The aim of Seeding our Future is to evolve and share ways that individuals, communities and front-line public services can grow their resilience skills and wisdom, to thrive and adapt to meet climate change and other pressures positively. We aim to do this by running pilot projects, and then sharing our experience to encourage others to use it.

Seeding our Future (SoF) is a non-profit project, started in 2017.  The founder and prime mover is Alan Heeks, a social entrepreneur and writer (see www.naturalhappiness.net).  Alan has been exploring resilience for many years: he has led numerous workshops on this theme, and has a strong interest in sustainable communities. For more info, see About.

You can keep up with our latest insights and updates by following Seeding our Future on Twitter and Facebook. You may also be interested in our companion project Natural Happiness: follow on Twitter and Facebook.

Pilot programmes

We currently have four active programmes. Two of these, Future Conversations and Nature Immersion for Health Professionals, have completed successful pilot programmes and are available for bookings from new client groups and partner organisations.

A: Adaptive Communities: Strengthening local communities is becoming crucial as disruption grows. SoF can offer a range of workshops and processes, plus online resources. See more here. To support this work, SoF in 2023 published a research report which it commissioned: Whatever Next: Risk Review – UK 2030, which you can download here. We are also working with other organisations on Project CLAAR: Community Led Adaptation and Resilience. See more here.

B. Food and Farming: Climate change is already impacting food supplies, and is forecast to create much greater disruption in the years ahead, both in the UK and across the world. However, future weather patterns in the UK bring opportunities as well as threats. With adaptive cultivation methods, changes in crops, and support from consumers, the UK could increase its food security and reduce its vulnerability to imported supplies. Seeding our Future has commissioned research to explore these issues. The report on Growing through Climate Change is available as a free download in two versions: one for Wales, one for South-West England, and we can offer briefing sessions on how local communities and professional producers can apply the findings.

C. Nature Immersion for Health Professionals: The capacity of front-line public services is crucial to everyone’s wellbeing: these include the NHS, local authority functions, and parts of the voluntary sector. Currently we are seeing a severe upturn in burnout and staff turnover in many areas, alongside rising demand and shrinking resources. To help address this, Alan Heeks developed the Nature Resilience Immersion programmes in collaboration with Professor David Peters of Westminster Centre for Resilience, and they trained other facilitators to work with them. Evaluation results have been very positive, and more programmes are ongoing. Enquiries from individuals or groups are welcome. See more here.

D. Future Conversations:  This project offers know-how and processes to help members and organisers in local communities to explore the upsides and downsides of the next 10-20 years, including impacts from climate change, and raise their skills and confidence to enjoy the years ahead, drawing on natural resilience, deep ecology and other methods. The format is a series of facilitated conversations, covering individual/family issues, global concerns especially climate change, and community needs. In 2019 we completed successful pilot programmes of 6-8 sessions in three locations: South London, Nottingham, and Clydeside. We can now offer programmes for individuals or groups, online or in person: for more info, see Future Conversations.

Partner Organisations

Partners are a central element of our strategy for this project, and we welcome approaches from other potential partner organisations.  Those already involved include:

Adaptive Communities/CLAAR Project

  • Schumacher Institute: the environmental think tank based in Bristol, is our main partner, and has undertaken the research which has guided this work.

Future Conversations

  • The Surefoot Effect: this Community Interest Company, based in Scotland, works across the UK and beyond to equip people, communities and organisations with skills for resilience and sustainability and is working with Seeding our Future to deliver Future Conversations: www.surefoot-effect.com.

Nature Immersion for Health Professionals

  • 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 University, London.
  • Hazel Hill Trust: Alan Heeks is the founder and a Trustee of this registered charity which runs Hazel Hill Wood, a 70-acre conservation woodland and education centre near Salisbury, and which has proved a valuable setting for resilience programmes.

General

  • Schumacher Institute: This non-profit think tank and research network headquartered in Bristol, has many years’ experience in exploring futures issues.

We welcome approaches from potential partners for all of our projects.

Contact information: If you are interested in help, partnership, or staying informed, contact Alan Heeks using the contact form or tel. 07976 602787.