Active Hope

What's it all about?

This group explore the revised edition of 'Active Hope – how to face the mess we are in with unexpected resilience and creative power’ by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone

Get involved

Over ten years ago, Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone published the first edition of 'Active Hope – how to face the mess we are in without going crazy’. The revised edition in 2022 now has a new subtitle – ‘how to face the mess we are in with unexpected resilience and creative power’.

The book introduces three ‘stories’ through which we can make sense of the ecological crises of our times: ‘Business as usual’, ‘The Great Unravelling’, and ‘The Great Turning’. It then leads us through the spiral of Joanna Macy’s ‘Work that Re-connects’ (more information here: This has four steps: Coming from gratitude, Honouring our pain for the world, Seeing with new eyes, and Going forth. The intention is to support people in responding to the climate crisis without falling into despair, and to strengthen our resilience and capacity to act with meaningful hope.

In 2014, a small group was convened by members of Inner Transition to talk about the book and to do some of the reflections and dialogues offered in its pages. They met weekly for six weeks to share thoughts, feelings, ideas, and inspiration, based on chapters that they had read during the week. Each person also met up with one other group member during the week to practise the exercises and dialogues recommended in the book.

The course was very well-received; feedback from participants included appreciation for:
 “Meeting such an inspiring group of people of all ages, who all want to make a
 “Warm, nourishing space. Thought provoking, educational, engaging.”
 “Honesty, openness, quality listening of all participants. I feel I have been given a
great gift.”
 “The opportunity everybody has to express their thoughts or feelings in a ‘safe space’
without fear.”
 “The courage and open-hearted sharing.”

During the next few years, a further six Active Hope courses were offered by people connected with Inner Transition, and several participants from these groups went on to offer additional courses in their own community or – during the pandemic – online via Zoom. The Inner Transition book group also chose the new edition of Active Hope as the first book to read together.

The Inner Transition Pulse Group keeps a waiting list of people who have expressed an interest in joining an Active Hope group, and can pass on information about new courses that we hear about. A self-guided version of the course, taught by Chris Johnstone, can also be accessed online via

Please contact us if you would like to be added to the waiting list, or if you are planning to run an Active Hope group and would like us to publicise it.