Key speakers

Dr Jem Bendell


Dr Jem Bendell is a Professor of Sustainability Leadership with the University of Cumbria ( and Founder of the Deep Adaptation Forum ( He works as a researcher, educator and advisor on social and organisational change, with over 25 years experience in sustainable development initiatives in over 20 countries, with business, voluntary sector and political parties.

With 100+ published texts on the environment and international development, including reports for the United Nations, and involvement in establishing and growing international multi-stakeholder initiatives, he was recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum 2012-2017.

He now specialises in leadership, communications, facilitation and currency innovation for Deep Adaptation to climate chaos. In 2018 he authored the viral Deep Adaptation paper, downloaded around a million times.

Abstract for his talk

More people are experiencing or anticipating societal collapse and changing their lives as a result. Many are becoming radical communicators and enablers of social change. This resonates with Professor Jem Bendell’s own experience. In this presentation Jem will give some examples of what is happening, and some of the concepts from psychology and spiritual traditions that may help explain it. In addition, he will explain the ways that people are ‘holding space’ for each other as they go through these processes of transformation. That experience points to how to help the transformation of eco-distress into pro-social behaviour.