Deep Adaptation Crowdfund

by Deep Adaptation Forum in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 13th November 2019 we successfully raised £25,328 with 361 supporters in 13 days

We are launching this crowdfund in order to support a team of 5 freelancers and our network infrastructure in 2020, and thus to keep going.

by Deep Adaptation Forum in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

Thanks everyone! If you would like to keep supporting us in the coming months and years, you can do so through our new Patreon page from Nov.14.


Let's grow the Deep Adaptation community together

With the invaluable help of our community, in the last 7 months, the Deep Adaptation Forum has organically grown to reach and impact the lives of more than 10,000 people. 

The driving force behind that growth has been simple - when faced with awareness of an environmental and social callapse due in our lifetimes, we need each other more than ever. We need spaces to share about our emotional and spiritual journeys of embracing this awareness and making the necessary practical adjustments in our personal lives. We also need spaces to see what we can do about it, within our communities, within our fields of influence and professional expertise. At the Deep Adaptation Forum, it has been our mission to provide such spaces and nurture the constructive collaborative open discussion that is so deeply needed in our unprecedented times. 

To continue serving our community in that way, however, we now ask for your help! We need GBP 32,000 (or approx. USD 41,160) to fund our team, activities and projects in 2020. If you feel our work has brought value to you and you believe it’s important for it to continue, we are deeply grateful for any contribution you can make to our cause. Thank you!

NB: Donations can be made in any currency. UK taxpayers can choose to donate more via Gift Aid, but this remains optional. Today's conversion rates: GBP 100 = USD 130 = EUR 116

We particularly welcome donations above GBP 200 (USD 260), as we estimate such gifts will get us to the target of GBP 32,000.

The Deep Adaptation Crowdfund

“Deep Adaptation is offering an oasis of meaning in a desert of denial. We sincerely hope it does not dry up - but that it helps many more oases to grow around the globe.”


Initially bewildered about how to respond to the likely collapse of society due to climate chaos, many thousands of people are finding community online and in-person through the activities of the Deep Adaptation Forum and the community leaders that it supports with tools, contacts, guidance and resources. Its networks, including the Positive Deep Adaptation Facebook Group, are providing an essential means of connection. It means that people are able to escape paralysis or avoid reverting to denial - instead finding new ways of engaging with this unprecedented moment in human history. 

To harness the energy of people around the world, the free Forum has been co-created by volunteers and a small team of passionate freelancers. As such, our existence is fragile. We are not following the normal route of following funders’ agendas or selling what we do. If we peter-out in 2020 then the less kind or creative approaches to our climate emergency will have fewer counterbalancing efforts. More of us might slip into a bewildered and paralysed mind-state, turning away from other people. To avoid that, and help the Forum grow into a catalyst of a truly global movement, we want to ask you for some financial support.

Can you help us? 

Our volunteers across the globe benefit from the support of a core team of freelancers, who each earn a minimum living allowance of 800 pounds (USD 1,000) a month. We have funds to sustain that for two of the team next year, but now seek to support the other three, as well as a range of associated running costs and seed funding for new projects. Our target is GBP 32,000 for 2020 (USD 41,160) , but even GBP 8,000 (USD 10,300) would help us keep going for the first quarter and then source future support.  

If you can help this oasis of meaning to grow and spawn around the world, then please donate here. 


Since our creation, in March 2019, over 10,000 participants have joined us on the platforms we launched: on the Positive Deep Adaptation Facebook group; on our LinkedIn group; and in the interest groups of our Professions’ Network. With the help of over two dozen volunteers, tens of thousands of conversations have taken place in those online spaces, in a spirit of compassion and mutual help – including information sharing, emotional support and professional collaboration.

We have also organised inspiring online events, involving luminaries such as Joanna Macy, Carolyn Baker, Gail Bradbrook and Deb Ozarko; and supported dozens of online gatherings of professional interest groups, facilitators and volunteers. We have also acted offline, for example by providing financial support for the organisation of Deep Adaptation community dialogues in several countries, and by supporting the emergence of a global network of affiliated Deep Adaptation local groups.

Finally, we have also been carrying out an array of other activities centred on Deep Adaptation – writing articles, giving speeches, hosting workshops, giving interviews, supporting spokespeople, and providing advice to key organisations such as Extinction Rebellion.

We have been coordinating all of these activities as a team of five freelancers (see our bios at the end). Project Founder Jem Bendell worked pro bono; both he and two private donors have personally supported the other members of the team to receive GBP 800 a month in living expenses.

