Keynote Address

Active Hope: Nourishing Personal and Collective Resilience in a Time of Overwhelming Disasters

Mon. July 13 | 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. MDT

Seven Sentence Starters in Support of Active Hope

Even before the pandemic struck, the scale and pace of disasters was outstripping our capacity to respond. As our world has grown hotter, wildfires, droughts, floods, and storms have reached new intensities. Now, on top of that, already stretched institutions and services face a new natural hazard on a scale beyond anything in recent history. Overwhelming in itself, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic also blocks or complicates responses to many of the other disasters confronting us.

The starting point for Active Hope is recognizing where we are and what we face. Yet even from the most difficult of beginnings, a story can develop in different ways. Looking at the different story threads happening through us—personal, professional and collective—this keynote invites participants to explore two central questions:

  • What do we hope for in this time of planetary emergency?
  • How can we nourish our personal and collective resilience so that we’re better resourced to act in support of our hopes?

Active Hope is different from being hopeful. It is a practice we can bring into any situation. It involves starting from where we are, identifying what we hope for, and then acting to make that version of events more likely. We can apply this to both our world and ourselves.

Chris Johnstone

Co-author of Active Hope – How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy

Chris Johnstone is one of the United Kingdom’s leading resilience specialists. With a background in medicine and psychology, his work over the last thirty years has focused on exploring what helps us face disturbing situations (whether in our own lives or the world) and respond in ways that nourish resilience and well-being. His books include Active Hope (co-authored with Joanna Macy and translated into more than eleven languages) and Seven Ways to Build Resilience. He lives in the north of Scotland where he teaches online at

Back to Schedule