Skip to main content

The Deep Adaptation Forum (DAF)

DAF is dedicated “to embodying and enabling loving responses to our predicament”. Our “predicament” is societal collapse arising from our climate emergency, global economic and environmental crises, species extinction, soil degradation, extreme weather events, forced migration, historical and systemic planet and people abuse, and much more. 

On this website, we use the terms societal collapse or breakdown to describe the ending of our modern ways of sustaining human life. Different people within DAF view this as likely, inevitable or already happening. Societal collapse includes limited or nonexistent access to food, shelter, safety, pleasure, identity, and meaning, as well the failure of our institutions and social structures. 

The DA Forum emerged from Professor Jem Bendell’s academic paper, published in 2018 and revised in 2020. Both versions explore personal and collective changes to help people understand, prepare for, and live with societal disruption and collapse in as loving a way as possible. Bendell offers The Four Rs to help us define and live loving responses.

Everywhere, people are beginning to understand it is too late to avert a global environmental catastrophe. Many humans and nonhumans in more vulnerable parts of the world are already deeply affected. People are expressing fear and unease, sometimes in destructive ways. As the effects of climate chaos escalate, collective panic could bring about extreme forms of “othering,” such as xenophobia, racism, tribalism, cultural exclusion, and fascism.

No one knows exactly what will happen, where, or when. But DAF recognizes that biosphere and climate disruptions are forcing humans and other species to seek new ways and places to live. We are also keenly aware that although societal collapse is a global predicament, racialized and Indigenous communities, and almost all non-human species, suffer first and most. 

The DA Forum invites participants to understand collapse from a global and historical perspective, rather than something recently arising. DA Forum participants recognize that many communities have already experienced the trauma of collapse, whether from natural disasters or due to war, slavery, colonization, and/or other social injustices. 

These injustices, the associated traumas and their consequences are still being experienced by the global majority today. Injustice is the foundation of our privileged societies and economies. DAF recognizes the need for acknowledging injustices and the importance of reconciliation. 

The DA Forum stands in solidarity with all affected beings, human and more-than-human. We share learnings that may prevent injustices from continuing and promote response-ability awareness. 

The DAF community currently has about 15,000 participants from many backgrounds and countries. Adapting to all time zones, people connect with each other via live video or on blogs and social media. 

To promote global interweaving, DAF hosts many weekly and monthly events. DA Forum events address the complex challenges of being, knowing and doing as our environment and society collapse. 

Individual events welcome grief, relational work, compassionate listening, self-awareness, connection to Earth, spirituality and decolonization. There are also a variety of events inviting artistic expression as well as those exploring pragmatic areas such as education and permaculture. 

During these events, people can freely discuss difficult issues and explore loving responses to our predicament. We support each other in discovering what deep adaptation means to us and how we can respond with courage and compassion. The events are both online and in person, free and by donation. DAF events are hosted by trained facilitators and other volunteers.

DAF events and projects intend to enable deep connection and creative collaboration. Newer participants frequently express profound relief at finding a trustworthy place for connection without argument, discussion or criticism. Anyone at any level of collapse-awareness can seek support from our guides.

DAF is governed predominantly by dedicated volunteers. Six functional circles manage day-to-day operations. The DA Forum’s network of online and in-person Affiliated Groups brings together geographical, language and interest groups aligned with the DAF Charter. Anyone is welcome to join these networks for peer support, personal growth, and project collaboration.

The DA Forum relies on regular, generous donations of time and money. Small grants are most welcome. The more financial support DAF receives, the further this social movement can reach beyond borders, cultures and social classes. The DA Forum is a catalyst for peace and positive transformation in an increasingly fragmented world. If you can, please donate here

Updated October 30, 2023/Ramey