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Global Read

Active Hope

by Chris Johnstone + Joanna Macy


Active Hope

with Chris Johnstone
Joanna Macy won't be joining us for this Global Read, we send our best wishes for her full return to good health!

Co-hosted by the Charter for Compassion Environment Sector


Date: February 8th, 9 am Pacific Time
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Cost: Suggested donation $10 US.
We will offer this program free to those whose resources are limited.

You can no longer register for this event

The challenges we face can be difficult even to think about. Climate change, war, political polarization, economic upheaval, and the dying back of nature together create a planetary emergency of overwhelming proportions.

This revised, tenth anniversary edition of Active Hope shows us how to strengthen our capacity to face these crises so that we can respond with unexpected resilience and creative power.

Drawing on decades of teaching an empowerment approach known as the Work That Reconnects, (WTR) the authors guide us through a transformational process informed by mythic journeys, modern psychology, spirituality, and holistic science. This process equips us with tools to face the mess we’re in and play our role in the collective transition, or Great Turning, to a life-sustaining society.

Joanna Macy Ph.D, author & teacher, is a scholar of Buddhism, systems thinking and deep ecology. A respected voice in movements for peace, justice, and ecology, she interweaves her scholarship with learnings from six decades of activism.

Her wide-ranging work addresses psychological and spiritual issues of the nuclear age, the cultivation of ecological awareness, and the fruitful resonance between Buddhist thought and postmodern science. The many dimensions of this work are explored in her thirteen books, which include three volumes of poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke with translation and commentary.


As the root teacher of The Work That Reconnects, Joanna has created a ground-breaking framework for personal and social change, as well as a powerful workshop methodology for its application.

Based in Berkeley, California, close to her children and grandchildren, Joanna has spent many years in other lands and cultures, viewing movements for social change and exploring their roots in religious thought and practice.

Since the early 1980's her travel was governed by invitations to teach the group work that she and a growing number of colleagues were developing. Many thousands of people around the world have participated in Joanna's workshops and trainings. These methods, incorporated in the Work That Reconnects, have been adopted and adapted yet more widely in classrooms, community centers, and grassroots organizing.

In the face of overwhelming social and ecological crises, this work helps people transform despair and apathy into constructive, collaborative action. It brings a new way of seeing the world as our larger living body. This perspective frees us from the assumptions and attitudes that now threaten the continuity of life on Earth.


Dr. Chris Johnstone, in a nutshell. 

With a background in medicine, psychology, group-work and coaching, Dr Chris Johnstone is a specialist trainer for resilience, wellbeing and active hope. 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. After working for many years as a doctor and addictions specialist in the UK health service, he now focuses on his training work, his online courses at The College of Wellbeing and ActiveHope.Training reaching thousands of people, with participants from more than 60 countries. His books include, Active Hope, co-authored with Joanna Macy (available in fourteen languages, and a new edition published in 2022), and Seven Ways to Build Resilience (2019). He has a free online course introducing Active Hope available at ActiveHope.Training.

Chris is also a keen musician, known for his hammered dulcimer and harmonica playing. He lives in the north-east of Scotland, where he is an enthusiast for forest gardening and a keen grower of fruit.


About the host: Ellen Hoffenberg Serfaty

I am a retired American-Israeli, who grew up in a diverse Bronx community and then rural area of New York, and later joined a large North African-Moroccan “tribe” through marriage, and raised my daughter, in Jerusalem, Israel, I am living in the northern Mediterranean area of Israel. I spent 45 years as a public service lawyer, leading human service organizations, and teaching teachers and people of all ages with special needs students. I’m a meditation practitioner for many decades, and part of several international sanghas.

Since retirement, all my “work” is volunteer, including the Charter for Compassion  Education Institute, leading book groups and courses as a facilitator, to learn about The Work That Reconnects, and working with the Network’s Anti-Oppression and De-escalating Harmful Patterns of White Supremacy groups.
Many of my efforts are focused on coordinating volunteers to protect sea turtles our marine reserves, and other local environmental efforts. I am a meditation practitioner for several decades, and lead several groups.  My main role now is a Nana:-)


The Charter for Compassion Education Institute, is offering the second year of our course: How to be an Activist for our World, and Maintain It!, based on the work of Joanna Macy and The Work That Reconnects.

It will open January 16, with five Zoom sessions, including this Global Read with Joanna Macy.



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