Professor Jem Bendell

Notes from a strategist & educator on social & organisational change, now focused on #DeepAdaptation

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Charity in the Face of Collapse: The Need for Generative Giving not Strategic Hubris

Posted by jembendell on April 4, 2019

In recent months, I have talked privately to more third sector workers, activists, philanthropists, religious leaders and government officials who seek to be useful in the world at this difficult time. They have been reflecting on what it is they could be doing and supporting with their funds, networks and know-how.

People involved in funding charitable activities have a particular challenge, because climate change risks undermining everything. Whether you sponsor a school, human rights organisation, lifeboat, museum, donkey sanctuary or something else, it is all going to be affected by climate chaos and a societal collapse. Crucially, the threat of imminent societal collapse poses a challenge to normal notions of prudence within charitable foundations. Why only spend the earnings or a share of the endowment each year when we have such a short window for action to reduce the scale of the catastrophe ahead?

brown ship steering wheel

Photo by Maël BALLAND on Pexels.com

This topic of likely collapse is so huge and all-encompassing that it affects everybody in every part of the world in every professional practice, in their work, family, community and political lives. Last year I wrote about the various forms of collapse-acceptance and the ways I have been seeing people integrate this into their lives and the choices they are making professionally and personally. Since then I have been on my own journey. As I have a background in non-profit and foundation strategies and performance, writing a report for the UN over a decade ago, I am interested in how activists and grant makers are exploring where to focus their energies and funds. To aid your thinking, I am going to list some of the approaches I have heard people taking, before explaining why I have taken a different path with the launch of the Deep Adaptation Forum. I share these ideas because if you are someone who could provide grants for others, then you have an important role to play as the world wakes up to our predicament.

First, you could decide to attempt to reach the most powerful people in the world in terms of decision-making power and the ability to move money and seek to help them understand, decide and implement what to do to buy societies some time before a societal collapse, reduce harm during the process and plant the seeds of a new way of life. Who might such powerful people be? In my experience of working with board level executives of large organisations and top politicians, I know they are limited within what their roles allow. Therefore, some people are now looking towards engaging the billionaires and leveraging their power to promote wider change. Let’s call this the Benevolent Billionaire strategy.

Second, you could decide to reach out to those who are disproportionately affected by climate chaos, because of our concern for human rights, equality and justice. For instance, you might seek to help disadvantaged communities to become more resilient to future financial or food shocks, or the breakdown in law and order. Or you could try to increase the voice of people from marginalized groups within countries and worldwide, on policies in general and climate adaptation in particular. With this approach it also makes sense to focus on young people and helping them to prepare. Let’s call this the Solidarity Forever strategy.

Third, you could decide to begin from where you are at, and therefore look at what skills and networks you have that you could re-purpose for this agenda. You could do that even if the people and activities involved might not be the most important in terms of systemic or scalable impact. Your reason could be that you would know what you are doing and who you are talking to. So, if you are working in investment finance, you might seek to bring “deep adaptation” into your investment work. Let’s call this the Step-by-Step strategy.

Fourth, you could seek to raise awareness about impending collapse, as fast and as wide as possible, without an allegiance to any one approach to reducing harm. That might involve you joining a civil disobedience campaign, getting arrested, tweeting a lot or just having tough conversations with colleagues, friends and family. Let’s call this the Shout-it-Out strategy.

Fifth, you could take time to re-discover what it is you most love doing, now that your old stories of identity, conformity, respect for the system and for incremental change no longer hold true for you. That might mean you drop everything, sell your house and retrain as a yoga teacher, breathwork host, or documentary film maker. No, this isn’t fiction. I’ve talked to many who are exploring such a path. Let’s call this the Live-a-Little strategy.

I suggest these names for the different strategies to make it easier to discuss (for instance, leave your comments below). I have been supporting such responses in a number of ways in the months since my Deep Adaptation paper came out (downloads from the top right). But I see they all have some limitations. Benevolent Billionaires can prove elusive and once engaged tend to have their own ideas, set hard from a past of ego-affirmation. A Solidarity Forever strategy soon comes up against the realisation that while people can do some things in their local communities, they aren’t really in control of most means of resilience. And working street-by-street really doesn’t seem to match the urgency of our challenge. A Step-by-Step Strategy soon invites confusion, apathy or ridicule from people who are busy on their normal work and wondering “what’s got in to you”. After such set-backs you can begin to wonder why you are seeking to influence a profession that probably won’t exist in 10 years. I can report that the Live-a-Little strategy feels wonderful. Until it doesn’t. And you begin to desire to be doing something a bit wider. If you are that-way-inclined, then the Shout-it-Out strategy also feels wonderful. Until it doesn’t. And you begin to wonder whether waving placards, avoiding police batons and hoping government wakes up will impact much in the long run.

As I wrote at the start, this agenda affects everyone you know and all aspects of their life. That’s why I have found it difficult to give all my focus to one of those five types of response I listed above. So what should receive our attention and funding?

A typical strategic approach to grant-making is where the funder asks a person or organisation to present an argument about what is important to do for a specific target group, with a clear theory of change and mechanisms of accountability. That sounds very sensible, and far more professional than the kind of grant-making that seeks to make the donor look good (or less bad). But given the predicament we are in, I do not believe the typical approach to be suitable for all forms of philanthropy. Because to focus on that approach would reflect a hubristic view that we can predict the future, control reality, as well as the idea a donor has a better view than others. Instead, none of us really know what the heck to do right now as we face unprecedented times. Therefore, I see the importance of helping people, whose acceptance of likely collapse is affecting them deeply and transforming their approach to work and life, to find each other and co-create initiatives of all kinds. Therefore, the Deep Adaptation Forum and its associated social networks is not based on a strategy for enabling change other than helping people come together around this agenda and explore ideas from a spirit of compassion, curiosity, respect, and agency. That means we still believe that there are things that can be done to buy humanity time, reduce harm and enable learning, perhaps awakening, within these difficult times.

Within the Forum we are pursuing these aims by supporting the formation of professional groups, from coaching to schooling to farming, where people are enabled to meet by videolink. We professionally facilitate those online meetings as well as train volunteers to do so. We are also supporting in-person dialogues that use open space facilitation to respond to the issues that participants wish to discuss. We have launched monthly online Q&A sessions with relevant experts. The Forum is and will remain free and activities are produced through voluntary work and small donations that are paid direct to freelancers. Many new projects may emerge over time, from the participants themselves. To guide that emergence, we are clear about how we wish to both embody and enable loving approaches to our predicament. That might sound obvious, but on this topic some people take discussions towards preparing for violence, while others say that nothing is worth doing at all.

