The Lifeboat Project

Ben Kadel
3 min readMay 13, 2022

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This is a call to action.

We live in turbulent times and they are likely to get even bumpier. The combined pressures of climate chaos, social breakdown, and a post-peak-energy future mean there will be no “going back.” Science is telling us that we need to mobilize like we’ve never mobilized before and yet our institutions — the same ones that created the mess — have demonstrated quite clearly that they are not up to the job. No one is coming to save us; we’re going to have to do this ourselves.

We think our best hope lies in creating a fleet of “lifeboats” — place-based resilience networks with the practical skills necessary to face an uncertain future and insecure supply chains — connected in a peer-to-peer mutual support network. If this sounds even remotely interesting to you, we want to connect with you.

As part of our commitment to mobilization, we are putting 100 percent of our efforts into growing the Lifeboat Academy as an experimental “lifeboat” — a model of resilience and regeneration at the person, place, and community level and creating a support network with others working on similar projects.

Our dream reaches in two directions at once. In one direction, we want to train dozens of lifeboat crews who can start building practical, place-based networks of committed individuals in their local community. In the other direction, we want to grow a different kind of network that takes its cues from natural systems — a light, nimble, multi-nodal hodge-podge that leans into six degrees of separation to move information and resources where they need to be for mutual benefit.

That’s what the Lifeboat Project is all about and we invite you to join us.

If you’re already building your lifeboat, we want to find ways to learn from your experience of what works and what doesn’t and find ways to reach those who are just hearing the alarm bells ringing now. How can we help them fast-forward to meet us? And how can we work together for mutual benefit?

If you are ready to start building your lifeboat but don’t know where to begin, we want to provide the guidance we wish we had been given when we were starting out.

We don’t have all the details figured out. Like everyone else, we’re just doing the best we can with what we’ve got. But we do have a solid foundation of knowledge and experience to build on. We’ve learned a few things along the way and one is we are all better off when we find ways to work together — so let’s do that.

Please, click here to sign up for the Lifeboat Project mailing list and we’ll connect with you shortly to get the conversation going — or start the conversation right now by leaving a comment or question. I’ll be posting on Medium again with ideas for how the Lifeboat Network could develop and would love to know what questions or ideas you have about the idea.

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