"Protest that endures, I think, is moved by a hope far more modest
than that of public success, namely, the hope of preserving qualities
in one's own heart and spirit that would be destroyed by acquiescence."
- Wendell Berry
What is Dark Optimism?
Dark Optimism is, in part, a way of seeing life which is not afraid of seeking the truth - even when that truth is unpalatable or feels overwhelming. By exploring the unknown we can see it for what it is, rather than what we might fear it to be. Where there is darkness present we face it with an indomitable belief in the potential of humankind.
This website is the home of the not-for-profit public interest research, activism and writing of Shaun Chamberlin, author of The Transition Timeline, working with a wide network of friends and partners around the world. Our projects epitomise the Dark Optimism perspective.
We are unashamedly positive about what kind of a world humanity could create, and unashamedly realistic about how far we are from creating it today.
Out of this viewpoint comes a firm determination to do what we can to create the world
we believe everyone wants to live in - one which is creative, resilient and exciting, and one in which we can all have the opportunity to live a fulfilling life.
Email us by clicking here: Dark Optimism
The Dark Optimist is
"Since 2005 I have devoted myself full-time to exploring the dominant cultural stories and 'myths' that chart the course for our society and, in particular, how we might change direction before we end up where we are headed. My work has featured on the BBC and been discussed across the UK press, including the Guardian, Sunday Times, Independent and Daily Express, as well as internationally by Time magazine, Bloomberg News and the Financial Times.
I am managing director of the Fleming Policy Centre, and have been involved with the Transition Network since its inception, leading to my co-founding Transition Town Kingston and authoring the movement's second book, The Transition Timeline.
I am also Chelsea Green Publishing's commissioning editor for the UK/Europe, and have served as chair of the Ecological Land Co-operative, director of the campaigning organisation Global Justice Now and advisor to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, as well as co-authoring the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil's report into carbon rationing.
My writing roams across social, political and spiritual themes, as well as popular explanations of climate and energy issues, and has found homes from online publications The Oil Drum and The Huffington Post to print magazines such as The Ecologist, STIR, the Kosmos Journal and Resurgence, as well as academic publications such as the Solutions and Carbon Management journals (including the most-read paper in the history of the latter).
I have contributed chapters to or edited a diverse collection of books, from Grow Small, Think Beautiful (Floris Books), The Future We Deserve (PediaPress) and Low Impact Living Communities (Diggers & Dreamers) to What We Are Fighting For (Pluto Press), The Moneyless Manifesto (Permanent Publications), Surviving the Future (Chelsea Green), Lean Logic (Chelsea Green) and two of the Dark Mountain books.
Over the course of my work I have delivered presentations at venues ranging from community groups, Climate Camps and Occupations to the London School of Economics, the UK and Scottish Parliaments and the European Commission, and been shortlisted for the Sheila McKechnie Foundation Environmental Campaigner Award as well as, locally, being named Kingston's 'Green Champion' by the council and Kingston Guardian newspaper.
Before 2005, I read Philosophy at the University of York before working, at various times, as a teacher, a massage therapist and the manager of a learning centre for marginalised groups."
- Shaun is on Twitter at @DarkOptimism.
- to email Shaun click here.
Transition Town Kingston Unleashing video