Design for Resilience

Supporting individuals and communities through deep adaptation and emergency preparedness

Programme Overview

Type: e-Learning
Start Date:
September 16, 2023 
Target audience:
With Facilitators
Registrations: until September 30, 2023 

Developed by:

The world as a whole is living through many crises: climate change, ecosystem degradation, war, social inequality, supply chain disruption and resource depletion, to name just a few. Communities are seeing more wildfires, heatwaves, unusual storms, floods and pandemics. The weight of mass migrations is an extra burden for communities and local systems often already stretching their boundaries. While many governments and NGOs have plans to respond to punctual disasters and disruptions, they often only focus on getting things back to normal as quickly as possible, and lack a longer term plan for resilience, or prevention of recurrence. 

In this course, we will use a whole systems approach, incorporating interdisciplinary tools (resilience science and practice, Art of Hosting, Theory of U, Transformational Resilience, Permaculture and the practical tools from disaster management and emergency preparednes).
Using the VUCA context tool (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) we will guide you to map your household and community and support you on designing integrated and resilient systems, from inner to physical. 

This is a hands-on, very practical and fun course where you will come up with a realistic plan for you, your family and your community.


Main Facilitator

My name is Silvia and I am passionate about resilience. Resilience comes in many shapes and forms: from psychological to spiritual (in my view, the more important types) to physical and strategic. There are resilient individuals and resilient communities. There are resilient systems. The resilience I believe in is called bounced forward resilience. We don't want to go back.

A bit about my studies and experience: as a refugee and later immigrants I learned about psychological and spiritual resilience. I worked over 10 years supporting refugees and immigrants in Canada. I am also a permaculturist, for many years I helped individuals and communities to map and design resilient systems (food, water, energy, transportation, shelter, communication). During my nine years of experience with the Disaster Management department at the Canadian Red Cross, I learned and helped communities and groups to create preparation plans and respond to disasters.

In 2019, I started one of the biggest groups to discuss Deep Adaptation and facilitated dozens of meetings and workshops on the subject.

My role in this course is to introduce you to the existing tools and resources as well as people who are deeply connected to resilience that is compassionate and caring. I hope you join us!


Course Dates

  • Module 1 - September 16 - September 22 - Welcome session, creating the container together
  • Module 2 - September 23 Module 2 session - systems mapping
  • Module 3 - October 7 Module 3 session - water
  • Module 4 - October 21 Module 4 session - energy
  • Module 5 - November 4  Module 5 session - shelter & waste
  • Module 6 - November 18 Module 6 session - social
  • Module 7 - December 2 Module 7 session - economic
  • Module 8 - December 16 Module 8 session - inner resilience
  • Project design - due January 13, 2024

Course Content

  • Module 1: defining resilience in an era of uncertainty/ bouncing forward vs bouncing back (two weeks)
  • Module 2: systems mapping, risks, hazards, vulnerabilities and opportunities (two weeks)
  • Module 3: water and food systems (two weeks)
  • Module 4: energy and communication systems (two weeks)
  • Module 5: shelter and waste systems (two weeks)
  • Module 6: community resilience, the social aspect (two weeks)
  • Module 7: economic resilience (livelihoods, goods and services (two weeks)
  • Module 8: personal and inner resilience (two weeks)
  • Project design: resilience plan (due January 13, 2024)

Interviews and co-facilitators:

  • Professor Jem Bendell from Deep Adaptation
  • Looby MacNamara from Cultural Emergence
  • Oscar Gussinyer from Resilience Earth
  • Interviews with Fridays for a Future and Extinction Rebellion
  • Interviews with permaculture experts

Course Structure

For each module, the course provides material to read and watch and interviews with people involved in different aspects of resilience. Participants will have the opportunity to interact in a forum, ask questions during Q&A with specialists in the different aspects of resilience and work on suggested exercises and case studies.

For each module, participants are encourage to research, map and describe the status of their own community, group or household.

At the end of the course, participants will have the tools and resources to design their own resilience plan for a household, group or community, present the design to their peers and receive feedback.

This is a very practical course. Participants can expect to have a clear plan of their community and household systems including the risks, vulnerabilities and hazards as well as well as opportunities and strengths. The emphasis is both in inner, personal as well as community/household resilience.

At the end of this course you should be prepared to work with your community towards a clear plan to prevent, respond and re-design the systems and approaches to potential disruptions caused by climate change as well as social, political or financial disruptions.


Certificate of Completion

  • The Design for Resilience runs for 16 weeks (including an orientation period).
  • We suggest you dedicate a minimum of 7-14 hours a week to receive maximum benefit from this programme.
  • You can choose to pay in full or in instalments.
  • We provide a limited number of scholarships, please apply here. Applications will be accepted until September 1, 2023 and results will be communicated to applicants by September 10.
  • For further information, please email:

Graduates of our programmes have gone on to contribute to sustainability projects, build communities, become social entrepreneurs, partake in permaculture projects and bio-dynamic farming, support transition movements and much more.

Course investment:

We provide three options, please choose the one that better meets your situation:

Students/retirees/low income: £250

Community supporter (your contribution helps others to take the course): £300

Community supported: your group or community is paying for you to attend and share with them: £350

Limited scholarships available (partial only). Please use this form to apply.