Skills and insights to raise community resilience
Future Conversations is an innovative programme to help individuals and community groups to grow their resilience to handle the rising levels of disruption we are already facing. In essence, it is a series of guided conversations in a workshop format, with skills and information inputs which enable groups to handle difficult and conflicting feelings, explore the future outlook, and form practical plans for community responses.
A typical programme involves 6-8 sessions, typically 1.5-2.5 hours each, at intervals between one week and one month. Outdoor settings, such as a market garden or park, are used where possible. Future Conversations offers a range of process tools, practical techniques and activities including natural resilience, deep adaptation and deep ecology, but with content geared to participants’ needs. For more detail on typical session contents, click here. For blogs to give a flavour of how the process works, click here.
Future Conversations programmes can be run for a group of individuals from one community or voluntary group, or for participants from a number of communities, and can be run in person or online. The aims of the programme are to:
- Raise individual and community resilience generally
- Grow the personal and group skills to face alarming situations, handle anxiety and conflict, and act constructively, both as individuals and as communities
- Provide knowhow and support for positive responses to major challenges at personal, local and global levels, particularly the impact of the climate emergency.
We are considering running a 3-day training for facilitators and are taking notes of interest now. Please email email@example.com for more information or to note interest.
The research and development to date, has been funded by Seeding our Future. SOF has limited funds for further programmes, and we are seeking to work with local partners, who can self-fund this work or partner in fundraising.
Pam Candea: firstname.lastname@example.org 07970 327975
FUTURE CONVERSATIONS: PROGRAMMES TO DATE
We began by holding a training for 14 people to learn how to facilitate Future Conversations, and followed up with three complete programmes, held with local community groups in London, the Midlands and Scotland. Since then, the material has been used in a variety of formats, both in person and online. Follow-up questionnaires showed that people found the activities and the connection developed with others rewarding. Additional outcomes included:
- 87% of people found the personal skills for facing difficult situations and handling stressful feelings helpful or very helpful
- 80% of people found the support and skills to help the members of the community to support each other and face challenges positively helpful or very helpful
- 88% of people found the information and help in understanding climate change and other big issues helpful or very helpful
One of the groups has embarked on the project (community grown ‘soup veg packs’) they developed during the sessions is looking to find funding to support that work further.
The group at Belville Community Garden Trust on Clydeside ranged in age from people in their early twenties through to people in their sixties. It was mainly women but the group of six to ten each session usually had two or three men as well. The group were comprised of people who were connected to the Belville Trust in some way as participants or volunteers. See blog here.
The group in Sneinton, Nottingham, welcomed around 25 participants in total across the sessions. Locals, Community Project leaders, Union representatives, Education professionals, Councillors, Freelancers, Community workers and Council workers amongst them. Six people attended most of the sessions, others participated for one, two, or three sessions. See blog here.
The High Trees group in London was composed of 10 students who were part of an English as a second language training and who brought with them their experiences of climate change impacts form their own countries. See blog here.
See our video about the pilot programmes here.