This is a necessary but fragile initiative. To keep going in 2020, in the absence of extra funding from foundations or philanthropists, we need to turn to you - our growing community, who make everything possible through your energy and your presence.


Preparing for societal collapse is not a simple sell to large grant-makers. We will not seek to fit into their agendas. Neither will we commodify what we do in order to sell it to sponsors. 

So, we are turning to you. 

We trust you're reading this for three very good reasons:

    (1) you know what's going on;

    (2) you believe in what we do; and

    (3) you are convinced that what we are building together is of paramount importance.

You are a participant in this movement, rather than a consumer of the Deep Adaptation Forum – therefore we do not want to make our relationship transactional. So we have not packaged our work into specific chunks for you to fund. Instead, we ask you to join us in remaining faithful to the spirit that gave birth to the Deep Adaptation Forum: the embrace of emergence. 

It’s key to what we are doing. Last year, an academic paper written by a little-known Professor touched people's hearts and minds to an extent that couldn't possibly be foreseen. Sensing how this reaction expressed a deep thirst for truth-saying and community, for the need to share grief and fear - and to take action as a result, we decided to try and accompany this response in the most caring, giving and generative ways possible. We never charged anyone for any of it.

Next year we want to keep the various platforms online and their volunteers supported, with the video calls expanded, the one-day community events scaled up, Jem’s Q&A’s extended, new research reports and articles produced, and more advocates supported to give talks. We also want to continue to provide guidance to activists and community leaders on deep adaptation. And we want to continue to respond to needs and take opportunities as they emerge – to grow this project and movement with you. To do so, we need your help. 


We will be completely frank with you. To keep things going through the next year, we need about GBP 32,000 to support the five of us with a minimum living allowance and pay our technology bills. But GBP 8,000 would already be a good start, so we hope to raise at least that much in our 10 day crowdfund, finishing on November 9th.

However, this doesn't mean we only intend to stay where we are; far from it. Depending on how much we are able to raise, we also intend to launch several new projects in 2020, all free of charge for members. These include:

    - The Deep Adaptation Guidance website. This platform will provide a searchable website of therapeutic and facilitation practices, for people looking for resources to facilitate one's - or others' - response to collapse; and a searchable directory of Deep Adaptation facilitators and therapeutic practitioner profiles. This will enable practitioners/facilitators to find each other, and clients to find practitioners.

    - The Deep Adaptation Leadership Online Course. Curated by the originator of the Deep Adaptation framework, Professor Jem Bendell, this course will support learning from reflective practice, including psychological implications, public communications, gathering facilitation, collaboration skills, and some policy issues. It will help participants study their own efforts to enable change in their community or profession. The course will involve self-paced, pre-recorded lessons, as well as fortnightly online lectures and webinars.

    - Capacity-Building Webinars. These sessions, provided by experts in the field, will assist groups formed within the Deep Adaptation ecosystem - Task Groups as well as Local Groups - to refine their organisational and collaborative skills, from decision-making to conflict resolution and community building.

We have many other ideas for projects to begin - too many to list here! And instead of deciding what is best all by ourselves, we want to listen to you. After contributing to our crowdfund, you will be taken to a survey to share your own insights on the emerging priorities. We want to know what you think is most in need of being considered through the lens of Deep Adaptation. We will produce a synthesis of these suggestions and host a video conference with the whole team, including Professor Jem Bendell, at the start of 2020.  

Thank you for being here. We believe that together, we can create a more peaceful and loving response to the predicament - no matter what the future brings.    


Jem Bendell, Katie Carr, Dorian Cave, Matthew Slater, Zori Tomova


The Deep Adaptation Forum was launched to embody and enable loving responses to our predicament. We want to reduce suffering, while saving more of society and the natural world. To do this, we started an international space to connect people, online and in person, and in all spheres of life — to foster mutual support and collaboration, and to raise awareness in the process of facing societal collapse. Our aim is to support caring and creative ways of engaging with our predicament, so that when the realisation of likely societal breakdown spreads into the mainstream, there will be more ideas, tools, people and systems ready to help. The core team consists of the following 5 people. 

