Bright Future grads share their experience / Progress for the climate

Dear <subscriber>,

This issue of CI News includes:

  • Bright Future Now through the eyes of our graduates
  • Progress toward reversing climate change

The Bright Future Now experience

  • “The core inner and outer skills our times require.”
  • “Very personal and global at the same time.”
  • “Extremely rich to share this with my partner.”
  • “I feel well equipped to handle any situation that comes, be it about me, about collaboration questions or complex topics. The course also left me with a deep feeling of contentment.”

These are some of the ways that graduates speak of their experience in Bright Future Now, Context Institute’s 6-week online interactive course. In these times of upheaval, the course is helping talented people of all ages from diverse backgrounds and from around the world step into their full capacity as creative agents of change.

If you’d like to deepen your ability to brighten your future – personally and for the world – we’d love to have you join in. The next course starts July 15. Registration closes July 1 (or sooner if we reach our maximum size of 21 before then.) The course is already half full and filling quickly. If you’re interested, I encourage you to register as soon as possible to ensure your place.

To learn more, please look at Journey Deeper into the Planetary Era. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the course.

(I’ve included extended quotes from the graduates at the end of this email.)

Progress toward reversing climate change

I’m seeing more and more signs that the world is getting closer to making substantial progress toward dealing with climate change. The worldwide recommitment to the Paris Accord in the face of Trump’s withdrawal is just one such example.

I encourage you to explore the following links and sense their cumulative impact: We know, in practical terms, how to reverse climate change, economic forces that drive toward de-carbonization may already be unstoppable and previously resistant parts of society are starting to support meaningful action.

Here are the links:
Project Drawdown
Financial Times declares a winner in the war for energy’s future, and Big Oil won’t be happy
Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030
This Is What the Demise of Oil Looks Like
Stunning drops in solar and wind costs turn global power market upside down
Financial firms lead shareholder rebellion against ExxonMobil
and, should it be needed …
Financing the 1.5°C Limit (easy once the political-will tipping-point is reached).

All of this progress is happening because of countless people who have worked diligently toward this goal. Now is the time to double-down on those efforts, knowing that important positive tipping points are coming in the next few years if we keep up the effort.

With appreciation,
Robert Gilman
June 7, 2017

Here are some extended quotes from graduates:

“Bright Future Now was a great experience. The course touched on several topics I’d been thinking a lot about and expanded them into areas I wouldn’t have thought to take them. I learned some things about people that I needed to learn. My list of tools for living a good life—making decisions, working with people, understanding and enjoying big ideas—is longer and more diverse. BFNow has been meaningful to me in a way that feels practical, personal and important. “

Another, posted to the Cohousing listserv:

“After 10 years involved in self-developing [a cohousing community], marked for me with some serious and, in retrospect, unnecessary growing pains that cost us dearly, I’d like to recommend an invaluable resource I wish we’d had earlier. It’s an online course excellent for anyone forming communities who wants to avoid some of the painful process pitfalls we experienced, but at least as valuable for anyone disturbed by the state of our world and interested in human and planetary sustainability.

Bright Future Now is an easily accessible journey into the core inner and outer skills our times require. It’s led several times a year by Robert Gilman, astrophysicist, co-founder of the Global Ecovillage Network, a former resident of Winslow Cohousing and founder and editor of Context Institute’s award-winning journal, IN CONTEXT, A Quarterly of Humane Sustainable Culture. Robert is a gem to experience as teacher. Great short videos worth viewing can be found at http://www.context.org/

The course is both very personal and global at the same time. My own cohort of “Explorers” consists of folks from Scotland, S.Africa, Senegal, Holland, D.C., WA state, Maine, and more. Explorers, having been introduced to a shared language and body of knowledge about ourselves and our times, become part of a vibrant growing network of folks who will, in myriad and unknown ways, work toward a sustainable future. It’s heartwarming and hopeful, practical and useful in an integrated way that just works.

Finally, an email one of the graduates sent to friends:

“Through a strange synchronicity I stumbled into this course and now having completed it I’m just so grateful and inspired that I want to let you know about it. In particular, I recommend it to my friends who are engaged in community organizing, and to anyone who is seeking a more meaningful way to work constructively with the changes and challenges we see around us today.

The theme is finding a deeper level of understanding of complex systems so as to be able to catalyze meaningful cultural change. And the genius of the course is the way it uses the self as a reference point for a complex system. I found that this focus made the material personal, real, and meaningful to me. The mood of the course is deeply optimistic and for me that in itself feels nourishing and new.

I guess by now we’ve heard many times “if you want to change the world, start by changing yourself.” How do you really change yourself, how do you get out of your own deep patterns of thought? I think each of us is discovering our personal answers to these questions. For me, this course accelerated that, bringing many surprising insights. It helped me identify my own blind spots where my habits and limitations were getting in my own way.

The facilitator, Robert Gilman, left a distinguished career as an astrophysicist to focus instead on planetary healing. It’s been a complete joy to have the opportunity to learn with him. His breadth and depth of understanding, warmth, kindness, accessibility, wisdom, ability to speak with clarity on topics from science to entrepreneurship to child development to metaphysics, and his many many stories from decades of deeply engaging with complex social change projects as well as personal development, inspire my deep respect and gratitude. He has created a leaning experience that is completely free of stress, ego, and drama and one that I aim to emulate in my own work.

It has been a joy also to meet others who are engaging with this work, from all across the U.S. to Europe and Africa. These include people who are searching for new ways to make a difference, as well as those who are part of established institutions, companies, communities and startups dedicated to fostering new paradigms of collaboration, interdependence, co-creativity, durable and harmonious peace.

[My partner] took the course also and we found it to be extremely rich to exchange with each other about the content as it holds many implications for relationships and collaboration. I can imagine other partners (couples, business partners, creative partners) getting a lot out of sharing this material, and I think it would provide an incredible common ground for a small team or group to do together.

I am left curious and excited about how our world would change if more of us were able to use this common language and toolset to work with gentleness and kindness together to bring into being the peaceful and creative world we imagine. I hope some of my friends will end up part of the Graduates network I am now very glad to be among.”

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