May 31 - July 25, 2021

Click here to register (or see below for pricing options)

  • Format

    Online, through the course platform, live webinars and facilitated discussion forums. Weekly reading and other content provided, with internationally recognized experts joining our conversations

  • Course Length

    8 weeks. May 31st, 2021 until July 25th, 2021

  • Requirements

    Participants are expected to have read the late David Fleming's book Surviving the Future, have stable internet connection and be willing to engage in deep conversations about the interlocking crises we face

Why join this course?

Over the past year we have twice run Surviving the Future: Conversations for Our Time, an online course which offers a long moment to pull back and think together, amidst these confusing and frightening times of interlocking crisis.

It has attracted over 300 participants from every continent on Earth, from those already hard at work on responses to those seeking their calling.  

You can read the exceptional reviews below and/or here. But we have also heard a yearning for more: for deeper conversation, with a smaller group, and a shared base of understanding. So this is our new, complementary offering. 

In my private conversations with high-profile thinkers and activists we are clear that none of us have neat answers to the impossible conundrums of the day. Likely there are none.

And that at least raises some important questions.

As the late David Fleming wrote “Do nothing that matters without consulting a conversation”So now we want to go deeper, together.  

The likes of Paul Kingsnorth, Kali Akuno, Eve Annecke, David Abram and Nate Hagens have already expressed enthusiasm in participating.  For all our lack of neat answers, we believe we have uncovered some questions worth sharing, worth chewing over together. And some paths worth walking.

You are invited to join us.

Shaun Chamberlin

Watch Intro Video

Course overview

Conversations for Our Time: The Deeper Dive provides space and time for in-depth conversational and written exploration of responses in the face of the interlocking crises we face – economic crisis, political crisis, biodiversity crisis, food crisis, pandemic crisis, climate crisis, spiritual crisis… what ties these strands together, and what stories do we want our lives to tell through this period?

  • Weeks 1 & 2 - Energy and Technology

  • Weeks 3 & 4 - Economics and Growth

  • Weeks 5 & 6 - Nature and Populations

  • Weeks 7 & 8 - Culture and Story

See what StF students had to say:

5 star rating

A transformative learning journey

Sabine Koppe

Surviving the Future: Conversations for our time is a course which cannot be put in words. When I found the course or the course found me, I just knew I needed to sign up for it. My gut feeling did not betray me. It was the right course at the...

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Surviving the Future: Conversations for our time is a course which cannot be put in words. When I found the course or the course found me, I just knew I needed to sign up for it. My gut feeling did not betray me. It was the right course at the right time helping me to understand and come to terms with the various crisis and human predicaments. The course and my fellow learning companions helped me to learn, grow and find ways in which I will work towards transitioning and the sequel here in Berlin. I just loved the whole experience: The careful conception of the course with curated reading, listening, watching materials, Shaun Chamberlin's warm and wise guidance, the sessions meeting guest lecturers as discussion partners, social and reflection session, the forum which reminded me of a permaculture food for thought and action garden. I appreciated the kinship of the others through grief, inspiration and co-creation. And of course our closing carnival which was one of the most magical experiences I have ever had (online).

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5 star rating

"Do Nothing That Matters Without Consulting A Conversation" - So, Let's Talk!

Wes Finch

"Do nothing that matters without consulting a conversation" - David Fleming. This is much more than just a course; it brings together a community of people who want to explore how we got where we are on a global level and how to respond to it ...

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"Do nothing that matters without consulting a conversation" - David Fleming. This is much more than just a course; it brings together a community of people who want to explore how we got where we are on a global level and how to respond to it with courage, positivity, wisdom and humour in an ongoing and unforgettable conversation. Expertly goatherded by our host Shaun Chamberlin, featuring some truly inspiring guest speakers and an abundance of useful and engaging writing, videos and song, this is 8 weeks that will resonate through me for a long, long time.

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5 star rating

An extraordinary line-up of thinkers, writers and do-ers.

Rutger Clarke

This was my first experience of online learning, and being a huge fan of Fleming's ideas, I was delighted to be given the opportunity to participate. I didn't leave with a single disappointment. Shaun and Philip really did Fleming’s ideas an incre...

