Active Hope is about finding, and offering, our best response to the crisis of sustainability and injustice unfolding in our city and beyond.


Climate change, economic upheaval, and social inequality together create a local and global emergency that can easily seem overwhelming.

Active Hope London exists to strengthen the capacity of Londoners to face this crisis with resilience and creative power.

We take our inspiration from the book Active Hope: How To Face The Mess We’re In Without Going Crazy by eco-philosopher Joanna Macy and resilience expert Chris Johnstone.


Macy and Johnstone offer three stories through which we see and understand what’s going on in the world:

In the story of ‘Business as Usual’, there seems little need to change the way we live. The second story, ‘The Great Unraveling’, draws attention to the disasters ‘Business as Usual’ is taking us towards, as well as those it has already brought about. The third story, ‘The Great Turning’, is about the epochal transition towards a life sustaining society committed to the healing and recovery of our world.

We see The Great Turning as the essential adventure of our time. It involves the transition from a doomed economy of industrial growth to a regenerative economy that recognises the interconnectedness of all life.

Watch Joanna Macy talk about The Great Turning.

Read an article by Chris Johnstone on seeing the world with active hope.


The Great Turning needs us all. 


Active Hope is not wishful thinking.

Active Hope is not waiting to be rescued
by some savior.

Active Hope is waking up to the beauty of life
on whose behalf we can act.

We belong to this world.

The web of life is calling us forth at this time.

We’ve come a long way and are here to play our part.

With Active Hope we realize that
there are adventures in store,
strengths to discover, and comrades to link arms with.

Active Hope is a readiness to discover the strengths
in ourselves and in others;
a readiness to discover the reasons for hope
and the occasions for love.

A readiness to discover the size and strength of our hearts,
our quickness of mind, our steadiness of purpose,
our own authority, our love for life,
the liveliness of our curiosity,
the unsuspected deep well of patience and diligence,
the keenness of our senses, and our capacity to lead.

None of these can be discovered in an armchair or without risk.

Joanna Macy


Learn the Work That Reconnects.


“If the world is to be healed through human efforts, I am convinced it will be by ordinary people, people whose love for this life is even greater than their fear.” ― Joanna Macy


Active Hope is a practice, something we can learn and get better at. We run regular workshops based on the Work That Reconnects, a series of transformational practices designed to strengthen our ability to act for the wellbeing of life on Earth.

A typical workshop moves through four stages. First we begin with gratitude as a basis for wellbeing and personal resilience. We then honour the feelings of pain that can arise when we face the reality of social and ecological injustice. In the third stage we tap into the internal and external resources available to us to see things from a new perspective and develop individual and collective power and potential. In the final stage, we use this momentum to set concrete intentions and practical actions that we can take back into the world.

Our workshops are suitable for anyone looking to re-ignite a sense of hope, care, passion and purpose to be able to respond to issues of concern in our community and planet. You could be already involved in altruistic activities and looking to feel re-inspired in your efforts, or looking for a deeper experience of connection with others and nature from which to live your life from.

Our next workshop will be held at Poplar Union on Saturday 24 November.


Join a community of facilitators fostering resilience and hope in challenging times.


A six month development opportunity for London-based community leaders committed to shaping and serving a fairer and more sustainable civilisation. 


Who is it for? 

Community leaders, trainers, facilitators and activists from all backgrounds. 

People awake to environmental and social challenges of our time and committed to supporting the transition to a more sustainable and equitable way of living. 

People who recognise that the quality of any work we do in the world is related to quality of mind and heart. 

People who value the equality and diversity of all life on earth. 

What to expect?

Together we will learn to facilitate workshops that support people to face and respond skilfully to social and environmental injustice.

We will draw extensively on The Work that Reconnects a set of group processes designed to help people respond creatively to local and global crises rather than feeling overwhelmed or paralysed by the task.

You will have the opportunity to learn and practice within the group, to develop training and development opportunities for your colleagues and communities, as well as to contribute to public workshops and campaigns. 

What’s the commitment? 

We will be making a group learning journey over 6 months. 

You must be able to commit to attend 4 full-day workshops in central London (10am - 6pm on Fridays 29 November 2019, 17 January 2020, 13 March 2020 and 8 May 2020) and 3 online masterclasses (10am - 1pm on Fridays 6 December 2019, 24 January 2020 and 20 March 2020). 

You must be committed to building and strengthening our learning community, both giving and receiving support to others. 

Who is leading the training?

The training will be led by Sophie Howarth and Tess Horvath, with online support from Chris Johnstone.

Sophie is an artist and facilitator. She designs objects and hosts gatherings that deepen connection to ourselves, one another and the wider web of life. Sophie was the co-founder of The School of Life and founder of Department Store of the Mind. She is the author of several books and leads the teaching faculty at Year Here.

Tess is a researcher, facilitator and campaigner, focused on gender equality, climate change and the relationship between personal growth and social change. She coordinates a small charity promoting wellbeing and community cohesion in Tower Hamlets, takes part in meditation sit-ins, and facilitates events to support people to connect, grow and work for sustainability and social justice. 

Chris is a specialist trainer for resilience and wellbeing. After working for many years as a doctor and addictions specialist in the UK health service, he now focuses on coaching, mentoring, writing and training. He is the co-author, with Joanna Macy, of Active Hope: How To Face The Mess We’re In Without Going Crazy.

What does it cost? 

Thanks to generous funding from the Emergence Foundation, all places on the 2019–2020 programme are fully funded. 

How to apply? 

Click here to complete and submit a simple application form. 

The application deadline is 12 October 2019, and the training begins in November 2019.

If you have questions, please email us


Our facilitator training begins in November 2019. Applications close on October 12, 2019.