Professor Jem Bendell, Founder

With a PhD in international policy, a background working for the United Nations and international charities, and over 100 publications on business and sustainable development, Professor Bendell turned to leadership development in 2012. By 2016 he was working with leading socialist politicians as a leadership and communications advisor and speech writer. He had been interested in climate change since he studied it in 1993, as part of his geography degree at the University of Cambridge. In 2017 he took a year unpaid leave from university to create a more peaceful and loving response to the predicament,  to review the latest climate science, measurements, policies and implications. This led to the release of Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Our Climate Tragedy, which was downloaded over half a million times within a year. He now focuses on leadership for deep adaptation, through research, writing, retreats, courses, strategy consulting, short films, as well as launching and co-funding the Deep Adaptation Forum, which after 6 months already engages over 10,000 people in exploring the implications of anticipating societal breakdowns due to climate chaos.

Dorian Cave, Professions’ Platform Curator

Dorian curates the DAF Professionals’ Platform (on Ning) on a day-to-day basis; liaises with Interest Group and Task Group leaders, including managing the process of launching either; carries out quickly-applicable research on how to design better collaborative work processes; and oversees capacity-building activities for Task Groups. Through his work, Dorian intends to help develop the Deep Adaptation Forum into the foundation of an international mass movement, focusing on peaceful responses to the climate and ecological crises we face – and the collapses that are likely to unfold. Simultaneously, he wants to develop his skills in the field of self-organised group facilitation and contribute to scholarship on the role of mutual and social learning within such processes.

Zori Tomova, Platforms Assistant

Zori has a business education, with an MSc from Warwick University. Upon graduation, she co-founded a small innovation consulting company and soon after moved into IT entrepreneurship and management, where she spent the majority of her career. She left that world in 2017 to look for a calling that was closer to her heart. Upon her first encounter with Jem Bendell and our predicament, she realised that her sense of aliveness and meaning lies in her gift and love for connection. As a consequence, she oriented her life towards creating spaces of connection with self, other and nature that bring out the most beautiful sides of our humanness. In the last 2 years, she has built a coaching business, created the Connection Playground initiative and facilitated numerous groupwork spaces, including regular Deep Adaptation gatherings online. She joined the Deep Adaptation Forum in July 2019 to support the team of volunteers moderating the Positive Deep Adaptation Facebook group. She’s also the project leader of the Deep Adaptation Groups Network, providing a space for cross-pollination and peer support between DA groups in different locations, languages and topics.

Katie Carr, Senior Facilitator

An independent trainer, facilitator and ‘host’ of collaborative learning processes, Katie has over 15-years of experience in formal and informal/community education. Katie is a skillful facilitator of ‘un-learning’, that is, creating spaces in which it is possible to connect with ways of knowing that are broader and richer than the cognitive/evaluative paradigm. If Deep Adaptation requires responses that are effective in reducing harm, then it is essential to build awareness and bring into consciousness all of the ways that stories of separation, scarcity and addiction to progress can be manifest in our ways of relating with self and others, and create new ways of being that are characterised by love, respect, inclusivity and connection. Before joining the DAF team, Katie was the Director of a UK sustainability education charity for six years, and project manager of several European sustainability projects in the fields of formal and community education. She also has expertise in participatory and alternative evaluation approaches (measuring what’s valuable, rather than valuing what’s measurable). She has an MA in Sustainable Leadership Development, and is trained in a variety of dialogic learning methods (including circling, authentic relating, ‘philosophy for children’, and non-violent communication).

Matthew Slater, General Assistant

A theology graduate and software engineer, Matthew is a leading voice on community currencies. In the financial crisis of 2008 he dropped everything to develop open source software for Local Exchange Trading Systems, cofounding Community Forge to host that software. His interests and expertise widened from there into monetary theory, monetary reform, community building, ecovillages, cryptocurrencies, and the politics of software. in 2015 he co-authored the Money & Society MOOC with Prof. Bendell. In 2016 he proposed a solidarity economy money system in a white paper entitled ‘Credit Commons’. In 2018 he took on the role of General Assistant to Prof Bendell and the Deep Adaptation Forum. Within that role Matthew supports a range of activities, including technical support and research on various themes.

Our fiscal sponsor: The Schumacher Institute

All funds collected during this campaign will be administered by our partner and fiscal sponsor, the Schumacher Institute, a registered UK charity.

Company No: 6606284
Registered Office: Create Centre, Smeaton Road BRISTOL, BS1 6XN
Registered charity number: 1144674
HMRC Gift Aid reference number:  XT33586

NB: Donations can be made in any currency. UK taxpayers can choose to donate more via Gift Aid, but this remains optional. Today's conversion rates: GBP 100 = USD 130 = EUR 116

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