The Council on the Uncertain Human Future (CUHF) was launched in 2014 between a group of women, including Professor Sarah Buie from Clark University and the former President of Wellesley College, Diana Chapman-Walsh, to break the silence around the climate crisis. CUHF is now an international network, with Councils based at Swarthmore College, at Clark University, MIT, the University of Edinburgh, UC Berkeley and other higher education institutions, as well as among regional and nonprofit groups in the Bay Area, Santa Fe, Kathmandu, the Boston area and other locations. To learn a little more about the Council process, you can read the manifesto here.

This process uses the ancient practice of sitting in “council” to engage in an intentional dialogue and collective reflection on the climate crisis and the interconnected issues around it. Attendees are asked to slow down and listen deeply to themselves and one another; the process builds collaborative insight and allows for creative emergence as we consider implications for our individual lives and society. In the traditional CUHF, we ask:

What is taking place?
Why is it happening?
What are the implications?
How do we choose to conduct ourselves now?
How do we live, given what we know?

In the more recent Council in this time of Reckoning, we more specifically consider the intersections of the climate crisis, systemic racism, the global pandemic and rising authoritarianism. It is this approach to the Council practice that we will take during our time together on Monday, Nov. 16th from 4-6pm.

Below are some suggested readings that we ask you to review before we convene to create a shared context for our dialogue. The first three are very brief, altogether they are estimated to take about 30-40 minutes to read. The 4th piece is a little longer, perhaps a 20-30min read. The last piece is also longer and is worth a quick look for some of the visual images if you don't have time to review the entire article.

There are additional readings compiled in the Reader for this Time of Reckoning available on the website for the Council on the Uncertain Human Future available here, should you wish for more in depth material. Most importantly, we look forward to the time together in Council, with one another. 

It is important that we intentionally create this shared space, which is unlike a typical classroom or Zoom meeting. To that end, attached, please find a short note from Sarah Buie, the founder of the Council process (who will also act as one of the Conveners of our Council process on 11/16) to help you prepare. Please read this at least one day in advance to help you prepare for your Council experience. 

We very much look forward to sharing the Council space and practice with you!


Aurora Winslade and Mark Wallace

Last modified: Friday, November 6, 2020, 1:30 PM