Aside from the Forum, what kind of philanthropic or grant-making philosophy could be useful today in the face of increasing climate-related disruptions to our way of life? If you are providing grants for specific services to the disadvantaged, such as victims of environmental catastrophes, famines or wars, then questions of efficiency and traceability are important. However, this kind of grant-making does little to address the causes or risk factors behind the such troubles. To work on that, invites us to support wider efforts at education, cultural change, governmental reform and economic reform. In that arena, my experience in giving and receiving financial funding is that the most interesting and powerful impacts and the best relations are where four things are made explicit.

First, that the funding is a gift. It is not about the funder trying to build their own profile and power or to control the recipient. It is a statement of faith in the person, their organisation (if they are within one), the general domain of action and the unfairness of our societies which create such divisions between those with funds and those without.

Second, that the funding is to empower the recipient to work on the issue domain as they determine, where the forms of action may change as the recipient learns along the way and as situations evolve.

Third, that the grantee shares the grant-makers’ philosophy of responsiveness to those with less power in society, and so does not impose their solutions on others. This leads to a form of cascading downwards accountability to push back against power injustices in society.

Fourth, that the funder and recipient agree to a means of ongoing communication which is like that of honest and critical friends, rather than one seeking to please the other. The extent of communication is agreed between the two and might simply involve a bimonthly email update and video call.

I will call this approach Generative Giving. It recognises that the wisdom is not within the funder, but is found through dialogue between the funder, funded and those affected. The likely impact is not increased by more spreadsheet entries in either the planning or reporting. Instead it is increased by basing relations in a spirit of gift, trust, empowerment and dialogue. It is the kind of approach that the freelancers of the Deep Adaptation Forum have benefited from greatly. If you share this philosophy, we would love to hear from you (via the About page).

I realise that if you work as a grant maker in a foundation then it is not so easy to fund activities in the way I have just described. In the pursuit of professionalism and accountability the field of charitable giving has been twisted into a bureaucratic process, overseen by trustees who assume a quiet life and don’t rock the boat. Well that boat is about to sink. Given that we face societal collapse due to climate chaos, the financial assets that support philanthropy will evaporate in the process. The power of the philanthropist only exists within this society and our systems. Therefore, it would be prudent to spend down an entire endowment within the next ten years to try and buy humanity time, reduce harm and seed what might come next. If that means changing the core rules of a charitable foundation, or flouting them, then so be it. Now is the time for trustees and grant-makers to rebel against a stifled approach that is not fit for our time of crisis.

Posted in deep adaptation, Uncategorized | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Notes on Hunger and Collapse

Posted by jembendell on March 28, 2019

Did you know that four years ago some scientists announced that their model was projecting how “society will collapse by 2040 due to catastrophic food shortages” – unless humanity suddenly changed course?
No, me neither. And I’m a Professor of Sustainability Leadership. The scientists were from Anglia Ruskin University’s Global Sustainability Institute. The fact such warnings slip us by is why activists from Extinction Rebellion are demanding our media and politicians pay attention. Because climate change is not just about being nice to nature or to people on the other side of the world. Rather, it means more of us won’t be able to afford to feed ourselves or our families. Which means even worse, as a hungry country is an ungovernable one.
How alarmist or sensible is this shift in focus from climate to calories and the threat of chaos? It is a shift I have been promoting within the environmental movement since last year when I concluded we have entered a period of rapid climate change. Urgently we need to discuss emergency measures from national and local government, philanthropists and the private sector to help people to be fed and watered in situ for as long as possible. These measures can be informed by some of the very latest analyses from organizations like the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) but could also arise from a precautionary approach that recognizes how recent crop-damaging weather may not actually be anomalous and instead represent a new best-case scenario within a rapidly altering climate.
I am not an expert on food security, and so to write these notes on hunger and collapse means I am venturing in to areas that I am new to. There are many professionals in the food security sector who know far more than I about both the science of agronomy or the politics and economics of food distribution. But I know that some of them are sounding alarm bells within their organizations, questioning whether the models used to inform previous reviews of worst-case scenarios might not be fit for purpose. I am not going to try and become an expert in the field of food security and intend this to be both the first and last article I write on it. Rather, I am sharing ideas here to encourage those internal debates within research organisations and government agencies, that need to be had so that those of us in wider society can have honest conversations about how we reduce harm in the face of climate-induced disruption to our way of life.
In these notes on hunger and collapse, I will summarise some of what I have learned about the current situation with food security and why I think climate change now threatens food security in the West. My view doesn’t mean we can’t do anything to help. Instead, I mention a few areas where policies might be useful. I am not confident they will be adopted at scale in time, and so I still believe that a societal collapse is on the horizon. But I write these notes in the hope I might be proved wrong.
An Overview on Food Insecurity
earth desert dry hot

