Surviving the Future:
Conversations for Our Time
April 6 – May 31, 2020
An eight-week online gathering for curated conversations. On your own time, in your own home, with a new international community.
Featuring interactive webinars with internationally-renowned guests each week!
Have a question about this course?
“Most of human history was bred, fed, and watered by another sort of economy. But the market has replaced, as far as possible, the social capital of reciprocal obligation, loyalties, culture and traditions with exchange, price, and the impersonal principles of economics.”
—David Fleming, Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It
These are frightening and confusing days. As we rearrange our daily lives in response to the coronavirus pandemic, other interlocking crises continue to quietly worsen, from biodiversity collapse to food security to climate catastrophe.
In these tumultuous times, we will take a long moment to pull back and think together — to share conversation — curated by experts and in the company of some of the most compelling people who have been thinking about these issues for a long time.
The late David Fleming called this convergence of crises “the Climacteric,” and he held out a tantalizing cultural vision of how we might respond. Now is our opportunity to reforge Fleming’s principles in the context of the diverse realities we are facing today in each of our own home communities.
This timely online, interactive course is designed to create and foster an online community of citizens around the world who are committed to helping their localities seek out new insights that offer the promise of Surviving the Future. Some may choose to pursue the possibilities unveiled in Fleming’s works, while others might use these as a springboard for finding their own unique pathways to confronting the Climacteric.
As we open up conversations for and about people and communities facing profound change, we increase our capacity to share and discover solutions, making our own localities more resilient in their diverse circumstances while also supporting global understanding and shared priorities.
We hope it will be repeated, not just for myself and my wife but so that this dialogue may spread and engage others in envisioning, learning and preparing for the uncertainties ahead.
Very thoughtful, full of important ideas and information.
The Program Includes
- Week 1- Communities in the Climacteric: What is a Citizen to do?
- Weeks 2 & 3- Framework for Community
- Weeks 4 & 5- Rediscovering a Life of Place & Play
- Weeks 6 & 7- The Path from Here to There
- Week 8- A Conclusion That Isn’t Guaranteed
Low-carbon education that allows course participants to remain rooted in their home communities makes perfect sense for individuals and communities looking for strategies that offer the promise of “Surviving the Future.” Of course, none of us can go it alone, as individuals or communities, so the international online dialog offered by this course offers a unique opportunity to engage in solutions-oriented discussions, led by a diverse array of leading-edge thinkers from across the globe.
The online format includes:
- A complimetary e-book copy of Surviving the Future: Culture, Carnival, and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy
- Select readings from Surviving the Future & Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It
- Selected videos from our Surviving the Future symposium and the Fleming archives
- Facilitated Discussion Forums
- Discussion Forum Reflection & Response Webinars
- Roundtable Discussion Webinars with special guests
- Final Projects
- Concluding with a convivial Carnival Webinar!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How does this course work?
This course is designed to offer a balance of flexibility and interactive opportunities for participants. Broken down into weekly content, with weeks running from Monday-Sunday, each week will contain a mix of readings, videos, audio recordings, discussion forums, and live webinars.
How often will there be live webinars?
The course features two webinars per week–one with Shaun and Philip and another with different internationally-recognized experts each week.
Who are the internationally recognized experts?
When will the live webinars be scheduled?
In an effort to accommodate participants from as many time zones as possible and to work within reason for the instructors (Philip/Eastern US and Shaun/Western Europe) most live webinars are scheduled for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays beginning at 12PM Eastern US/5PM Western Europe. There are some exceptions to those times, and all webinars will be recorded and available to course participants.
About your Facilitators
Shaun Chamberlin has been involved with the Transition Network since its inception, co-founding Transition Town Kingston and authoring the movement’s second book, The Transition Timeline. He was also one of Extinction Rebellion’s first arrestees, chair of the Ecological Land Co-operative, and has spoken at venues from Occupy camps to parliaments. In exploring the cultural narratives charting society’s course, he has written and edited diverse publications, including drawing together Surviving the Future: Culture, Carnival, and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy from the work of his late mentor David Fleming. He is also executive producer of the new film The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation? His website is www.darkoptimism.org.
Philip Ackerman-Leist is the Dean of Professional Education and The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College, featuring onsite and online courses that inspire artisan skills and lifelong environmental stewardship for adult students of all ages. Philip is also the author of A Precautionary Tale, Rebuilding the Foodshed, and Up Tunket Road, all published by Chelsea Green Publishing. He farmed and taught at Brunnenburg Castle & Agricultural Museum in the Italian Alps before going to Green Mountain College in Vermont, where he was Professor of Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems at Green Mountain College and established the first online graduate program in Sustainable Food Systems in the U.S. He manages a grass-based herd of rare breed cattle, American Milking Devons, on his home farm in Pawlet, Vermont.
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