Future Conversations: Programmes

FORMAT AND CONTENT

We envisage a series of 6-8 conversations, each about two to three hours long, for a group of 8-14 participants, with two facilitators. The interval between sessions would be between weekly and monthly.

The aim is to recruit people with an actual or potential connection, e.g. living in the same neighbourhood, members of one organisation such as a community group, etc. The venue could be a city farm, community garden, local community centre, allotment, library or similar public space with green space close by.

The first session would be a ‘taster’, preferably for 12-18 people, at which people would be invited to commit to the full series of sessions. All details of the sessions are open to negotiation with local partner organisations. Sample session content for the series could include:

A. Taster: exploratory session sharing how you feel, what you think about the future, or how you avoid it. Some ways to consider the future (e.g. the 3 scenarios, circles of influence/concern). What Future Conversations offers, including the potential topics.  Consensus about the shape of the programme.  Aim to agree practicalities like length of sessions, and the target content of the sessions.

B. How About You: your present and future concerns about your own life and work, e.g. health, finance, housing, food supplies. Some basic resilience and positive psychology skills. Handling difficult feelings, finding resources and support.

C. Natural Happiness: learning about human nature, and how to grow your own happiness, by learning from nature and gardening.  For example how to ‘compost’ your concerns and stress, how to nourish your roots and support network, including community connections.

D. The Big Picture: using a deep ecology process to face fears about the future, find new perspectives, and a new sense of fellowship and purpose.  Finding a sense of hope and what you can believe in, both individually and in your community.

E. At Home with the Planet: exploring fears, facts and practicalities around environmental sustainability and climate change.  Exploring different views and ways to respond to it, including Deep Adaptation and Extinction Rebellion.

F. Community Matters 1: What does community mean to you: what do you need, what can you offer to your communities (e.g. your neighbourhood, family, faith, work groups?)  Skills and resources to help community groups to function better.

G. Community Matters 2: Exploring current and future issues around the front-line services that you and your community need, such as the NHS, local authority services, education, etc. Considering how to take an empowered approach, including community action.

H. Completion and beyond: wrap-up session. Celebrating the shared journey.  Exploring follow-on hopes and plans, and how to find support and information to move forward from here.