Seeding our Future
Resilience and wisdom to stay happy in the years ahead
The present is already so uncertain and demanding that most of us don’t want to consider the future. But surely the pressures and changes we face now are likely to continue, and increase?
The aim of the Seeding our Future project is to evolve and share ways that individuals, communities and public service providers in the UK can grow their resilience skills and wisdom to thrive and adapt to meet future pressures positively.
A distinctive aspect of our approach is using time in Nature as a catalyst, helping people to open to new ideas and learn from the resilience of ecosystems.
The overall aims can be summed up in three phases:
Future Scanning: Gather research on the global and UK outlook to the year 2050, to understand both challenging and positive trends likely to impact the UK in the next 10-15 years. This phase is largely complete.
Pilot Test and Gather Knowhow: We are focussing on two project areas, described below. For each of these, we are working with partner organisations to pilot test approaches, assess the benefits, and explore how best to share this with client groups. This is the current stage of the project.
Propagation: By late 2019 we hope to have validated material and processes which we aim to share as widely as possible via partner organisations and our own website.
Research shows that most people prefer avoidance and denial to engaging with the future outlook. The aim of this project is to offer knowhow and facilitation to help disadvantaged individuals and community groups to explore the upsides and downsides of the next 10-20 years, and raise their skills and confidence to enjoy the years ahead, drawing on natural resilience, deep ecology and other methods.
The format will be a series of facilitated conversations. We are in discussion with several local partners, such as city farms, aiming to start pilot programmes of 6-8 sessions in early 2019 in several locations.
Partners are a central element of our strategy, and we welcome approaches from other potential partner organisations. Those already involved include:
- Westminster Centre for Resilience: a leading expert in resilience research and training for public and private sectors, and strengths in evaluation of such work: part of Westminster College, London.
- Schumacher Institute: this non-profit thinktank and research network headquartered in Bristol is our lead partner, with many years’ experience in exploring futures issues.
- Hawkwood College – Centre for Future Thinking: a space for people to come together to explore their own and society’s values, and to question and debate the future of a rapidly changing world.
- Community Co Labs: an international network of organisers and facilitators working with community regeneration projects.
- Hazel Hill Trust: Alan Heeks is chair of this registered charity which runs Hazel Hill Wood, a 70-acre conservation woodland and education centre near Salisbury, which Alan also founded, and which has proved a valuable setting for resilience programmes.