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

First, as an astute reader you could already be thinking that I’m ignoring how millions of people are starving already. While enough food is produced today for all of humanity to eat sufficiently, great numbers of people face crisis levels of food insecurity, requiring immediate emergency action to safeguard their lives. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO, 2018a) estimated that 80 million people in 2015 were going hungry in that way, 108 million people in 2016 and 124 million people in 2017. Therefore, for increasing numbers of people, a collapse or breakdown in their way of life is a present reality, not something to anticipate or debate. Last year the FAO identified climate change as one of the main factors for this situation of increasing hunger worldwide, although the politics and economics of distribution remain key. The bombing of Yemen can and should be stopped. But climate is not something we can fix with a peace summit, and so those FAO findings on the trends in malnutrition are deeply worrying.
Last year was an unusually hot and dry year in the Northern hemisphere. It showed clearly how grain and vegetable production is negatively impacted by climate change. Most Northern and Central European countries reported important end-of-summer declines in cereal production, with losses estimated to reach between 23.6% and 33% in the Baltic states and Finland, and between 14% and 20% in Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark and Sweden (European Commission 2018a, 2018b, 2018c; EDO, 2018). Although a 20% decline across the whole of Europe was being predicted by some farmers’ organisations at the end of the summer,  the reported fall of grain output over the past year has since been calculated as 7.2% (FAO, 2018b). Several Northern European countries were more severely affected (Masante et al, 2018), experiencing declines up to 50% in some crops (Feed Navigator, 2018). The potato harvest in Germany, the biggest European producer, was down 25%-30% compared with usual quantities (Pieterse 2018). The Lithuanian government declared a state of emergency, and Latvia acknowledged the harvest as a natural disaster (Food Ingredients First, 2018).
It is no wonder that food prices to the consumer have risen more than usual in many Western countries. But most of us aren’t malnourished. Because we buy so much food from around the world. We are dependent on a complex global industrial consumer economy. In 2018 the rest of the world helped out the West more than usual, as global food production was only down 2.4% (FAO 2018b). Most of the world’s cereals comes from a few net exporting countries like Russia, Canada, US and France and Thailand. If harvests fail, then countries often respond by imposing export bans which block the usual trade flows of food, leading to a ‘domino effect’ of price rises. Until now the hardest impacts have always been felt within import-dependent low-income countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.
It would take an even wider experience of disruptive weather than 2018 to affect global food availability. How likely is that? I have been asked this question a lot since I released my paper on Deep Adaptation last year. So I decided to have a look at what food security researchers have been saying and how they develop their views.
Food security research reports that sudden losses of food production have become increasingly frequent over the past 50 years. While some of these shocks take place due to geopolitical crises, extreme weather events are also dominant drivers – over half of all shocks to crop production systems were a result of extreme weather events. Besides, these shocks also increasingly affect crops, livestock and aquaculture simultaneously (Cottrell et al., 2019). One expert in the FAO explains “The problem is variability. Extreme weather events – cyclones, hurricanes, rainfall, hail fall, high temperatures in August in northern Europe. The unpredictability is the hardest element, and it seems that unpredictability is here to stay.”
One major influence on weather is El Niño, a climate cycle in the Pacific Ocean which happens with varying magnitude every 2-7 years. Increases in the strength or frequency of El Niño are a cause for concern over future food security. The 2015–2016 El Niño was one of the strongest events of the past 100 years, leading to drought in large areas of Africa, parts of Central America, Brazil and the Caribbean, as well as Australia and parts of the Near East (FAO 2018a). In August 2016, 61.6 percent of all Vietnamese crops were very severely damaged or lost (FAO 2016a). However, that year saw plentiful monsoon rains in SE Asia which offset those Vietnamese losses. An El Niño event seems likely in 2019, but not such a strong one (FAO 2018d). If it coincides with damaging weather in the key breadbasket countries in the Northern Hemisphere, then we could see significant impacts on food supplies.Here I am describing worst-case scenarios, where many key food producing regions are hit in the same year. Current simulations of worst-case scenarios use historic lows. For instance, one was run by Global Food Security in 2015, where the worst-case scenario combined drought-related impacts on yields of maize and soybean (which happened in 1988/89) and on wheat and rice (which happened in Europe, Russia, India and China in 2002/03). The report indicated that consumers in large industrialised countries such as the US and EU, where food represents a small share of household expenditures, would be relatively unaffected (GFS, 2015a).
Like me, you may have noticed a problem with basing analyses on what has happened in the past. If we are now in the early stages of non-linear changes in our climate due to heat-reinforcing feedback loops, then it isn’t sufficient to assess future scenarios based on historic worst-case instances combined into one global event. The problem with current food security work is a reliance on existing climate modelling. From that basis the weather of 2018 is seen as an anomaly. So we are told reassurances that “weather isn’t climate” and that we can expect future years to be better. Never mind that 2019 is already more volatile. Given that temperature records are being broken every year, 2018 could become the new normal, or even a good year.
It is clear that our food system is going to be under weather pressure like never before. On top of the direct impacts of extreme temperatures, droughts and floods, there is also the secondary impact of adverse weather making plants more susceptible to disease. Crop pests pose a greater threat in an era of rapid climate change, given that more than 75% of the world’s food comes from just 12 plants and five animal species (World Economic Forum 2018). Then there is the problem of climate impacting on the biodiversity essential to our agriculture. On land, the collapse of insects presents a challenge for pollination. In the seas, the acidification from dissolved CO2 is going to reduce fish stocks. Earlier this year the FAO (2019) issued a severe warning about the threat to our future agriculture from our collapsing biodiversity, in part due to climate change.
Some professionals in the food security field are waking up to the implications of this new era of volatile weather. In IASSA they have started looking at the potential for multi-breadbasket failure, which rather worryingly now deserves its own acronym – MBBF. Their scientists are looking at how simultaneous climate extremes in our major grain producing regions could have knock-on effects of shocks on other parts of our food, economic and political systems. A famous example of a climate shock leading to food security issues and consequent social unrest, war and migration is the Arab spring.
As we look at the situation, it is worth remembering that our buffer against MBBF is not huge. Global food reserves would feed all humans for 103 days, if fairly distributed, something we have never done. We would have 249 days in reserve if people were able to east the food currently intended for farm animals (FAO 2018b). The United Nations “Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk” comes out in May this year. Given how food underpins everything, it will be interesting to see how it reports on this most systemic of risks.
If you are worried, then that is good, as it means you can join conversations about what might be done about it.
Policies to avert hunger and postpone or soften collapse 
Policy makers need to understand how global food production and distribution systems are likely to cope with declines in yields of staple crops. This requires an understanding of the food storage system and more importantly markets which determine who gets the food.
Until the past decades of neo-liberal policies, governments kept strategic grain reserves to feed their citizens. Now they prefer the greater efficiency of global markets (with the notable exception of certain countries such as China or India). A troubling aspect of this development is that sometimes the countries most in need of reserves are those least able to pay for them (Fraser et al, 2015). Reserves are controlled by a handful of corporations, which are not averse to manipulating commodity prices if it will increase profits. In the case of a global decline in food production this means that rich and poor will be trying to eat from the same pile. You don’t have to actually own the commodity in order to shift the prices. Financial speculation (in all markets) has the effect of amplifying price movements. For example, World Bank estimates on the 2008 drought reported that “up to 30 percent price increases occurred based on anticipated fallout (from drought impacts and biofuel production on corn crops) rather than the shocks themselves” (GFS, 2015b).
The global food system is made all the more vulnerable to extreme weather events as global supply chains have been optimized for efficiency, with buffer stocks reduced in line with an understanding of supply volatility that is consistent with a stable natural environment (Dellink et al. 2017). The conclusion is clear. Liberalizing the worlds agriculture and food systems, including their financing, means they are not easily adapted to increasing climate disruption and may make matters worse. So, policy makers need to think again, and fast.
Radical and detailed alternatives to the free market global food system do exist. In his 2017 book Nourrir l’Europe en temps de crise (“Feeding Europe in Times of Crisis”), the French agronomist and “collapsologue” Pablo Servigne outlined a comprehensive program for food systems around Europe and the world that would be more resilient to potential disruptions with climate and oil supply. These food systems, centered on agroecological principles, would be localized and diversified, decentralized and autonomous, circular and transparent. Servigne also suggests that urban agriculture could act as a means of bringing people together in community.
Many of Servigne’s recommendations fit with those of the FAO. In a special 2016 report on climate change, agriculture and food security, the organization recommends a focus on sustainable intensification of agricultural production (increasing the efficiency of resource use, conserving and enhancing natural resources); the use of agroecology; more efficient management of water, carbon, and nitrogen cycles; and crop diversification (FAO, 2016b).
Being new to food security, I am very aware that there are far more trained, experienced and skilful people than I who will be able to develop policy. To help their conversations, I have jotted down some initial thoughts on what they might consider:
• First, importing countries need to increase domestic production of basic foods, including through irrigation, the use of greenhouses, as well as urban and community-based agriculture.
• Second, importing countries need to geographically diversify sources of food imports rather than rely on whatever is cheapest or habit.
• Third, all countries need to diversify the range of species involved in their domestic agriculture, with a focus on a wider range of resilience to weather stress, and this be done with a holistic agroecological approach, recognizing the threat from collapsing biodiversity.
• Fourth, governments need to re-instate the sovereign management of grain reserves and prepare for requisition of private grain reserves in crisis situations.
• Fifth, a treaty and systems may be needed to help keep the international food trade going despite any future financial or economic collapse.
• Sixth, national contingency plans may be needed to prepare for food rationing so that any rapid and major price rises are not allowed to lead to malnutrition and civil unrest.
• Seventh, in the absence of significant new forms of government action on food security, local governments need to act, including through partnerships with companies that can manage food distribution.
• Eight, we should undertake controlled experiments with Marine Cloud Brightening (MCB) over the Arctic Ocean, to try and reduce the warming in the Arctic and slow down the damaging changes to northern hemisphere weather. That does not mean wider geoengineering makes sense but that MCB is important to try in this limited way, given the catastrophic potential of further Arctic warming.
Will any of these policies, or better ones, be enacted both soon and worldwide? If you think humanity will change production systems quickly to reduce dependence on rain-fed grains, while also change our commercial food system as quickly to help ensure everyone is fed, then I can understand if you think there will not be widespread societal collapse. In my experience and analysis I do not think people in political systems can respond that quickly across the world. Which is why my own conclusion, as sad and shocking as it may be, is that near-term societal collapse is now inevitable.
Collapse is Underway for the Hungry Millions
Today’s global food production largely exceeds what is needed to feed the entire world population; hunger is caused by an unequal distribution of food and artificial scarcity (Holt-Giménez et al, 2012). So our current food system that leaves 120m people in acute hunger is already dysfunctional, even murderous. A persistent decline in yields of staple foods would exacerbate those flaws, starving ever greater numbers in countries with weak economies. The global food system is dangerously and increasingly optimized for efficiency and profit rather than ensuring everyone has food. With the political will and time, we could have a much more resilient food system and thus slow down the onset of societal collapse due to widespread hunger. Our problem is that to adapt we will need a paradigm shift in policies on global food supply and distribution, complemented by a revolution in community-level food production. The latter can be developed now but the former is unlikely.
As the Extinction Rebellion brings this subject into the homes of more people, so journalists will naturally ask questions of the food security experts. What will they say? I know that behind the scenes, concerned staff are being told by their bosses to be less pessimistic. We can understand why. We know senior managers are hampered in their ability to respond to information that challenges what their organization does or how it will be viewed. If new information challenges the cultural norms that someone has been adept as displaying in order to reach the top, then they face an identity disintegration before being able to engage properly with the new agenda.
If you are someone with a senior role, you probably know what I am talking about. Perhaps you still think you might be a bit of a fraud and so do all you can to prove otherwise. Or perhaps you have gone on a leadership course and been helped to regard your power as your destiny. If either of things are true, and you work in food security, I invite you to step outside that insecurity for a moment and listen to those colleagues trying to look at our situation with fresh eyes, for the good of humanity. And then let them speak to the public, so we can have fresh conversations about deep adaptation to our climate predicament.
As I am not specialising in food security and not writing more about it, if you want to engage on these ideas, please consider the Food and Agriculture interest group of the Deep Adaptation Forum. My thanks to Deep Adaptation Forum members Dorian Cave and Matthew Slater for their research support. 
References

