August Update

We're back!


It might have been a while since you heard from us. But we’re Will and Jules!

We created The Phoenix Project where we are exploring the radical transformation of human life on earth required to avert climate, ecological and social collapse, and to build a free and beautiful society in the process.

From now we’ll be sending out a monthly newsletter to keep you up to date on what we’re up to, as well as sharing links, resources, books and ideas.

But first: what are we up to?

We both got back to London in August after running our Reclaiming Utopia workshop with groups around Europe. We’re jumping back into working for Extinction Rebellion in the run up to the October Rebellion. If you’re not signed up to participate and live in the UK: sign up here!

During the rebellion we will be running a co-created transformational space with daily experiences aimed at breaking people out of society’s dominant narratives and into inspiring new ones… watch this space!

What have we been exploring this month?

Where to even begin on our explorations of the past few months - let’s just dive in!

We spent a good while discussing the Social Ecology of Murray Bookchin as a framing for the transformation we need. His big idea is that you can’t separate the social structures of society (i.e. hierarchies / oppression) from how human society interacts with nature. If we oppress each other, most likely we will also oppress the natural world. Here’s a great video on the topic. And here’s a link to our social ecology notes.

Jules spent a while exploring community and co-operation as core features of a new narrative to replace neoliberalism. George Monbiot’s book Out of the Wreckage was a great introduction to this. Here are my notes.

We both have also been exploring how best to emotionally and intellectually respond to the possibility of the collapse of our civilization. This was something we explored in our workshop but has continued to pre-occupy us. Jules read Active Hope by Joanna Macy which suggests that we should respond with optimism based on action. If all we do is sit at home it’s so easy to get depressed by the state of the world. The answer: get active! Here are Jules’ notes on the book.

In running Reclaiming Utopia workshops, we have found that utopian narratives to be an incredible tool for visioning and attempting to build a better world. Will has also been exploring how our responses to collapse are closely related to our relationship with our own mortality. He has a blog post on that coming soon - stay tuned!

We’re going to try and suggest one podcast every month that we think is a must listen. This month we’re going for Daniel Thorson’s interview with Dr Douglas Tataryn. This is a very practical episode on emotional processing. We believe that an important part of becoming agents of social change in the transformation that we call The Phoenix (more info here), is connecting to our present-moment emotions and embodied experience as guides for how we should act in the world. But most of us (particularly men) have spent large parts of their life repressing their emotions. Dr. Tataryn provides a nice model and practice for releasing them.

That’s all for now - See you next month,

Jules and Will

P.S. Check out some of the poetry created at our workshop here.

Welcome to The Phoenix Project

Our explorations of a new world.


Welcome to The Phoenix Project.

You’re receiving this email because you’ve signed up to either Julyan Davey or Will Frank’s email list. This is our shared project!

Confronting the climate and ecological collapse faced by our civilisation, we have realised that nothing less than a radical transformation of life on our planet will allow humanity to survive.

Our metaphor for this radical transformation is The Phoenix.

The Phoenix Project is our personal exploration of this transformation.

During our travels and explorations we have discovered glimmers of hope that the seeds of this transformation are already out there. Just waiting to blossom.

“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” ― Arundhati Roy

We want to document these seeds, as well as our discoveries and investigations in this newsletter.

Reclaiming Utopia

One of our current projects is Reclaiming Utopia. We’ve created this workshop to help people reclaim their ability to imagine a better world. It’s about reconnecting with imagination and vision as core driving forces of social change.

The workshop came about from following the question:

How can we give people an experience in a few hours that will open the doorway to a new way of living and being?

We currently plan to be in the following places running the workshop:

Brussels (12th-16th June)

Maastricht (17th-18th June)

Ende Gelande Climate Camp (19th-24th June)

Vienna (25th - 1st July)

Barcelona (2nd - 8th July)

Nowhere Festival (9th - 14th July)

To find out more please visit our website.

Let us know if you are in any of these places or have ideas of where we should take the workshop.

Peace and Love,

Jules and Will

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