"To be truly radical is to make hope possible, rather than despair convincing." - Raymond Williams

David Fleming’s posthumous book tour!

by Shaun Chamberlin on September 8th, 2016


So, after years of work from me, and decades from David, the day is finally here – the official publication date for his astonishing lifework (and my paperback version of it)!!

In truth, demand has already been such that the distributors have been struggling to keep up, but they’re ramping things up now, and the real promotional push starts here 🙂

Last week I circulated an email with full details of the books, the early reviews, tour events etc, but since two additional dates have already been added since, I thought I’d post an updatable listing of my tour here:


Launch events/book tour
for Lean Logic and Surviving the Future


Fri 2nd-Sun 4th SeptDark Mountain Basecamp festival, Embercombe, Devon

Sat 10th SeptSmall Is Beautiful festival, with Natalie Bennett, Andrew Simms and others. Centre for Alternative Technology, Powys, mid-Wales

Sat 17th Sept – 9am-5pm – Towards a Localised Future: A New Economy Convergence, with Helena Norberg-Hodge, Molly Scott Cato, Michael H Shuman… Friends House, Camden, London

Mon 19th Sept – 11:30am-1:30pm – “Could Brexit lead to the rediscovery of culture grounded in place?”, celebration of the books with Jonathon Porritt. Trinity College, Oxford University

Weds 21st Sept – 6:30pm-8:30pm – The launch party at Daunt Books Chelsea, London

Mon 26th Sept – 7pm-9pm – Studio guest of Dave Hampton on MarlowFM, 97.5‘s weekly environment show
(listen again here)

Weds 12th Oct – 8pm-10pm – Schumacher College Earth Talk on David Fleming, with Rob Hopkins. Dartington, Totnes
(full footage available here)

Thurs 20th Oct – 7pm-8:30pm – “We, Not Me: Community and Unity”, a celebration of World Values Day. Global Co-operation House, Willesden, London

Mon 6th-Fri 10th Feb 2017 – Schumacher College week-long course on David’s work: Community, place and play: a post-market economics, with Mark Boyle, Rob Hopkins and Stephan Harding


Click links for more details or to book.
I look forward to seeing you soon!

David Fleming’s legendary Lean Logic approaching publication (at last!)

by Shaun Chamberlin on November 29th, 2015

Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It

I am pleased and proud to be able to mark the 5th anniversary of my friend David Fleming‘s death with the news that his life’s work is approaching publication.

I believe that a beautiful way to honour those we love after their death is to keep alive in the world that which was best in them. In David’s case, there was no clearer way to do so than to see his masterwork Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It reach the audience that deserves it.

As Rob Hopkins and Jonathon Porritt explain in their forewords (yet to be released), it is a book that has been hugely influential even before its publication!

The copy-edited manuscript is now with the publishers ahead of its summer release, but I thought I would mark today by sharing the new cover design (I love it!) and my introductory preface:

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Interview on grief, Dark Optimism, aliveness and activism

by Shaun Chamberlin on December 21st, 2014

Kosmos Dark Optimism image

This is an excerpt from a longer video interview Rhonda Fabian conducted with Shaun Chamberlin at the New Story Summit in Findhorn, Scotland as part of a Findhorn Foundation documentary initiative.

Originally published in the Kosmos Journal.

Rhonda Fabian: Shaun, please tell me what Dark Optimism means to you.

Dark Optimism is a widely misunderstood term. I get a lot of people coming up to me saying, “Are you feeling dark today, or optimistic?” That’s not quite what I mean. Dark Optimism means being unashamedly positive about the kind of world we could create, but unashamedly realistic about how far we are from doing that right now.

So it’s not that sort of bright shiny optimism, which I can find quite frustrating. It’s more like, “Well everything isn’t fine actually, you know?” It’s an ability to look at the more difficult aspects of where we are and what we’re doing, whilst also retaining a sort of deep faith in human potential. And also drawing on the deeper questions of why we’re really here. And does the state of the world in any way challenge our purpose in being here, or make that impossible? I don’t think it does.
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Of grief

by Shaun Chamberlin on December 21st, 2012

'From fire, Redwood', by Maria Elvorith

Let me tell you a story.

It’s a story about our land – our home – and our ability to live peaceful, harmonious, respectful lives upon it and in partnership with it.

And it’s a story about the big bad political structures and corporate institutions that conspire to stop us doing so, using the unspeakable, impenetrable black magic of bureaucracy and backhanders to bind our best efforts with frustration and fatigue.

Oh, you already know that one?


Ok, then maybe you’re ready for the next chapter, about what comes after?

Fine. Sit down, make yourselves comfortable.
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Untitled, 2010

by Shaun Chamberlin on December 21st, 2011

“Untitled, 2010” was written by artist Maria Elvorith for The Future We Deserve, a book project about collaboratively creating the future we deserve, set for publication in January 2012.

David Buckland, text Amy Balkin, ‘Going to hell on a handcart.’, Ice Art.
David Buckland, text Amy Balkin, ‘Going to hell on a handcart.’, Ice Art

“The war that matters is the war against the imagination, all other wars are subsumed in it.” ~ Diane Di Prima

With each day we move towards a necessary revolution. Resource depletion, mass species extinction and the risk of runaway climate change highlight the great flaws in our current worldview and the society it has built. It is in this nebulous inner realm of intuition and story that a revolution quietly gathers strength.

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Uncivilisation, 19-21 August 2011. See you there?

by Shaun Chamberlin on July 23rd, 2011

As regular readers will know, I am an admirer of the Dark Mountain Project – fellow adventurers in uncovering and reshaping the cultural stories that define us and guide our behaviour. Their manifesto is well worth a read.

So I have accepted this contribution from Dougald Hine, one of the co-founders, as my second ever guest post (the first remains one of my favourite moments of Dark Optimism). It was originally written for the Transition Network site, and we hope it will encourage you to join us at the Uncivilisation festival in a month’s time. I was at the first one last year, and it was a febrile, fertile space, pregnant with possibilities and realism. Hopefully I’ll see you some of you at the second instalment. Over to Dougald:

How do you describe a festival whose contributors range from a poet wielding a scythe, to a former banker talking about the idea of a mortgage strike, to an ex-Wikileaks hacker who’s been rigging up improvised internet services in Afghanistan?

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