Cottrell, R.S., Nash, K.L., Halpern, B.S., Remenyi, T.A., Corney, S.P., Fleming, A., Fulton, E.A., Hornborg, S., Johne, A., Watson, R.A., Blanchard, J.L. (2019) “Food production shocks across land and sea.” Nature Sustainability 2, 130. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-018-0210-1

Denkenberger, D.C., Pearce, J.M. (2015) Feeding Everyone No Matter What: Managing Food Security After Global Catastrophe. Academic Press, London.

European Commission (2018a) “JRC MARS Bulletin – Crop monitoring in Europe. August 2018” JRC MARS Bulletin Vol 26 No 8 (27 August 2018). Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/sites/jrcsh/files/jrc-mars-bulletin-vol26-no08.pdf

European Commission (2018b) “JRC MARS Bulletin – Crop monitoring in Europe. September 2018” JRC MARS Bulletin Vol 26 No 9 (17 September 2018). Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/sites/jrcsh/files/jrc-mars-bulletin-vol26-no09.pdf

European Commission (2018c) “Short-term outlook for EU agricultural markets in 2018 and 2019”. Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development — Short-term outlook No 22. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/info/files/report-eu-agricultural-markets-short-term-outlook-autumn-2018_en

 

EDO, The Copernicus European Drought Observatory (2018) Drought in Central-Northern Europe – July 2018, JRC European Drought Observatory (EDO) and ERCC Analytical Team. Available at: http://edo.jrc.ec.europa.eu/

FAO (2016a) 2015–2016 El Niño – Early action and response for agriculture, food security and nutrition – UPDATE #10. August 2016. FAO, Rome. Available at: http://www.fao.org/3/a-i5855e.pdf

FAO (2016b) Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, The State of Food and Agriculture. FAO, Rome. Available at: http://www.fao.org/3/a-i6030e.pdf

FAO (2018a) Building Climate Resilience For Food Security And Nutrition, The State Of Food Security And Nutrition In The World. FAO, Rome. Available at: http://www.fao.org/state-of-food-security-nutrition/en/

FAO (2018b) Food Outlook: Biannual Report on Global Food Markets, July 2018. FAO, Rome. Available at: http://www.fao.org/3/ca0239en/CA0239EN.pdf

FAO (2018c) 2018/19 El Niño advisory. FAO, Rome. Available at: http://www.fao.org/3/ca2530en/CA2530EN.pdf

FAO (2019) THE STATE OF THE WORLD’s BIODIVERSITY FOR FOOD AND AGRICULTURE, FAO, Rome. Available at: http://www.fao.org/state-of-biodiversity-for-food-agriculture/en

Feednavigator.com (2018) “Reduction in EU grains and oilseed output forecast”. September 20, 2018. Available at: https://www.feednavigator.com/Article/2018/09/20/Reduction-in-EU-grains-and-oilseed-output-forecast (accessed 2.7.19).

