Resilience & adaptation for times of social & ecological crisis

16:00 - 19:00
Jul 17th 2020 ~ Jul 20th 2020

How do we prepare, inwardly & outwardly for what is coming? How do we build personal & community resilience? A powerful 4 session retreat for anyone seeking to deeply adapt to a turbulent future.

For more information contact Justine Huxley on 0207 496 1611 or justine.huxley@stethelburgas.org
Corporate / Organisational price

Solidarity price (contributes to bursary places)


“When things fall apart, we find out what binds us together”
(Rebecca Solnit)

The invitation 

The pandemic created a global liminal space, where unexpected shifts are possible.  The murder of George Floyd and the global uprising that followed has opened up an even more powerful moment of change.  While this liminal space is still open, we invite you to interrupt conditioned thinking and gather together with others who have the courage to face the unfaceable.

Inspired by deep adaptation, this programme starts from the premise that ecological and social crisis are already with us.  

It is a powerful online retreat for activists, peace-makers, change agents, people of faith or social conscience and anyone who wants to face up to new realities and stand together in solidarity.  The sessions are spread across a long weekend, with an optional follow up workshop translating learning into practical community resilience projects.  

What you will get from this retreat 

  • Space to face new realities: leaning into fear and grief
  • Greater awareness of how to stand in solidarity with those on the frontlines of climate and racial injustice
  • The courage to let go of what no longer makes sense, to re-examine and repurpose your life and priorities
  • Inner and outer tools for resilience
  • A dynamic co-learning experience
  • An opportunity to be part of a committed ongoing peer group 
  • An experience of deep community – sharing silence, time in nature and nourishing meals together in creative new ways online, alone/together.    

The programme

The retreat consists of: 4 sessions over a Friday – Monday.  Each session is approximately 3 hours.
Times are GMT/UTC.

It is designed as a retreat – but a retreat that is carried out at home, woven together with every-day life.  There are two optional morning meditation sessions, and scheduled time for silent walks in nature.   

Session #1:  Building community
Friday 17th July 7pm – 9.45pm

  • Getting to know each other – our unique perspectives, expertise and interests
  • Building a strong container for this shared enquiry, where feelings and vulnerabilities are welcomed
  • Exploring what we fear, what we grieve for, and what it means to face the possibility of individual or mass extinction
  • ‘Monktime’:  an optional period of silence between the end of the Friday session and gathering the following morning

Session #2: Facing reality
Saturday 18th July 4pm – 7pm 

  • Witnessing the world:  exploring stories of climate breakdown around the world
  • Mapping our future: possible scenarios unfolding in the coming years 
  • Exploring the disproportionate effects of ecological breakdown 
  • Asking what it means to stand in solidarity with cultures already in collapse 
  • Optional night walk  

Session #3:  Relinquishment
Sunday 19th July 4pm – 7pm 

  • Walking the different pathways of climate collapse:  mass migration, biodiversity loss, food shortages, conflict
  • Relinquishment in our own lives: what can I do to not make things worse? What no longer makes sense in my life? What stories about ourselves do I need to give up?
  • Confronting our mortality
  • Brain and body responses to crisis and emergency
  • Resilience

Session #4:  Regeneration 
Monday 20th July  7pm – 9.45pm

  • Collective dreaming – holding a regenerative vision for the future
  • Repurposing our lives – inner reconfiguring 
  • Moving forward – translating learning into our own contexts
  • Reflection and digestion.

There will be an optional follow up workshop for those wishing to develop a resilience project in your own community. If there is sufficient interest, this will take places 3 weeks later and will be costed separately. 

This workshop will include:   

  • Case studies of deep adaptation and resilience projects
  • Sharing ideas for your community actions 
  • Forming ongoing peer groups to support your action planning.

 “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced”
(James Baldwin) 


Justine Huxley is the CEO of St Ethelburga’s and leads on vision, strategy and project innovation.  Her work is focused on building community resilience for times of ecological and social collapse, while holding an unwavering vision of a longer-term vision of regeneration and a world rooted in a renewed sense of the sacred.  She is also passionate about advancing the next generation of leaders and peace-makers.  Her first book, Generation Y, Spirituality and Social Change is a collection of interviews with young adults living a radical new vision of faith and action.  She has a Ph.D in psychology and belongs to a Sufi tradition.  She has been hosting meditation groups for 15 years.


Tarot CouzynTarot Couzyn is the COO of St Ethelburga’s and responsible for managing programmes, staff, finance and venue.  Tarot plays a key role in developing our deep adaptation and also our sacred activist programmes, which involve volunteering in refugee camps.  She thrives in challenging environments.  Her original background was in collaborative arts and included co-directing her own organisation working in the fields of LGBTQ+ rights, and communities rebuilding in the aftermath of conflict and displacement (in Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and South Africa). Tarot also has experience as a consultant undertaking fundraising, evaluation and creative projects. Many of her practical skills were honed whilst building her own house.


Pricing policy

Standard:  £180

Supporter:  £240   (This price makes a contribution towards one of the bursary places).  

Corporate/Organisation:  £300

Bursaries:  We have a number of bursary places for those who are suffering financial hardship.  To apply for a bursary please email justine@stethelburgas.org and tell us about your background, what you hope to get from attending, and a little about your financial circumstance.


Our ethos

The retreat is rooted in the assumption that we need to face up to the reality of climate collapse and build resilience, while also holding an unwavering longer-term vision for the regeneration of Earth and human culture.   

We seek to prepare – inwardly and outwardly – for immense challenges, whilst also holding fast to ‘the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible’. 

The focus will not be presentation of facts, science, the development of crisis solutions or debating whether or not collapse is likely.   There will be about 3-4 hours of preparatory reading material.

“Even if the world will end tomorrow, still plant your apple tree”
(Martin Luther King) 

The retreats have been inspired in part by the ‘deep adaptation’ framework of Professor Jem Bendell.

Deep adaptation was a scientific paper that went viral in July 2018. Its explosive conclusion – that we are further down the road of climate breakdown than we feared – generated an overwhelming response from many in the scientific community and beyond, who felt relieved that at last a taboo had been broken. Alongside the science, author Jem Bendell laid out a framework for how people could talk about the future by exploring a framework called the 4 R’s: relinquishment, resilience, reconciliation and restoration. From this simple basis, a body of work has grown, shifting the conversation away from an old paradigm of stopping climate crisis, looking instead at how to create adaptive solutions for the impacts we can no longer avoid.  We recommend connecting on Professor Bendell’s various sites and platforms, including the Deep Adaptation Forum


Please ensure you view our Terms and Conditions and Refund Policy.

16:00 - 19:00
Jul 17th 2020 ~ Jul 20th 2020