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

David Fleming’s books spread their wings

by Shaun Chamberlin on May 12th, 2017

A screenshot from my latest mailing to fans of David Fleming’s work, detailing the amazing reception, reviews and events for his posthumous books.

Just click the image above to read the update in full, or subscribe to receive future updates direct to your inbox by clicking here.

*Pinned post* – The ongoing book tour, and where to buy David Fleming’s books

by Shaun Chamberlin on December 7th, 2016

Lean Logic and Surviving the Future - book tour

After all the hard work, my late mentor’s astonishing books are now available. There’s nothing I’m prouder to have been involved with. But several readers, understandably keen to avoid Amazon, mentioned that it wasn’t easy to find the books elsewhere online.

So now there’s an official page for the books with all you need. The “Order the books” section there will point you to the best deals for the books (or e-books), delivered to wherever you are in the world.

 


Book tour

for Lean Logic and Surviving the Future

Forthcoming public events:

 

Surviving the Future webinar
Weds 29th Nov 2017
– 9pm (UK time)
Shaun and Helena Norberg-Hodge will host a free webinar on Surviving the Future and David Fleming‘s legacy, in partnership with Transition US. The late UK time is because this webinar is primarily a followup for the US audiences who first engaged with Fleming’s work at various conferences over recent months. All welcome from anywhere in the world!
Register for free here.

 

Fleming anniversary event, Gaia Foundation
Thurs 30th Nov 2017
– 6:30-9:30pm
To mark the seventh anniversary of David Fleming’s death, Shaun will host a special evening with The Gaia Foundation at the beautiful Burgh House, honouring their late friend and fellow Hampstead resident. London, UK. Capacity limited.
Full details and tickets available here.

 

Sterling College symposium
Fri 1st Dec 2017
– 7:15pm
Sterling College will host an evening dedicated to David Fleming, with five influential devotees of his work – Peter Buffett, Chuck Collins, David Bollier, Margo Baldwin and Matthew Derr. Craftsbury Common, Vermont, USA.
Full details and free registration here.


 

Past events:

 

Fri 2nd – Sun 4th Sept 2016Dark Mountain Basecamp festival, Embercombe, Devon:

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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 opening of the New Story Summit in Findhorn, Scotland. Part of a Findhorn Foundation documentary initiative.

Transcript 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.
Read more »

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.
Read more »

What We Are Fighting For: A Radical Collective Manifesto

by Shaun Chamberlin on September 20th, 2012


What We Are Fighting For: A Radical Collective Manifesto
Greek anger

 

Out today from Pluto Press is What We Are Fighting For: A Radical Collective Manifesto – a book to which I was delighted to contribute.

My chapter, “The Struggle for Meaning”, wraps up the section on ‘New Economics’ and addresses our collective fight for meaningful lives, and the importance of the beliefs and stories that shape and power our struggle. It considers the Transition movement and TEQs through this lens, viewing them as part of the vast, diverse upwelling of people around the world resisting the current death march and fighting, so simply, for a future.

I feel most honoured to see my work published alongside inspirational writer/activists like John Holloway, David Graeber and Ann Pettifor.

Read more »

Transition Money

by Shaun Chamberlin on May 17th, 2012

The Joy of Not Being Sold Anything - Transition Money

Last month I was one of forty or so attendees of the Transition ‘Peak Money’ day. It was a fascinating collection of people, from theorists to activists, and a potent opportunity to reflect on the challenges facing us all as the glaring errors at the heart of mainstream economics take their toll. This post is far more personal reflection than report, as Rob Hopkins has already done a great job on that front.

The key theme that seemed to run throughout the day, then, was ‘collapse’. Sadly, I was an hour late to the event, but the first sessions I witnessed were reports from Transitioners in Portugal, Ireland and Greece on the ‘front line’ impacts of the economic crunch. The talk was of collapse having already happened for many families and communities there, with statistics quoted including an 89% increase in Greek unemployment in three years, and Irish suicides having doubled since 2007.

They pulled no punches. Most of us were left grey and shaken as the harsh realities of the crisis were relayed. For me, a defining memory of the day was watching the alternative economists listening to this – people who have spent decades warning of these outcomes and trying to head them off – their heads shaking sadly with lips pursed, hands involuntarily coming to their faces in dismay as their Cassandra curse unfolds. Of course, the statistics were not new to them, but hearing these stories in person somehow always brings a heavier human impact. Watching that impact reflected in their expressions felt almost inappropriate, yet doubly powerful.

Read more »

Dark Optimism – the album!

by Shaun Chamberlin on December 31st, 2011

Because why not? 🙂

A collection of songs from various genres, all in some way pertinent to the state of the world as we enter the new year. Here’s hoping that the ‘2012 apocalypse’ meme doesn’t encourage enough panic to fulfil itself!

(this ‘album’ is shaped by the songs contributed by Dark Optimism readers last year, and others since. Thanks all!)

Edit – February 2017: The original Dark Optimism album posted here was sadly lost due to the demise of the player I uploaded it in. However, it has been updated and reborn in the 2017 edition!

Edit – January 2012: Ani DiFranco (song #9 above) turned up at OccupyLSX outside St. Paul’s the other day. See below 🙂

Revolution – RapNews #7

by Shaun Chamberlin on March 30th, 2011

Robert Foster’s brilliant Rap News makes it onto Dark Optimism for the second time, with a comment on recent events featuring the likes of Hugo Chavez, Glenn Beck, Bono (“Tell China to end first world debt”) and John Pilger, as well as footage from the ongoing American revolution.

Well worth a watch, as is this interview, where Noam Chomsky dismantles Jeremy Paxman’s worldview to his face.

Edit – 28/04/11 – And here’s a sincere call for American revolution, from Adbusters.

Dark Optimism on Facebook

by Shaun Chamberlin on November 4th, 2010

Hell gets a little nippy

Despite my serious misgivings about Facebook and the way it is run, I have decided to bow to popular pressure and trial a Dark Optimism Facebook page.

While my Twitter feed has proved a useful tool, whether or not I retain the Facebook page will depend on its popularity and any feedback received, so let me know what you think.

Also, for newcomers to Dark Optimism, there is now a “best posts” category here on the site, for those who want to catch up with my favourite posts to date.

LSE Complexity Seminar – audio and slides

by Shaun Chamberlin on July 7th, 2010

Shaun Chamberlin speaking at LSE Complexity Seminar

The slides and audio are now available from the seminar David Fleming and I gave at the London School of Economics last week.

The topic was “Transition Towns and Tradable Energy Quotas: Frameworks to support a diversity of small-scale solutions to the large-scale problems of peak oil and climate change”.

Note that the slides are mis-numbered on the LSE site, so my opening section is Audio Part 1 (which begins with introductions from those present) and Slides Part 2, and David’s is Audio Part 2 and Slides Part 1!

My section was a half-hour run-through of climate change, peak energy, finance and the Transition response, much of which will be familiar to regular readers, but delivered to an interesting (and interested) new audience.