Foodingredientsfirst.com (2018) “European drought: Starch supplier Avebe braces for ‘historically low potato harvest’” Available at: https://www.foodingredientsfirst.com/news/european-drought-starch-supplier-avebe-braces-for-historically-low-potato-harvest.html (accessed 2.7.19).

Fraser, E.D.G., Legwegoh, A., Krishna, K. (2015) “Food Stocks and Grain Reserves: Evaluating Whether Storing Food Creates Resilient Food Systems.” J Environ Stud Sci 5, 445–458. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13412-015-0276-2

Global Food Security (2015a) Extreme weather and resilience of the global food system, Final Project Report from the UK-US Taskforce on Extreme Weather and Global Food System Resilience, The Global Food Security Programme, UK. Available at: http://www.foodsecurity.ac.uk/assets/pdfs/extreme-weather-resilience-of-global-food-system.pdf

Global Food Security (2015b) Review of Responses to Food Production Shocks. Resilience Taskforce Sub Report, Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Available at: http://www.foodsecurity.ac.uk/assets/pdfs/review-of-responses-to-food-production-shocks.pdf

Holt-Giménez, E., Shattuck, A., Altieri, M., Herren, H., Gliessman, S. (2012) “We Already Grow Enough Food for 10 Billion People … and Still Can’t End Hunger.” Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 36, 595–598. https://doi.org/10.1080/10440046.2012.695331

Masante, D., Barbosa, P., McCormick, N. (2018) Drought in Central-Northern Europe–July 2018. EDO Analytical Report. JRC European Drought Observatory (EDO) and ERCC Analytical Team.

Pieterse, L. (2018) “Germany: Historic low potato harvest seriously impacts seed, processing sectors until 2020.” Potato News Today, November 14, 2018. Available at: https://potatonewstoday.com/2018/11/14/germany-historic-low-potato-harvest-seriously-impacts-retail-seed-and-processing-sectors-until-2020/ (accessed 2.7.19).

Servigne, P. (2017) Nourrir l’Europe en temps de crise. Vers des systèmes alimentaires résilients. Actes Sud, Arles.

Posted in deep adaptation, Uncategorized | Tagged: | 23 Comments »

“Grieve Play Love” short film on climate despair

Posted by jembendell on March 24, 2019

“Grieve Play Love” is a 9 minute short film by Jem Bendell, set in Bali, released in March 2019. 

The text of the voiceover follows below. A message from the filmmaker:

“In early 2018, my life changed. I studied climate science again for the first time in 25 years and discovered how bad it is. My estimation is that our complex consumer industrial societies won’t cope with the new pace of weather disruption to our agriculture. I published a paper on my conclusion, inviting deep adaptation to our climate tragedy, and was swamped with the response. Many people were and are, like me, traumatised by this realisation of a future societal collapse. I made this film for them. If that is where you are at, I hope it helps.

I made it where I was living at the time, in Indonesia, and drew on the beauty of nature and culture that still exists on this wonderful planet. You’ll see it’s a long way from a protest, political meeting or boardroom. But I hope the beauty in the film affirms once again what it is we love and stand for. How we live fully without pushing away difficult emotions triggered by awareness of our climate tragedy is going to have as many answers as there are people coming to this awareness. To help your own journey, I recommend connecting with others on this agenda at www.deepadaptation.info

 

“All great and beautiful work has come of first gazing without shrinking into darkness” John Ruskin

Voiceover:

After we accept the full tragedy of climate change, what do we have left?

Most people I meet sense that life is meaningful. Belief in a future is one way we look for such meaning. A future for ourselves and our family, our community, country, and the planet.

It is why it is so difficult to accept where we are today. What future can we believe in now? And if that isn’t possible, where can we find meaning?

I left my job as a Professor and came to Bali to sink in to those questions.

And to grieve.

I grieved for my years lost to compromise. I grieved the loss of my identity. I grieved how I may not grow old. I grieved for those closest to me, and the fear and pain they may feel as things break down. I grieve for all humanity, and especially the young.

Within this despair, something else happened. My long-held defences began to melt away. I was opening-up.

Not everyone can leave to heal in a place this. But I want to tell you my story because so many of us now grieve over climate change.

Most Balinese seem so at ease with their life. In the temples in every household, children play at the symbolic graves of their grandparents. That’s not like our modern societies where we seem to hide death away. Could feeling the impermanence of everything be an invitation to experience life more fully?

I was drawn to connect more to myself, others and nature.

Breathwork, dance, fasting, improv theatre, chanting, circling and guided meditations.

I was opening to beauty and spontaneity. To connect without expectation. To create without certainty. And to welcome what’s transcendent into my life. I see that love can be the anchor during waves of anxiety, sadness and grief.

I was reminded of how my friend with terminal cancer experiences more gratitude and wonder. And how our last meeting was more beautiful due to the ending ahead. Awareness of the finite amount of time we all have on this Earth gives more power to the choices we make.

Your own path for grieving an environmental and social breakdown may not be like mine. But there is a path and it leads beyond despair.

So what of our future?

My vision is of a world where more of us are open to curious, kind and joyful connection with all life. My hope is we will discuss ideas without a want to prove ourselves right.

Because there will be tough decisions ahead. We can make universal love our compass as we enter an entirely new physical and psychological terrain.

And so, I was ready to re-engage with my profession, but with a faith to express my truth, however difficult. Opening a conference at the United Nations, there was really only one thing for me to say.

“We now know that many self-reinforcing feedbacks have begun to further warm the planet, threatening to take the future out of our hands. So if we don’t wake up from our delusions of what is pragmatic and appropriate, then shame on us.”

“…our intention for creating things needs, more often, to arise out of our love for humanity and creation…. The technology we seek is love.”

Feeling our pain at the ongoing destruction of life, we may find relief in the idea of a divine force beyond this time and place. But if doing so, let’s not withdraw from our fellow humanity. Climate chaos invites our loving immersion with life as we find it. We can rise into, not above, these times.

