This Letter Could Ruggedize Your Life.
Announcing "A Crash Course in Personal Ruggedization," starting September 8th.
I’m excited to let you know that I’m teaching a new ten-week class this fall, A Crash Course in Personal Ruggedization.
This is a unique opportunity to engage in a deep exploration of the forces shaping our world. We’re going to get there through a ten-week course, combining deep-dive classes with discussion and the development of a personal ruggedization road map.
(Registration details and a special discount code at the bottom of this letter.)
Why should you take this course?
The primary benefit is readiness. This course offers the chance to lay the foundations of a strong personal ruggedization strategy: an approach to building the life you want, despite escalating discontinuities and dangers.
Over these ten weeks, we’ll begin by forming a working overview of the planetary crisis and steps steadily towards more and more personal scales. …..
There’s second benefit: strategic acumen in facing discontinuity.
Greater strategic acumen gained through a deeper understanding of the forces driving the planetary crisis — acumen we can put to use in our careers, investments, philanthropic choices and political enagements.
The planetary crisis manifests itself in place. The way we talk about huge changes can make them seem distant, abstract, removed from our daily lives, something to be modeled, calibrated, described, debated. The reality of those changes, though, is physical. It happens in the places we live, and in other places to which are tied by infrastructure, networks and markets. To make smart decisions about our own future lives, we need to think in terms of how the crisis echoes through landscapes.
That makes the place-based climate foresight we need to think about ruggedization also a powerful lens for understanding how a whole number of planetary systems are changing, for grasping discontinuity in the wider strategic landscape.
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, in your emails, in the classes I’ve offered before, and in my consulting work — is the difficulty of communicating concern and insight to family members, friends and colleagues who don’t share as deep a perspective on the planetary crisis.
It’s hard enough navigating personal discontinuity and climate isolation, but we really need those who we care for or depend on to understand where we’re coming from in order to succeed at making the kinds of changes we seek.
I find that talking about big changes through the examples of local, lived experience is one of the best ways of breaking through emotional barriers and disconnects, getting through the science and the jargon and the politics and the fear, and grounding your discussion on something we all share, which is concern for how our lives are going to happen.
So, what’s in this course?
Ten classes over ten weeks, each a deep dive into a particular aspect of the personal ruggedization challenge. Each class will be 90 minutes of focused teaching, followed by 30 minutes for questions and discussion. (All classes will be recorded, if you can’t participate at the scheduled time.)
A weekly “office hours” email, in which I answer some of your questions, share key reources and further reading, and offer any clarifications needed on the class topic.
A personal ruggedization “road map.” This is a sort of workbook, with exercises for asking yourself some of the tough questions, and planning an approach to learning more, involving others, and taking next steps. It’s not a test or an assignment: you can do as much or as little of it as you like.
What kinds of topics do the classes cover?
The first class unpacks the planetary crisis, the scale of discontinuity we face, and our unreadiness for what’s already happened.
What is the scale of the change unfolding around us?
Why does the ubiquity of outdated expertise make good foresight hard to find?
How do we educate and inform ourselves in the face of deep uncertainty and unprecedently rapid change?
The second class is about mapping needs, and revealing vulnerabilities in the systems and practices we depend on for meeting those needs.
How much disruption do we need to ready ourselves for?
How far can preparedness take us?
What does it mean to ruggedize our lives?
The third class focuses on identifying risks — from the most catastrophic disasters, to complex and interconnected threats, to the subtle and progressive erosion of predictability in our lives.
What makes a place safe(r)?
How do we figure that out?
How do we weigh the dangers against each other?
The fourth class homes in on spotting brittleness, and learning to see good bones — that is, places and systems that have built-in advantages in meeting discontinuities.
What is the brittleness bubble?
What forms of brittleness are hardest to fix?
What kind of places offer the best foundations for ruggedization?
The fifth class explores ruggedization itself, including responses to threats that increase prosperity and capacity to act.
What are the differences between adaptation, resilience and ruggedization?
Why does ruggedization demand acknowledging bubbles of overvaluation?
How does predatory delay slow ruggedization?
The sixth class reveals the ruggedization bottleneck we all face, by illuminating the vast shortfall in future-secure places — and the increasing economic competition for access to them.
Why wealth itself is a key to ruggedization.
Why the longer we take to act a society, the fewer places will be saved.
The scale of action needed is part of how we know personal ruggedization is critical
Transapocalyptic realities for the middle-class.
The seventh class launches us into the hunt for ruggedizability — the quality of places that are not ready yet, but whose futures can be potentially improved by bold action.
How to identify places with promise.
Anticipating successful strategies for ruggedization.
Why the capacity rapid, concentrated action is a key criterion of ruggedizability.
How multiscalar solutions can fit together to produce non-zero-sum benefits.
The eighth class is about fast strategies, assembling winning coalitions for fast action, and the scale of the opportunity still awaiting people and places ready to snap forward.
Winning through concentrated disruption.
How to win fast victories; how to build constituencies for bigger wins.
Why some of the biggest opportunities of the next decade will be found in places engaged in spiky ruggedization.
The ninth class is about bringing those we love along: building connection with family, colleagues and neighbors.
Understanding your own climate isolation and personal discontinuity.
Local, lived experience as a way to ground otherwise overwhelming topics
Purpose-based conversation about shared futures.
The last class is about magnifying successes and making a real impact.
Preparing for personal and shared success in tough times
Why the most effective form of advocacy is skin in the game: understanding what reality demands of us, acting accordingly and being open about our commitment to rapid action.
Fast people winning is winning fast — and how fast we go is the future we get.
How to get access.
A Crash Course in Personal Ruggedization is a video class, held every Thursday, from 10:00 a.m. to 12 p.m., Pacific time, beginning September 8th and ending November 10th.
Each class will feature 90 minutes of teaching, 30 minutes of discussion, and be recorded and shared afterwards with all members of the class.
I’m limiting the class size, in order to keep it small enough to be a conversation.
Based on early interest I expect the course to fill up, so if you want to be a part of it, don’t wait.
» To sign up, please follow this link.
(Enrollment closes on the 6th of September.)
This is an important moment. I look forward to continuing the conversation in this course, in the newsletter and podcast, with the forthcoming book, and beyond.
Thanks for being a part of the discussion,
PS: As a special appreciation for newsletter subscribers, you can get 10% off by using the code, good until August 22nd:
To get your 10% discount, go to this link, and click “Redeem Coupon” when prompted.