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This was my first experience of online learning, and being a huge fan of Fleming's ideas, I was delighted to be given the opportunity to participate. I didn't leave with a single disappointment. Shaun and Philip really did Fleming’s ideas an incredible justice. The course curated an extraordinary line-up of thinkers, writers and do-ers, interweaving them all into a compelling 8 weeks journey of deep thought and bonanza of possibility. What a privilege it was to spend 8 weeks with all these great minds, absorbing, and sharing our visions of the future. I am inspired, and in awe, and eternally grateful to all that contributed. I joined, and left this course knowing there are most certainly dark times ahead, but I have never felt so equipped to deal with them. The course was undoubtedly worth every penny. I really appreciated the modest fee, without which I wouldn’t have been able to participate. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this course.

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5 star rating

Very glad I took this course!

Michael Weaver

I was looking for some input and support in understanding my own dissonant thinking about our uncertain future, and some guidance on how to engage without losing my balance. The course provided both (in spades), along with some personal connection...

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I was looking for some input and support in understanding my own dissonant thinking about our uncertain future, and some guidance on how to engage without losing my balance. The course provided both (in spades), along with some personal connections that I hope will continue. STF was well designed, with plenty of material into which to sink one's teeth, but also the flexibility to accommodate people with busy lives. Shaun did a beautiful, artful job convening a community and shepherding us along, and the weekly speakers each captured a facet of the complex question of how we can find purpose and meaning in a culture that is so off track. Ultimately, the course is largely created by the participants, and I'd encourage anyone taking it to try and carve out as much time as you can. You can get something out of the course with very little active participation, but you will take out more and more in proportion to what you put in. Much of the juice came from the online discussion forum, initially catalyzed by prompts from Shaun, increasingly taking on a life and directions of its own. If I had it to do over (which I do, and might!), I'd try to find a way to create a little more space in my life in order to participate more. The communication from Nakasi was excellent. It took a bit to get used to the platform, but once I did it was easy to navigate. And I love that the discussion forum is still open, we have access to the materials for a few months in case there are pieces we missed or want to return to, and there are regular reunion chats already scheduled. In short, this is a course that, like the mind of David Fleming, overflows its banks.

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4 star rating

dark realities and culture

Rupa Shah Flynn

It is heartening to see these conversations curated by Shaun, Phil and speakers, the 'Lean Logic' dictionary and 'Surviving the Future' book. Good to see how it gets contextualized honestly and with integrity. No easy answers, but the approach is ...

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It is heartening to see these conversations curated by Shaun, Phil and speakers, the 'Lean Logic' dictionary and 'Surviving the Future' book. Good to see how it gets contextualized honestly and with integrity. No easy answers, but the approach is well thought through and open for creative thought and problem solving. It's workable - comprehensive enough to be applied contextually. I have been very grateful and impressed by the maturity and diversity and integration, self reflective and critical, accepting and honest exchanges. I would really like to meet you all in person. It is becoming clear to me that within Fleming's work are the hidden insights which stem/hold back the imbalances of 'protectionist' and xenophobic approaches, whilst making sure that what is protected benefits the whole community and nature, donut economics (in an interconnected 'seed of life' design seems compatible). :) I am finding ways to take this forward, have had a couple of 'interviews' as I review my studies to direct them more into localism, how we make the interconnections which work as we know promotes wellbeing. I have also been impressed that the faculty of the course do pay attention to our contributions and help to make it interactive, using our enquiries as well as challenging them in good humour and to enlightening effect. Significant topics, in the context of rising (negative) populism, nationalism, sharing inter-community resources, multiculturalism and carnival, living within planetary limits, below: 'Culture', used in a broad sense of overarching systems, have been controlled by capitalism, with all its exponential growth, 'myth of progress' (Greer), so it is impressed upon me that the structures (grammar) and vocabulary of this restorative work is applicable anywhere and with diversity in mind. 'Overpopulation' - often observed 'asian and black' people like me blamed for that, China, India... Poverty and the rights of women are important underlying factors in various contexts, and the SDGs (UN) address this. We can make humane and reasoned and respectful options for women, regain the 'feminine' traits of regeneration and cooperation. Slowly overcoming the questions I have had over how truly inclusive this approach is, and at the same time, seeing Fleming put into his work the insights from cultural histories, literature, religion, science and philosophy, that warn us wisely. A warning is not to discourage, but to proceed with open eyes and careful attention. So I can say that this study enables a vision of de-growth that promotes connection to earth people and sharing (permaculture ethics), xenophilia and conviviality. I hope the Fleming Policy Centre will develop the principles of inclusion and transparent accountability for the unfolding in our communities of localised sustainable and regenerative cultures. I wish to pursue this study further and will be very grateful for the future deepening course.