Alan Watts:

“The Earth is not a big rock, infested with living organisms, any more than your skeleton is bones infested with cells. The Earth is geological, yes, but this geological entity grows people. And so the existence of people is symptomatic of the kind of universe we live in.”

We may grieve the loss of life, and feel despair or anger at how this happened. But whenever it comes, human extinction will not be the end of consciousness or the cosmic story.

There is no way to escape despair. But there is a way through despair. It is to love love more than we fear death. So ours is not a time to curl up or turn away. It’s a time to dance like we’ve never danced before.

Before loss there was love.

After loss, love.

Before grief there was love.

After grief, love.

Our essence is never in danger.

When all else falls away,

Our essence can shine.

So, what does love invite of us now?

 

Grieve, Play, Love was co-directed by Jem and Joey. It was filmed, edited and sound engineered by Joey. It was written, voiced and produced by Jem. Jem and Joey met at http://www.connectionplayground.org

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The Love in Deep Adaptation – A Philosophy for the Forum

Posted by jembendell on March 17, 2019

By Jem Bendell and Katie Carr

Many more people are waking up to the predicament we are in, where rapid climate change threatens the future of our societies – and even our species. Hundreds of thousands of people have downloaded the Deep Adaptation paper and thousands joined the Facebook group. Launching the Deep Adaptation Forum is one means of enabling that interest to become useful collaboration.love

As people begin to work with our colleagues and discuss what “Deep Adaptation” could mean (and what it doesn’t), we wish to clarify some core ideas that have been expressed in more detail elsewhere.

Deep Adaptation refers to the personal and collective changes that might help us to prepare for – and live with – a climate-induced collapse of our societies. Unlike mainstream work on adaptation to climate change, it doesn’t assume that our current economic, social, and political systems can be resilient in the face of rapid climate change. When using the term social or societal collapse, we are referring the uneven ending to our current means of sustenance, shelter, security, pleasure, identity and meaning. Others may prefer the term societal breakdown when referring to the same process. We consider this process to be inevitable, because of our view that humanity will not be able to respond globally fast enough to protect our food supplies from chaotic weather. People who consider that societal collapse or breakdown is either possible, likely or already unfolding, also are interested in deep adaptation.

Four questions guide our work on Deep Adaptation within the forum:

  • Resilience: what do we most value that we want to keep and how?
  • Relinquishment: what do we need to let go of so as not to make matters worse?
  • Restoration: what could we bring back to help us with these difficult times?
  • Reconciliation: with what and whom shall we make peace as we awaken to our mutual mortality?

These questions invite exploration of Deep Adaptation to our climate predicament in order to develop both collapse-readiness and collapse-transcendence.

  • Collapse-readiness includes the mental and material measures that will help reduce disruption to human life – enabling an equitable supply of the basics like food, water, energy, payment systems and health.
  • Collapse-transcendence refers to the psychological, spiritual and cultural shifts that may enable more people to experience greater equanimity toward future disruptions and the likelihood that our situation is beyond our control.

Uncertainty and lack of control are key aspects of our predicament; we do not know whether what we do will slow climate change and societal collapse or reduce harm at scale. It looks likely to us that many will die young and that we may die sooner than we had expected. That does not mean we do not try to extend the glide and soften the crash – and learn from the whole experience.

One thing that rapid climate change can help us to learn is the destructiveness of our delusions about reality and what is important in life. Key to this delusion is the emphasis many of us place on our separate identities. Since birth we have been invited to “other” people and nature. We often assume other people to be less valuable, smart or ethical as us. Or we assume we know what they think. We justify that in many ways, using stories of nationality, gender, morals, personal survival, or simply being “too busy”. Similarly, we have been encouraged to see nature as separate from us. Therefore, we have not regarded the rivers, soils, forests and fields as part of ourselves. Taken together, this othering of people and nature means we dampen any feelings of connection or empathy to such a degree that we can justify exploitation, discrimination, hostility, violence, and rampant consumption.

Seeking physical and psychological security and pleasure through control of our surroundings and how people interact with us is both a personal malaise and at the root of our collective malaise. Yet, as we see more pain in the world, and sense that it will get worse, it is possible that we will shrink from it. It is easier to consider other people’s pain as less valid as one’s own pain or that of the people and pets we know. But there is another way. The suffering of others presents us with an opportunity to feel and express love and compassion. Not to save or to fix, but to be open to sensing the pain of all others and letting that transform how we live in the world. It does not need to lead to paralysis or depression, but to being fully present to life in every moment, however it manifests. This approach is the opposite of othering and arises from a loving mindset, where we experience universal compassion to all beings. It is the love that our climate predicament invites us to connect with. It is the love in deep adaptation.

Therefore, in our work with others on deep adaptation, we wish to pursue and enable loving responses to our predicament. Every interaction offers an opportunity for compassion. It can seem difficult when it feels as if someone is trying to criticise your view, perhaps because they prefer to see collapse as unlikely or human extinction as certain. But to return to compassion, even if we fall away from it in the moment, feels an important way of living our truth. And it is something we can do at any time. As leadership coach Diana Reynolds recently explained, “the incredible compassionate revolution starts here, starts now.”

As this topic involves questions of mortality, impermanence, insecurity and uncontrollability, everyone who is finding themselves navigating their way through is experiencing many strong emotional responses, which may feel turbulent, overwhelming, exhausting as well as energising or enlivening. Often these emotions affect us, including ourselves and our colleagues, in ways that we may not be aware of. Therefore, in the small team working in the Deep Adaptation Forum, and the wider group of volunteers, we invite each other to consider three principles:

  • Return to compassion. We shall seek to return to universal compassion in all our work, and remind each other to notice in ourselves when anger, fear, panic, or insecurity may be influencing our thoughts or behaviours. It is also important to remember to take care of ourselves, especially when the urgency of our predicament can easily lead to burnout.
  • Return to curiosity. We recognise that we do not have many answers on specific technical or policy matters. Instead, our aim is to provide a space and an invitation to participate in generative dialogue that is founded in kindness and curiosity.
  • Return to respect. We respect other people’s situations and however they may be reacting to our alarming predicament, while seeking to build and curate nourishing spaces for deep adaptation.

We hope that all of us in the team continue to provide useful information, avoid negativity, and invite everyone to engage as peers. We also apologise in advance for any times where we do not seem to be living these principles.

If you would like to help the team financially, and have a small fund for such support, then please use the contact form.

If you would like to volunteer with us, please start by joining a relevant group within the Forum and demonstrating your commitment, effectiveness, and aligned approach within that space.

