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Issue 56: July 2023

Exploring the Future - some more!



Dear friend,

In recent years, I've lived with a lot of despair about the future, but now I'm feeling more adaptive, and even slightly hopeful. The reasons for that slight hope are shared in this Newsletter. I fully accept how dire the outlook is in many ways, but books like The Ecotechnic Future persuade me that longer term, things could improve, and the situation in Wales, where I'm moving to next month, at least has scope for real community collaboration and sensible politics. I hope you find this edition helpful!

With blessings,


Feature blog: Exploring the Future, some more...

In recent years, I’ve spent quite a lot of my time exploring the future outlook: recently, I feel I’m getting some valuable insights, at a time of massive change and uncertainty, when it seems that most people (and governments) can’t or won’t consider the future and how it could guide us now. So this blog is a progress report, and an invitation to anyone reading it to contact me to share the process. Read more.

See Events update for related seminar, Focussing up to Community Adaptation, on October 5.

The Ecotechnic Future:a hopeful long-term view

An ecosystem view on human societies

Of all the many books on future outlook I’ve read, this is a rarity: it offers a scenario which I find plausible and even encouraging. John Michael Greer wrote The Long Descent, on how civilisations decline, and he combines these insights with his experience as an ecologist and organic gardener in this book. Read more.

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Expanded edition: UK Risks Review 2030

Alan's Seeding our Future project has just published an expanded version of this research. It gives forecasts for eight major risks, including climate and food, and now provides links to a range of organisations and resources who can help local communities, businesses and NGOs explore practical adaptation measures. You can download it here.

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If you want a happier future, try Wales
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Politically, it’s a different planet!
Mae Cymru yn wleidyddol yn blaned arall

Probably many of you reading this who live in the UK share my gloom about Whitehall politics, and the prospect of sensible, positive action on carbon emissions, food security, affordable housing, and more. Since early 2022, I’ve moved from vague impressions that things were better in Wales, to a moderately informed conviction this is true. And in August 2023, my wife and I are emigrating… to Hay-on-Wye, in Wales. Read more.

Natural Happiness: Advocates Opportunity

To support the launch of his new book, Alan would like to train and work with a few Advocates: your main roles would be to deliver short workshops and talks on the Natural Happiness approach, in person or online, and outreach to find groups to work with. 

     Advocates will be able to shape this role to work with client groups of most interest to them: for example, this could include community groups, work organisations, gardening clubs, and sustainability networks. This is paid work, with training provided: see more details here.

Events update

Focussing up to Community Adaptation

Online workshop: Thursday Oct 5, 2-4pm Hosted by Schumacher Institute and Seeding our Future

This workshop is intended for community groups, individuals, and organisations involved with community resilience, including NGOs. One aim is to help community groups to see how they can engage with and benefit from statutory frameworks, such as Local Resilience Forums. Read more.

Facilitated Workshops for Professionals

The Natural Happiness model is highly relevant for professionals of many kinds, including managers, coaches, hospital doctors, and consultants. Alan can deliver sessions from half a day to 2 days, tailored to your needs. Read more.

The Sufi Garden

The Sufi Garden is a monthly online meditation/singing group co-led by Alan Heeks and Karim Hadden. The sessions offer meditation, chants, poetry, and simple movement practices known as Dances of Universal Peace, drawing on the Sufi, Buddhist, Christian and other traditions. No previous experience needed, open to all. Free of charge.

     Next session: Wednesday July 5, 7.30-9.00pm. To reserve a place or for more info, email [email protected].

Nature Connection Retreat

For doctors and health professionals. Hazel Hill Wood, Sept 29 - Oct 1.

Alan writes: I am not facilitating this event, but it uses some of my Natural Happiness material.

     For more info, click here.

Natural Happiness Online:

Small groups and coaching

Alan Heeks writes: linked to the upcoming publication of my Natural Happiness book, I am offering two formats for online groups (or in person in Dorset):

Small groups: a mini-workshop of 1-2 hours, using Natural Happiness approaches, tailored to the group's wishes.

Coaching: one-to-one sessions of 1.5 hours, drawing on Natural Happiness processes.

     All sessions will be experiential and highly participative. Timings and cost negotiable. If you're interested, contact Alan: [email protected].

Alan's new book update

The book cover has been agreed, and publication is due in March 2024. Read more.

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Book blog: Breaking Together, by Jem Bendell

Are we facing collapse, or merely huge disruption?

This is an important, useful book which should help you think more clearly about the future outlook, and about the complex systems that we all depend on (climate, economy, food supplies and more), which are all under stress and may change radically.

     I’ve had some involvement with Jem Bendell and Deep Adaptation since late 2018, soon after he published his original paper, which is well worth re-reading. I admire Jem for his commitment to investigation, and for his courage to persist despite some vicious pushback. On the other hand, I disagree with some of his views. Read more

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