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5 star rating

An Absolutely First Rate Course

Matt Miles

David Fleming's works on their own are well worth studying, but Shaun Chamberlin's course adds so much more to the experience. The core reading assignments from Fleming's works are well-paced, and the fact that audio and free PDF options of the te...

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David Fleming's works on their own are well worth studying, but Shaun Chamberlin's course adds so much more to the experience. The core reading assignments from Fleming's works are well-paced, and the fact that audio and free PDF options of the text are available offers options for different learning styles. The weekly guest speakers build on ideas or themes in the text of Surviving the Future and add dimension and context while providing additional food for thought to the weekly discussions. I found the online forums to be a great place to engage in discussion and get to know other members of the course. I also found most other course participants to be exceedingly friendly and congenial. It was a real pleasure to participate in most of the group discussions. In a course that focuses so much on how to build functional communities for the future, the actual community dynamics among the course and its participants are also very important. In preparing content and engaging with discussion and forum questions every week, it was soon apparent to me how much work and love Shaun puts into this course. Nakasi, Dakota and other staff at Sterling College also did a top-notch job providing support throughout. I would thoroughly and enthusiastically recommend this course to anyone wishing to engage with the challenges and opportunities our civilization will be faced with in the coming times.

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5 star rating

Profound

Biren Vora

"Surviving The Future" is by far one of the most profound courses that I have participated in. What differentiates this course from the many others that also focus on similar issues, is its emphasis on accepting the reality of collapse on mult...

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"Surviving The Future" is by far one of the most profound courses that I have participated in. What differentiates this course from the many others that also focus on similar issues, is its emphasis on accepting the reality of collapse on multiple fronts, and finding ways to live in its midst. The combination of access to David Fleming's online book, weekly guest speakers, multiple opportunities to share thoughts with co-participants, the weekly reflection sessions all enriched the learning experience. I would definitely recommend this course.

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5 star rating

Essential

Gary Piazzon

We hope it will be repeated, not just for myself and my wife but so that this dialogue may spread and engage others in envisioning, learning and preparing for the uncertainties ahead.

We hope it will be repeated, not just for myself and my wife but so that this dialogue may spread and engage others in envisioning, learning and preparing for the uncertainties ahead.

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5 star rating

Relevant class to discuss the most pressing issues of our time!

Nicole Muschinske

This course was extremely relevant, especially in the midst of the pandemic. Discussing the inevitable market economy crash in such straight forward conversation was refreshing and inspiring and provided a lot of ideas and tangible steps that I ca...

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This course was extremely relevant, especially in the midst of the pandemic. Discussing the inevitable market economy crash in such straight forward conversation was refreshing and inspiring and provided a lot of ideas and tangible steps that I can take in my own life to build up resilient communities. A huge highlight of the course were the guest presenters. They were varied in their backgrounds, and all had unique perspectives on the common issue of how we can move forward to survive and thrive in the future. I enjoyed being introduced to David Fleming's work and having Shaun and Philip as our guides added clarity and humor. Months after the course ended, I am thinking and talking about it weekly and often recommending the books/ articles we read in the course. This course was very helpful for me individually to put my goals for an uncertain future into words, connect with others, and dive deeper into topics relevant to the social and environmental issues we are facing every day.

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5 star rating

A really thought provoking and inspiring course

Cathy Hearne

This course has provided me with a really good picture of the human predicament and a valuable network to help support me on my path for survival into the future. The webinars, required readings and other recommended content have been fascinating ...

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This course has provided me with a really good picture of the human predicament and a valuable network to help support me on my path for survival into the future. The webinars, required readings and other recommended content have been fascinating and educational. This course has also helped to give me focus, support and comfort during this challenging time. It has been an honour to be on this course and I hope to participate in more online courses with this college in the future. Thank you to all the teachers and other participants for this fantastic journey.

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5 star rating

My Deep Gratitude

Kira Janelle

Thank you for this class. It was such a pleasure, I'm not sure I can call it a class - more like a book club with really cool people! All the speakers were excellent and dovetailed with Fleming's work perfectly. Even though it delved into a very p...

