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Issue 38: June 2020
How community resilience can help us all


Feature Blog: Community resilience: systemic solutions
New Events: Future Conversations 
Growing community through the roots: how Future Conversations helps
Book Blog: How everything can collapse

Bonus Blog: The fruits of our first harvest: Future Conversations pilot programmes

Dear friend,

It seems we're in a time of dissension, but we can probably agree on two things: confusion is still rising, and stronger communities can help. This issue shares some of my learning from ten years of exploring community resilience, and offers you the chance to join two online programmes in June to check out the Future Conversations programme. Strengthening communities requires perspiration, inspiration. and knowhow: I hope this issue helps you with all of these. 

With best wishes


Feature Blog:
Community Resilience: systemic solutions

As the pressures on all of us keep rising, we can see mounting discord about best priorities and solutions.  One of the few topics on which almost everyone agrees is that increasing the resilience of local communities is getting ever more vital.  This has been a focus of my work since 2012, so I’m offering an overview of some of my insights.  

As part of a project called Facing the 2020s, in 2012 I commissioned a substantial piece of action research on UK community resilience by Reos Partners, which included over thirty diagnostic interviews, extensive desk research, and exploratory workshops in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff with potential stakeholders, including national and local government, NGOs and community organisations. The main focus of this blog is the insights I gained from this research.  

The terms community and resilience are so heavily used that a short explanation of what I mean by community resilience may be wise: the collective capacity of a group of people to handle and grow through crises and challenges.  I’ve set out below some of the main aspects of resilience in this context: part of this capacity could come from organisations, including local authority, public services and non-profit groups. Read the full blog here.

Growing community from the roots:

How Future Conversations helps 


There are shedloads of good processes and theories about raising community resilience: applying them in practice is harder, especially in disadvantaged communities struggling with everyday needs.

Future Conversations started as an unproven idea in Summer 2018: a series of eight facilitated discussions for 14-20 members of one community.  We had material we wanted to offer: including some basic communication and group skills, and ways to face and respond to the climate crisis. To read the full blog, click here

 Bonus Blog: The Fruits of Our First Harvest


We feel things are changing faster than usual, both outside in the beautiful world, and inside ourselves and our communities. What a year ago would have looked impossible  is happening right now. Awareness of the impact of plastic and fossil fuels is no longer a well kept secret. We have the information; we have the power to take action.

So with winds of change and hope we brought climate change and climate justice conversations to everyday communities, where people think locally, just about day to day basic needs, or at least, that is what we thought. Read the full blog here



Future Conversations is a series of 6-8 guided sessions designed to raise a community's resilience. In June there are two new events on offer: 

June 16: Online taster 4.00-5.30 pm
An introductory flavour for the content and approach of FC, to help you decide if you'd like to explore further. For more information click here.

June 30-August 4: 6-part online course
This is designed to help community leaders, organisers, and potential facilitators to experience the essence of Future Conversations and decide if they'd like to bring it into their community. For full details and bookings, click here.



How Everything Can Collapse by Servigne and Stevens

I highly recommend this book: it will give you a clear sense of why societies might well collapse, what that could look like, and to some extent how we could prepare for this, or adapt if it happens.  Originally written in French, the book has an engaging tone of voice, despite its heavy subject matter: it combines flair with well researched facts, and emotional dynamics with ecology, economics, and more.

As you may guess, this book is not a light-hearted read, but it offers glimmers of hope, showing that in communities hit by disaster, such as New Orleans, most people act in service of others, and community resilience can make a huge difference to recovery. Read the full blog here




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