Seed of the idea came to me when I was teaching part of the Permaculture course at Cloughjordan yesterday. Made a couple of tweets.
Right, who wants to help me figure out a Collapse Course where I take all this stuff and teach it? When? Where? Who? Need perspective.
“Living in a changing world” type emphasis, economic geography roots, politics-on orientation, relentless adaptation for realistic hope.
I’ve got the content, I can hold an audience, but I have no idea how to get bums on seats, logistics and legalities. Do you have that part?
I realized yesterday that I enjoy teaching and I’m good at it. The organizations are moving too slowly. I have a good feeling about this.
There are quite a few discussions about teaching some of my material as a part of other activities right now – @Dougald and I have ongoing discussions that, among others. I am definitely very open to teaching as a component of other courses and activities.
What I realized yesterday is that the infrastructure-centric way of seeing the world, and seeing collapse risks, is actually much slower to acquire than I think of it as being. With a well-prepared group it still seems to take about an hour to see the first edge of “ohhh….” form, where the vision begins to shift. And then there’s threat modeling, and the social thermometer and half a dozen other fundamental models which I live inside, most of which actually take about half a day to really grok, if not longer.
So what I’m thinking about is actually something like a one week residential intensive, probably at Cloughjordan, in which we actually deep dive on those models and seeing the world, and do the psychological work of adapting to the world which can be seen from this much clearer, much more physical perspective. I don’t expect this to be easy, but I think that for people who are already well-prepared by Transitions, Permaculture, risk management or serious politics, it could be a chance to rapidly sharpen their perspective in the areas which become critical in fast-adaptation times.
And, let me stress, not instead of teaching in other places, but as a sort of “masterclass” where, by the end of the week, everybody involved ought to be able to practically apply the toolkit to solve their problems, and the problems of the people in their communities.
Syllabus might look something like
AM serious, deep introductions, and an overview of the course
PM the Social Thermometer – understanding how people change in tough times
AM global economic geography – how the other half lives, what it’s like to be poor
PM drivers of change – what’s broken in ways which directly affects us
AM simple critical infrastructure maps – theory and threat modeling
PM simple critical infrastructure maps – practice and running scenario
AM individual, group, organization and state – where to fight your battles
PM the psychology of fear – how to handle the pressure of knowing
AM the hope response – how have humans survived this long? how do we continue to do so?
Given the intensity of the material, I suspect the format would be something like:
* two hours of actual tuition
* one hour of discussion
* one hour of reflection, write up, personal conversations between students, Q&A on technical points
The goal would be to create a level of understanding of the material and the models which will allow people to apply them to mitigate risks in the real world using the Gupta State Failure Management Archive toolkit. There’s an enormous amount of other material which is directly relevant to this terrain – practical experience from people who have lived through these kinds of times in their own countries, specialist knowledge in areas like policing, technical know-how for matters like water filtration or first aid. All that material is outside the bounds of what I have in mind for this course, which is simply deep-dive to master my material and models. People doing that are going to do other kinds of thinking and training too.
I think there’s an enormous amount of room for a much more general course which includes the whole spectrum of material at a more general level, and I hope very much to be included in teams doing that kind of education in the near future
I also suspect that a course like this is going to need at least one, and more likely two facilitators – one handling logistics and practicalities, the other handling the depth work as people’s understanding of themselves and their world shifts.
So, anyway, that’s as good a representation as I have right now for what I had in mind. Thoughts?
PS: compare resilience designer which is a more gradual, evolutionary path towards resilience, and assumes a much less deep-dive approach.