Professor Jem Bendell and Katie Carr co-lead retreats as well as leadership courses related to deep adaptation, at the University of Cumbria.

The photo is of the sculpture entitled “Love” by Ukrainian artist #AlexanderMilov and was found at the 2015 #BurningManFestival. It shows two #wireframe adults with their inner children reaching for each other, symbolizing purity and sincerity. /// photo by @teamwoodnote and used here with a creative commons license.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/designmilk/22871072820

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Organise Deep Adaptation Dialogues

Posted by jembendell on March 17, 2019

As acceptance of likely or unfolding collapse is spreading, we hear of people wanting to gather and discuss what it means for their own lives, communities and work. That hope is not to hear simple answers to our difficult situation, but to share a range of information, emotions, ideas and options.

With a little help from our friends, the Deep Adaptation Forum is able to financially support “Deep Adaptation Dialogues” that bring together people within a community or shared professional interest.

If you would like to organise such a gathering, with some financial support and live video presentation by Professor Jem Bendell or a colleague from the Forum, then please read on…

four people smiling grayscale photo

Photo by rawpixel.com

To enable an emergent and generative dialogue, we want to support gatherings that use the principles of Open Space Technology and are guided by an experienced facilitator. That means participants will gather in a physical location around a collapse-related theme of their choosing, and let a detailed agenda emerge from their group on the day. Prof. Bendell, or another expert from the field of Deep Adaptation, can be invited to open the gathering with a short Q&A video session, before the Open Space conversations begin. At the end of the day, if requested, Prof. Bendell or another expert will reconnect with all participants by video, to listen to summaries of what was discussed and offer some feedback.

To qualify for financial support:

  • propose the event to occur between June 1st and December 31st 2019, for a minimum of half a day.
  • each event must be facilitated by a host with confirmed experience in Open Space Technology;
  • organisers must be members of the Deep Adaptation Forum;
  • the conversation should be community- or profession-focused and be either free or with minimal fee (any fee must be specified in the application);
  • the event should take place in a cheap or free venue (equipped with a good internet connection, a computer projector and speakers, and a webcam pointing at the group participants);
  • event hosts should, when possible, submit to the Deep Adaptation Forum a harvesting of topics at the end of their event. This can take the shape of a video, write-up, or podcast.

To recap, what the Deep Adaptation Forum can offer:

  • Video participation in your event by Prof. Bendell or another expert;
  • 300 euros per event for expenses, paid after the event;
  • Help in spreading the results of your dialogue to the Deep Adaptation Forum and wider network.

To apply, please see here after applying to join the Forum at www.deepadaptation.info

Application deadline is April 25th 2019 and applicants will be informed of decisions by May 5th 2019.

Meetings can be organised in English, French, or Chinese. Applications can be submitted in any of those languages.

Please note that currently only 5 events can be funded in 2019. If you are able to make charitable donations of over 2000 euros (or equivalent) and would like to discuss supporting us scaling up these Deep Adaptation Dialogues, please contact the Forum here. We are not in a position to handle smaller donations at this time.

To be kept in touch with online gatherings on this agenda, please join the Forum at www.deepadaptation.info

 

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University Courses on Deep Adaptation with Prof Jem Bendell

Posted by jembendell on March 10, 2019

The University of Cumbria in the UK is offering three courses related to Deep Adaptation, led by Professor Jem Bendell. They are each at Masters level, and can be taken either as credit-awarding or not, depending on whether you want to work towards a qualification. One of the courses is online and the other two involve 4 days in residence in the stunning Lake District national park.untitled

“Facing up to climate reality is difficult. Leading others and organisations on this agenda is even more so. With these courses we teach leadership within the context of our need to deeply adapt to a disturbing future.” Prof Jem Bendell. 

If you are interested, then you can join an online presentation and Q&A, where both Prof Bendell and his past students will explain the philosophy and content of the courses. These include:

Foundations of Sustainable Leadership. In residence in Lake District, UK. 18-20 July 2019. This course provides a maximum of 24 executive-level participants with a deep dive into critical perspectives on leadership and communications before exploring what these new insights and skills mean for an era of deep adaptation. Non-credit awarding option here (600 GBP). Credit awarding option here (850GBP).

Independent Study on Sustainable Leadership for Deep Adaptation. Online. September 2019 – January 2020. This online course with Prof Bendell guides participants in taking action in their workplace or community to further deep adaptation. Every two weeks participants attend an online webinar, and support and learn from each other as they seek to create change. Maximum of 48 participants. Non credit-awarding option is 400GBP and credit-awarding option is 850GBP. A few concessions will be made available. Further online information to come in summer 2019.

Sustainable Leadership for Deep Adaptation. In residence in Lake District, UK. 7-10 January 2020. This course provides a maximum of 24 executive-level participants with an exploration of leadership and communications for the deep adaptation of individuals, organisations and societies. Non credit-awarding option is 600GBP and credit-awarding option is 850GBP. A few concessions will be made available. Please note that participants may not attend both this course and the Foundations of Sustainable Leadership. Further online information to come in summer 2019.

If enrolling in the University beforehand, these courses can be taken as part of the Post Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Leadership. The entry requirements include an undergraduate degree and some relevant professional experience.

Up to 100 people can attend the online Q&A about these courses with Prof Bendell on May 1st. The link to the zoom meeting will be sent to those who register here.

It is possible to enrol with the July 2019 course prior to that Q&A i.e. immediately. Note that there are only 24 places so it may be over-subscribed by May 1st (non credit-awarding option here and credit-awarding option here).

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The Deep Adaptation Forum launches

Posted by jembendell on March 6, 2019

People who are alive to the likelihood of society collapsing in our lifetimes will not be alone for long. But for now, we are few and far between. Despite 200,000 people downloading my Deep Adaptation paper, in most professional circles this topic remains taboo, and certainly not a priority within strategies, budgets or meetings. This situation means people find it challenging to work on the professional implications of their concerns. Yet the longer we delay our exploration of what to do and how, the more likely it will be that organisations and societies respond poorly in future.
photo_2019-03-05_16-39-45
There are many professional fields that are relevant to our predicament, including mainstream climate adaptation, disaster risk reduction, mental health, permaculture and so on. Because a society that breaks down will affect all walks of life – and so all of us can do something to help each other prepare, whether from within our current role or a new one.

To extend the glide of our societies and soften the crash, the goal must be for every professional association, think tank, trade union, and research institute, to develop their own work on collapse-readiness. Before that happens, we can connect around the world and support each other to play a role in our professions and locations when the time arrives.

