Six Weeks That Could Ruggedize Your Future
A crash course in personal ruggedization. Starts April 27th.
I’m thrilled to announce that I’m offering a new and improved version of my Crash Course in Personal Ruggedization, beginning at the end of the month.
The question, “Can we avoid major impacts from climate chaos and ecological collapse?” has been answered. The answer is no. We should all act with boldness and speed to limit further destruction, but no matter what we do now, we cannot escape the consequences of the last three decades of inaction. Those consequences will be tragic and catastrophic for many people — and transform the lives of every person in the world.
Almost none of us are ready.
We can, however, learn to be readier. The time to prepare for the accelerating discontinuities of the planetary crisis is now. And the main way individuals and families can gear up for what’s coming is personal ruggedization.
Personal ruggedization is not bugging out or bunkering down. Personal ruggedization is making smart decisions about where we choose to live, the systems we embed ourselves in, and the ways we work with others to secure a good future for ourselves and communities.
Personal ruggedization is intelligent, purpose-driven engagement with deep uncertainty.
If you want to learn to make smarter choices in uncertain times, my Crash Course in Personal Ruggedization is for you. This six-week intensive offers a strong grounding in the tools you need to redesign your life for what comes next.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Week One: What will the Planetary Crisis mean for your life?
The Planetary Crisis and how to understand it. Why we face slow progress to limit risks, combined with widespread unreadiness to face those risks. Climate foresight reveals a wide range of potential outcomes, all discontinuous with past expectations, and all transapocalyptic.
What an Orderly Transition is, and why we can no longer get one. Why no plausible set of international agreements, policies and plans will guarantee everyone’s future. The systemic chaos we face will not resolve itself into stability, for decades. There is no new normal, and no one will fix this for us. We must now be our own best advocates.
The mindset for personal ruggedization. How we develop a strong, grounded sense of the place-based dangers and systems-based possibilities of the next decades.
Week Two: What it means to ready ourselves for discontinuity.
What is readiness, really? What are the differences between social turbulence, temporary interruptions in the functions of critical systems, and widespread collapse? How do we think sensibly about each?
What is ruggedization? How do readiness for discontinuity, risk reduction, the development of new capacities, and the seizing of opportunities work together?
What would it mean for a nation or region to ruggedize at scale? Understanding the kinds of massive reforms and investments we’d need to address the crises we face on a society-wide basis, and current progress towards them. Understanding that the responses we are seeing are likely to be very unevenly distributed.
What is personal ruggedization?
Week Three: Mapping the vulnerabilities and strengths of places and systems.
Judging climate and ecological vulnerabilities: what makes one place riskier than another? What kinds of risks make the most sense to anticipate?
Assessing systems and strengths: what makes one place more prepared than another place, when both face similar risks?
Using data tools and developing intuitions about complex realities.
Week Four: Acting while there’s still time.
The pressures of unreadiness. The Brittleness Bubble. Climate displacement and local refugees. The risks created by a society-wide collision with unreadiness.
The Bottleneck. What happens when a limited supply of rugged places gets hit by a massive demand for those places? How the pent-up torque of the planetary crisis will soon drive market dynamics, and how those market dynamics are likely to hit local people with fewer assets hard. The danger of getting priced out of a survivable future.
The Boom. How the scale of need — and the potential for profit and power in the building of the new — drives what is likely to trigger an extremely disruptive rush into new markets, technologies, businesses. Success may not feel more stable or calm.
Week Five: Hunting for opportunity in a planetary crisis.
Searching for ruggedizability. What does it mean to say that a place or system is not rugged but “ruggedizable”? Why is the potential to be made more rugged an extremely undervalued asset, especially in places that currently lack prestige — and how these undervaluations create the possibility of bargain-hunting for a good future location.
Honestly calibrating your personal capacities and needs. What can you afford to do? How far are you willing to go? What is your risk tolerance?
How do we make ruggedizable places better? Understanding the essential social and civic infrastructures for places undergoing change. Are you ready to help build those, and to advocate for change? Are you willing to be a force for larger (and thus more inclusive) ruggedization efforts? The importance of individual successes as a driver of change.
Week Six: Making personal ruggedization a platform for connection and growth.
Making personal ruggedization a practice, thus turning it into a platform for learning, growth and success.
Strategic insight. Developing strategic intuitions for a range of new realities.
Developing a healthy discontinuity mindset. Your wellness and “mental hygiene”. Moving from climate isolation to community.
Bringing others along. How we engage critically important conversations in a high-tension time, with kindness, clarity and optimism. How we connect with those we love, to form a shared vision of how to move forward together as the heat rises.
Why take this course?
The primary benefit is readiness to think in new ways.
The past is no longer a reliable guide to future choices, and old thinking can lead us quickly into error. This course offers clear frameworks for spotting emerging patterns in the chaos. It also brings some hard-won advice on how to work through our own feelings of fear, grief and disorientation, to be able to make grounded choices in a healthier manner.
There’s a second benefit: better decision-making skills when facing discontinuity.
Our careers, investments, philanthropic choices and political enagements are increasingly entangled with discontinuous change. This course offers the chance to lay the foundations of a strong personal ruggedization strategy: an approach to planning the life you want, despite escalating discontinuities and dangers.
The third benefit is deeper connection with the people who matter most to us.
One of the things I’ve heard most frequently — in conversation, correspondence, the classes I’ve offered before, and my consulting work — is how hard it can be to talk with family members, friends and colleagues who are just beginning to grapple with the rough realities ahead of us. This course can help frame conversations that bring us together as we look ahead.
In the words of a participant in the last Crash Course,
“I would recommend this ruggedization course to anyone who plans to live on this planet after 2030. You will acquire a strategic framework to approach personal life decisions in the face of uncertainty, as well as a helpful lens through which to view and evaluate current events and policy decisions. I have gained valuable perspective to help my family and I not just survive, but thrive through the Anthropocene.”
Course Details and Bonuses:
A Crash Course in Personal Ruggedization begins Thursday, April 27th, 2023, and runs for six weeks1.
Classes will be held weekly on Thursdays, from 10am - 12pm PST, on Zoom. Each session will include a deep-dive on that week’s topics, with time at the end for a brief Q&A. Classes are recorded for those who cannot attend live.
Reading lists following from each session to help you deepen your studies.
$100 off a one-on-one consultation with me to receive personalized guidance
An optional 90-minute wrap-up call after the final session during which participants can explore follow-on questions and share ways in which they have integrated course material; a chance to learn to from each other (date/time TBD).
Sign up now:
As an early-bird reward for subscribers, you can save 10% off the course by using this special discount code, good until Thursday, April 20th:
To get your 10% discount, go to this link, and click “Redeem Coupon” when prompted.
(Enrollment closes on the 25th of April. People are already signing up and space is limited. I expect this course to sell out again, so if you want to be a part of this breakthrough experience, please don’t wait.)
I hope you’ll join us!
PS: Because of Elon Musk’s throttling of Substack letters on Twitter, the reach for this announcement might be much smaller than usual. If you know someone who might be interested in this course, please share it with them directly. Thanks!
There will be a make-up day on the 8th of June, should it be needed due to unforeseen circumstances.