March 18, 2024

The TrAd book, the TrAd declaration, and the TrAd village - By Rupert Read

Each year at Green Gathering - at the focal point at the bottom of the huge natural amphitheatre at the heart of the site - a loose but loyal group of us form a Village. A Village based on the principles of Transformative Adaptation (aka ‘TrAd’). Recognising that it is too late to prevent climate- and nature- breakdown; it is happening. And recognising that this is no reason to ‘give up’; on the contrary. 

We look to the past, to traditions and lost wisdom. We look to the future, to exciting new convergences and possibilities amidst the heartbreak. We commit to seeking to explore and model a way through what is coming, seeking even now to help prevent collapse if that is possible, and to transform what is (including ourselves) into something more adequate, as we adapt together to what an enraged and tortured Gaia is increasingly throwing at us.

During the festival we host open events in the TrAd Village amplifying and sharing different projects from around the country all working towards the same goal.  One of these will be on the TrAd book, edited by myself and Morgan Philips, which will appear in print and online (where it will be available for free download) prior to the Gathering. The book obviously elaborates on what TrAd is, and on where it is emerging. One particular feature of it, that will give you a flavour we hope of the book and the village alike, is the TrAd Declaration, a short, living document that a good number of us have worked on for a good while. The book culminated in it. Here it is below.

The TrAd Declaration

TrAd is a practical philosophy. 

It is too late to head off disasters. They are now coming. It is too late to prevent dangerous climate change or much ecocide. It is therefore time to start taking adaptation seriously.

 We therefore declare:

We will begin to adapt ourselves and our communities to climatic degradation in a way that mitigates global environmental destruction.

We will work with nature rather than against nature, and seek in the process to transform society in the direction it needs to change.

We call for deep adaptation: preparing for potential societal collapse. 

Transformative (and deep) adaptation will be modelled in our actions and plans. 

We do not assume that Government will take the initiative, but we will challenge them to do so through actions which model it.

We are not a political party and note that the existing ‘democracy’ has failed. We need real democracy to be revived. 

We believe in Citizens Assemblies. We cannot rely on Government to set these up; we will seek to model them ourselves at every level (locally, nationally, globally), and challenge Governments to adopt them and their outcomes.

We seek a diverse and inclusive society. We seek unity. We advocate a ‘co-liberation’ model for advancing this aim. We determine to work together to overcome oppressions and prejudice and free ourselves together.

Our actions are the strongest way we tell a story, and change the narrative. 

Our actions will be intelligibly and visibly articulated as senseful acts of beauty. We do not believe in actions that seem to threaten, or senselessly destroy.

Our actions will always be meaningful.

We intend system-change, from the bottom up

We intend to create a better world, a more loving world, or at least a more survivable world.

We commit to acting from here on in the spirit of this declaration.


If any or all of this intrigues or touches you, then look out for the book…and we look forward to seeing you at the Village! 

Come to The Green Gathering. Come to the heart of it. And find out for yourself.

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