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Issue 25: Aug 2018


Revisiting the Future



  • Editorial
  • Seeding our Future: a progress report
  • Upcoming events
  • Re-Visioning Front-Line Services
  • Wising up to Super-resilience: thriving in the 2020’s
  • To enjoy the future, learn from the past: in Morocco!
  • YouTube Video: Wising up to Super Resilience
  • Bonus Blog: a hopeful dream of 2030 – The National Elf Service
  • Book Blog: Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Dear friend,

As you may know, a major focus of my work in recent years has been exploring the future outlook, and the resilience skills we’ll need in order to enjoy it. In this issue, you can share some of my learning, and find out about programmes I’m offering.

Some wise teachers, such as Eckhart Tolle, urge us to stay in the present moment. And if the future’s so uncertain, why bother to explore it? Whilst we don’t know what will happen, or when, there are trends and probabilities that can really help us to know what skills and resources are most likely to be useful. And as T.S Eliot said, “Time present and time past are both perhaps present in time future”.

Wishing you well

Seeding our Future:
a progress report

It’s now 6 years since I started my first project on future resilience, and 2 since the current one began. Now you can benefit, in a few minutes, from a few of the insights which several man-years of work have provided.

These projects have been going long enough that some of the trends we foresaw are actually happening. I’ve learned that some changes can arrive amazingly fast, and are in your face (like climate change this summer), others are so subtle and dispersed that you have to know what you’re looking for in order to spot the trend (such as IT disruptions).


Front-Line Services

We all depend on front-line services, such as health, local authorities, and voluntary organisations. Most of them are under severe pressure, squeezed between rising demand and shrinking budgets.

RVFLS is a new Action Learning Programme, led by Alan Heeks and Daniel Koerner, for managers in small front-line bodies, or team leaders in larger ones. We will explore the needs of managers, teams, and their clients, with three 24-hour residentials at Hazel Hill Wood plus online support.
Free taster afternoon: Wed Sept 12
First Workshop:
October 30/31
Full details here

Wising up to
Super-resilience: thriving in the 2020’s

What image do you have of the future, and how to meet it? Sailing seems an apt one, as it’s a process so subject to unpredictable forces beyond our control. The future we all face is somewhat like a transatlantic yachtsman heading into a storm: we don’t have an option of running for port, we just have to prepare ourselves as best we can.

In fact, our future outlook has plenty of promising features as well as storms, and there’s plenty of navigation aids and helpful data available to us. The key issue is our willingness to look at the future at all. Our workshop at Hawkwood in October 15-16 can help with this.
YouTube Video:
Wising up to Super Resilience


Sept 12: Re-visioning Frontline Services: Taster Afternoon at Hazel Hill Wood. 
An action learning programme for leaders in small public service providers designed for leaders and managers in small organisations who want to initiate positive change.
Click here for more details...

Oct 5-7: Our Generations: Multi-generation Conservation Weekend at Hazel Hill Wood.  Alan is part of the hosting team for this delightful weekend: all welcome, no skill needed. Enjoy fun work caring for this magical wood, good food and company, and a chance to learn more about natural happiness.
Click here for more details...

Oct 7: Afternoon Elders’ Circle at Hazel Hill Wood with Alan Heeks. On the Sunday, after the conservation weekend, Alan will be hosting an Elders’ Circle: an invitation to share your experiences and insights around how to grow older happily and healthily.
The Elders’ Circle will be 2pm-4pm, and is open to anyone age 50 or over. Others of any age are welcome to listen and observe. This session is free of charge for all.

Click here for more details...

Oct 15-16: Wising up to Super-resilience: thriving in the 2020’s with Alan Heeks at Hawkwood College, Stroud. This is a chance to explore the future and evolve your own strategies, helped by findings from the Seeding our Future project, through a mix of enquiry, process, briefing and group discussion. Organised by partners in Seeding our Future: The Schumacher Institute, social innovator Alan Heeks, and Hawkwood Centre for Future Thinking.
Click here for more details...

Nov 10-20 The Roots of Joy – Nourish your Body Heart & Soul in Southern Morocco. With Alan Heeks and Cordelia Jilani Prescott. Relax, reflect and renew amid the warm land and people of Southern Morocco, learning from Nature about the roots of joy, and grow your wellbeing from the roots up. This trip combines a truly magical holiday with some inner and group exploration, including meditation, mantra dance, inspiring Sufi practices and lots more.
Click here for more details...

To enjoy the future, learn from the past: in Morocco!


Travel can take you forward or back in time. Daily life in Southern Morocco has traditional qualities which can enrich our ‘modern’ ways: a close connection to the land, and spiritual connection woven into everyday life. There are a few places left on Alan’s Roots of Joy holiday-retreat, Nov 10-20. Book soon to secure a place and a cheap flight! See more here…

 Book Blog: Learning from our Future Fears

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
I decided to re-read this book because several futures experts see it as a perceptive view of where our world is headed. Having read it, I can recommend the book as superbly written, and full of provoking insights.

Brave New World is often bracketed with George Orwell’s 1984. Both books were written in the 1930’s, by authors who were deeply concerned about the state of the world and the future outlook, which seemed dominated by fascism and communism.

I recently found a list of the all-time
Top 100 Novels in the English language, in which Brave New World ranked #5 and 1984 was #13. So what can we learn about our current future from Aldous Huxley’s imaginings 86 years ago?
Click here to read on...

 Bonus Blog:  A hopeful dream of 2030 - The National Elf Service

In December 2029, the UK’s National Health Service shut down permanently, without any protest. It had been replaced by the free of charge, private sector National Elf Service, now emulated across the globe.

Central to the NES is the personal Elf app which everyone has on their mobile phone. This monitors its client’s health through micro-sensors in their underwear. The Elf has advanced psychology of persuasion software, to nudge its client into healthy behaviour.
Click here to read on...


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