Adaptive Communities

Strengthening local communities will be crucial in the years ahead, to help us all to live with increasing levels of disruption, e.g. to food supplies, utilities, weather patterns, and probably social cohesion. SoF has a range of expertise to share with communities wanting to explore this. In particular, we can draw on these sources:

  • Deep Adaptation: offers a range of processes for practical and emotional adaptation to climate change and other major disruptions. See more here.
  • Future Conversations: this is a set of workshops which SoF has successfully piloted, to help communities build resilience skills. See more here.
  • Bridport projects: since early 2020, SoF has led two initiatives in Bridport which can offer useful approaches: Bridport Climate Response and Bridport Food Matters.
  • Intentional communities: cohousing neighbourhoods and similar projects have evolved good processes for group-forming, decisions, resource-sharing, etc., which can be useful for communities of all kinds.

Seeding our Future has wide experience of working with communities, including open meetings to gather a consensus on priorities, one-off workshops on Deep Adaptation, and longer programmes like Future Conversations. The inputs we can offer in our Adaptive Communities programme include:

  • Process design/training: helping a community group or a facilitation team to design a set of interventions, and provide skills and processes to support this.
  • Consultative workshops: typically these would range from 2 hours to a full day, and would enable a community group or network to identify their priority concerns, and start to shape an adaptation process. A pilot workshop for the Herefordshire area is happening on Saturday October 15: see more here.
  • Process support: SoF can provide ongoing support, including help with process design and content, or can provide facilitation, subject to our availability.
  • Online resources: see below for an extensive range of material which you are welcome to draw from.
  • Newsletter: the Natural Happiness e-newsletter will include regular updates on SoF’s work. To sign up, click here.


I’ve been exploring different aspects of community for 30 years, since I first stayed in an intentional community, the Findhorn Foundation, in 1990. Here are some resources which may help you in your exploration:

  • Adaptive Networks and Hamlets: this recent blog gives an overview of my ideas on two of the main ways to evolve Adaptive Communities: click here.
  • Natural Happiness: this is my model of learning about human resilience and wellbeing from natural ecosystems. For the overall Seven Seeds model, see here. To see how community qualities in ecosystems can help you, see here.
  • Community resilience: In 2015-17, I ran a project, Facing The 2020’s, exploring how local communities can grow their resilience and their capacity for positive collective action. For an overview of my conclusions, see here.
  • Communities and climate change: working through communities is a good way to encourage individual action, and some climate responses require collective action. For info on my Bridport Climate Response initiative, click here. For some reflections on what we’ve learned, see this blog.
  • Cohousing: this is a community which combines some shared resources (e.g. market garden, dining/group room, guest bedrooms, pool cars) with private dwellings, each with their own front door. I have started two cohousing projects, and lived in one for five years. Creating a new bricks-and-mortar cohousing project can take many years, but there may be quicker ways to do this using Tiny Homes or converting existing buildings. For a case study and resources, see here.
  • Seven kinds of community: you may get confused because the term community is used in different ways. For a simple guide, see here.
  • Ecovillages: these are larger, low-impact communities where people live, work, and play, in harmony with the Earth. Learn more via the Global Ecovillage Network: For a briefing on the Dorset Ecovillage project which I explored in 2003-2007, see here. Such a project could be a brilliant catalyst for positive change: I stopped my work on it because the planning authorities at the time were unsympathetic, and we did not have access to the scale of funds we needed.