It is for these reasons that today we launch the Deep Adaptation Forum. It is the next step for those of us who accept likely collapse to work together now and thereby mark the way for our colleagues to follow in time. Through this free forum you can join regular webinars, seek advice and co-create shared resources for your field of expertise.

We concentrate mainly on:
* hosting regular video meetings among our members;
* managing jointly edited documents on relevant resources, initiatives, and knowledge needs;
* enabling in-person dialogues within local communities and professional sectors;
* and maintaining an event calendar.
The Forum is not a space for:
* debating climate science or chronicling the latest bad weather;
* disputing whether societal collapse is likely to occur;
* or arguing that near-term human extinction is now inevitable.

Such discussions occur in many other places, and instead, this Forum is solely dedicated to serving those who wish to explore collapse-readiness in all its potential forms, from the practical, to political, emotional and spiritual.

We invite a diversity of opinion, including a diversity of political approaches, so long as these do not advocate forms of fascism or violent conflict. We also invite participants, if they wish, to employ the Deep Adaptation framework. That means exploring what the concepts of resilience, relinquishment, restoration and reconciliation could mean for our profession or interest. Therefore, it will be useful if you read the Deep Adaptation paper and blog on Reconciliation before participating in the Forum.

There is no need to wait for your fellow professionals to wake up to our predicament.

There is no need to spend much time justifying yourself.

There is no need to rage against ignorance.

Instead, we can start to live our truth together now.

I look forward to connecting in the Forum.

Professor Jem Bendell, Founder of the Deep Adaptation Forum.

Note that the Forum is the place for professional collaboration. If you simply want to see the latest posts from professionals in this field, join our LinkedIn Group. If you have a general interest but don’t work on it, then join our Positive Deep Adaptation group on Facebook.

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Positive Deep Adaptation Group on Facebook

Posted by jembendell on March 3, 2019

In recent weeks I have noticed an upsurge in people discussing the calamitous state of our climate, its impacts and our response. My server crashed twice due to the download demands for my Deep Adaptation paper.
To channel this interest into useful professional collaborations, next week we launch the Deep Adaptation Forum, as an international space for people to work together – ahead of their wider professions buying into this agenda properly (which is bound to happen, but we can’t delay). Already our LinkedIn group for professionals has circa 1500 members.
Many people who are getting in touch or tweeting their thoughts are not professionally engaged, but are retired people, or busy with their existing jobs or families. So, we are today launching a Facebook group as a simple means of helping them connect.
Positive Deep Adaptation will be a place for sharing information on our outer and inner deep adaptation to unfolding societal breakdown due to climate change. We will share information in two areas:
  • First, on emotional, psychological and spiritual implications.
  • Second, on our knowledge of practical means to support wellbeing ahead of (and during) social breakdowns. Those practical means may be at household, community, national or international scales. Collective action in a spirit of compassion is particularly welcomed, rather than defensive prepping for conflict.
The group wont be a place for sharing news or information on the state of our climate or environment. Nor will we share news and information on aspects of social breakdown. Why? Because as things get worse, our feeds will be swamped increasingly by such news, and in that context we can benefit from a group to support our positive deep adaptation to the situation, and not to crowd that out by news chronicling the changing climate or breakdown.
By “positive” deep adaptation we do not mean that we will be inviting messages that say “we must have hope” or “we can’t say it’s too late” or “look at this latest wow tech that will mean someone else will fix everything”. Such fear-based attitudes that script stories of the world to help ourselves feel better, for now, are counter-productive. Instead, we will be sharing information and ideas on all kinds of things that start from the view that collapse is now likely or inevitable. What might that involve? Check it out here.
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Upcoming events with Prof Bendell in 2019

Posted by matslats on February 9, 2019

Online, March 27th. Deep Adaptation Q&A Online with Prof Jem Bendell. Bring your questions for a moderated conversation with the originator of the Deep Adaptation framework. 9am to 10am GMT. March 27th. Limited places available.

London. April 13th. Social Collapse: Probability and Psychological Challenges (Climate Psychology Alliance)

London, April 15th. Rebellion Day, Extinction Rebellion.

Preston, UK. April 29th. Green Monday Anti-fracking protest.

Ambleside, UK. April 30th. Q&A meeting with Ambleside Action For A Future. (By invitation only, apply here)

Findhorn ecovillage, Scotland. April 22nd. Climate Change & consciousness (via videolink)

Connect University, Brussels. May 13th. Climate Change: Resilience, Uncivilisation, Rebellion and Technology, with Dougald Hine and others.

Canada, May 23rd. Canadian Society for Ecological Economics keynote (via videolink)

Athens, Greece, June 6th. Doom and Bloom: Lessons from the heart of UK’s Extinction Rebellion. 19.00 – 21.00 @Cooperative Coffee Shop, Monastiriou 140

Anyksciai, Lithuania, June 21st. Q&A at Anyksciai Forest Festival (via videolink)

Kalikalos retreat centre, Greece. June 22-29th. Inner resilience for tending a sacred unravelling.

Lancaster UK, July 14th. “Lancaster Community Dialogue for Deep Adaptation” Using Open Space methods to explore implications and initiatives with communities in the North West of England. Free. 10am to 5pm. Register.

Cumbria UK, July 18-21st. Certificate in Sustainable Leadership short course, including sessions on Deep Adaptation.

Somerset UK, September 11-12th. Green Earth Awakening camp 2019, Buddhafield festival

Cumbria UK, September 18th. Deep Adaptation Public Lecture, Ambleside Campus. Time and registration link to be announced.

Cumbria UK, September 24-27th. Deep Adaptation Retreat (with Katie Carr).

Please sign up to my quarterly newsletter for more detailed information.

If you would like Jem to appear in a meeting you are organising, then consider applying to the Deep Adaptation Forum to host a dialogue. Info here.

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The Deep Adaptation Retreat – June in Greece

Posted by jembendell on November 25, 2018

22 — 29 JUNE 2019 € 520* inclusive

CULTIVATING INNER RESILIENCE

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.

ABOUT KATIE CARR

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.

ABOUT JEM BENDELL

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.

PRICES

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)

SCHEDULE

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…

VISIT THE CENTRE WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO APPLY TO ATTEND. IGNORE THE FULLY BOOKED NOTICE AS THERE ARE NOW 3 PLACES AVAILABLE (AT MAY 1ST 2019)

PLEASE GET IN TOUCH IF YOU COULD SUBSIDISE PEOPLE TO ATTEND TO LEARN HOW TO BE FACILITATORS OF SIMILAR ACTIVITIES, OR TO IMPROVE THEIR PRACTICE (email matslats @ fastmail.com)

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