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Thank you for this class. It was such a pleasure, I'm not sure I can call it a class - more like a book club with really cool people! All the speakers were excellent and dovetailed with Fleming's work perfectly. Even though it delved into a very painful, overdue reckoning of the world, it also provided a beacon of hope and clarity. I hope this class will be held in the future. As we can see from the recent protests, there are many people in the world who are waking up, and would benefit from such profound guidance.

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5 star rating

My exoskeleton was unzipped and rehumanized!

Carolyn Dluz

Wow! The course reflects the work of economist/historian David Fleming through his book, Surviving the Future after the Collapse of the Market Economy and through the eyes of Dr. Fleming's mentee Shaun Chamberlin. It is a roller coaster ride...

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Wow! The course reflects the work of economist/historian David Fleming through his book, Surviving the Future after the Collapse of the Market Economy and through the eyes of Dr. Fleming's mentee Shaun Chamberlin. It is a roller coaster ride that will "unzip" you out of your flesh, blood and bone into a new being better prepared for the future of this planet and all sentient beings.

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Pricing options

We are pleased to be able to offer sliding scale pricing in addition to our regular course price. If you have the ability to pay full price, we encourage you to do so as it supports our efforts to make this course more accessible to others.

Scholarship Application

If the above pricing options do not amount to financial accessibility for you, please consider completing our scholarship application for additional support.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who are the expert participants?

    At this stage we have not confirmed the participants beyond Shaun Chamberlin, but Paul Kingsnorth, Kali Akuno, Eve Annecke, David Abram and Nate Hagens have already expressed enthusiasm in participating. Former participants have also included Helena Norberg-Hodge, Rob Hopkins, Kate Raworth, Martin Kirk, Lucy Neal, Richard Heinberg and Vandana Shiva.

  • How is the Deeper Dive course structured?

    It is split into four two-week sections, as named above. The first week of each section focuses on an exploration of the deepest questions raised by that topic, informed by supplied resources including readings from David Fleming's Lean Logic and elsewhere. The second week of each section focuses on how we apply those conversations in practice - "how shall we respond?".

  • How often will there be live webinars?

    As a minimum, there will be three 90 minute live sessions each week. Further live sessions will likely be organised in response to the needs/interests of the group. In addition, written discussions will continue in our course forum throughout, with active engagement from the facilitator.

  • What is the time commitment?

    That is up to you. Our Surviving the Future courses are designed to offer a balance of flexibility and interactive opportunities for participants. Especially in such times, we completely understand that different participants will have differing levels of time and availability, and may be more interested in the live sessions, or written discussions, or the reading/video resources. The materials will also remain available to you after the course closes.

  • When will the live webinars be scheduled?

    In an effort to accommodate participants from as many time zones as possible and to work within reason for the facilitator (Shaun/Western Europe) live webinars are usually organised for early afternoon Eastern Time, which is evening time in Western Europe. There may be some exceptions to those timings, but all webinars will be recorded and available to course participants within 36 hours of taking place.

Why Online?

Low-carbon education allows course participants to remain rooted in their home communities and makes perfect sense when adapting to a world in which travel is not so lightly undertaken. Yet, of course, none of us can go it alone – as individuals or communities – so the online meeting space offered by this international course represents a unique opportunity for meaningful conversation, in dialogue with an array of leading-edge thinkers from across the globe.

The online format includes:

  • Guided (and open) access to LeanLogic.online
  • Live reflection webinars with Shaun Chamberlin (20-25 participants)
  • Live webinars for discussion with expert guests  
  • Live social sessions for smaller-scale breakout conversation within the group
  • Weekly reading assignments and video content
  • Facilitated written discussion forums

Got a question?

Contact the School of the New American Farmstead directly to inquire about this course or others.

YOUR FACILITATOR

Shaun Chamberlin

Shaun Chamberlin has been involved with the Transition Network since its inception, co-founding Transition Town Kingston and authoring the movement’s second book, The Transition Timeline. He was also one of Extinction Rebellion’s first arrestees, chair of the Ecological Land Co-operative, and has spoken at venues from Occupy camps to parliaments. In exploring the cultural narratives charting society’s course, he has written and edited diverse publications, including drawing together 'Surviving the Future: Culture, Carnival, and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy' from the work of his late mentor David Fleming. He was also executive producer of the 2020 film 'The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation?' His website is www.darkoptimism.org.

May 31 - July 25, 2021

Register now