Rupert (2021) Deep Adaptation: navigating the realities of climate chaos. Wiley, London.

Little, Richard and Bendell, Jem (2021) One reason there are many bad leaders is the misleading myth of “leadership”. In: Ortenblad, Anders, (ed.) Debating Bad Leadership: Reasons and Remedies. Springer, pp. 234-259.

Place, Christophe, Bendell, Jem, Chapman, Ian, Mcphie, Jamie and Murphy, David (2021) Integral research on the Lake District Pound: Six mixed methods for assessing the impact of a currency. International Journal of Community Currency Research .

Arnsperger, Christian, Bendell, Jem and Slater, Matthew (2021) Monetary adaptation to planetary emergency: addressing the monetary growth imperative. Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS) Occasional Papers Volume 8. University of Cumbria, Ambleside, UK.

Kieft, Jasmine and Bendell, Jem (2021) The responsibility of communicating difficult truths about climate influenced societal disruption and collapse: an introduction to psychological research. Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS) Occasional Papers Volume 7. University of Cumbria, Ambleside, UK

Bendell, Jem (2020) In the company of rebels: towards a role for cross-sector partnering in radical change and deep adaptation to climate chaos. In: Murphy, David and Marshall, Alison, (eds.) Citizenship and sustainability in organizations: exploring and spanning the boundaries. Routledge, London.

Carr, Katie and Bendell, Jem (2020) Facilitation for Deep Adaptation: enabling loving conversations about our predicament. Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS) Occasional Papers Volume 6. University of Cumbria, Ambleside, UK.

Willocks, Katie, Bendell, Jem and Little, R. (2020) Professional Learning from Disturbances in Healthcare: Managerialism and Compassion. International Journal of Management, Knowledge and Learning, 9 (1).

And.. in case you read French, in September 2020 my sole authored book on L’Adaptation Radicale was published. Available here.

Everything I have listed above would not have been possible without many companions on my journey of research and public engagement. If you have been involved, thank you. Photo credit: My Mum.