Communities for Future
Online Summit
Our Response to the Climate Emergency

February 1-10, 2020

Margaret Wheatley

Speaker, Organizational Consultant, Systemic Thinker
Margaret Wheatley

Margaret Wheatley's message brings humility and pragmatism to our hopes and ideals. What if the possibility we need to open up to is one of civilisational collapse? She compares the reality of what we are facing in our world today with civilisations in the past that did collapse and draws some painful parallels. Instead of hoping for systemic change, she believes that we are better off, focussing on local action in community, where we can create islands of sanity and kindness within larger seas of collapse.

If you liked the video, share it with your friends on social media.

  • Introduction
  • Despair and hope
  • The certainty that something is worth doing regardless of the outcome
  • Finding purpose whilst standing in the storm
  • Building community as the preparation for facing the unknown
  • Understanding civilization cycles to guide one's actions
  • Remembering kindness in the face of collapse
  • Local action is the answer
  • The importance of having a spiritual practice
Margaret Wheatley

Margaret Wheatley has worked globally in many different roles since 1966: a speaker, writer, teacher, community worker, management consultant, formal leader. From these deep and varied experiences, she has developed the unshakable conviction that leaders must learn how to evoke people’s inherent generosity, creativity, and need for community. As this world tears us apart, sane leadership on behalf of the human spirit is the only way forward. She is co-founder of the Berkana Institute, a global leadership charity.


Berkana Institute

Get the Complete Summit Package Now

Get the Summit Package with unlimited access to all interviews and many extras.

Share the Summit with the people you love. Reconnect to the inspiration in ways that fit your schedule. Encourage us here at GEN to continue with this work into the future.

Summit Package Sales End In


  • Jen

    Not able to access any of the 3 videos today

  • Priscilla Boucher

    I can’t access them either.

  • Gabriel Siqueira

    We’re sorry about the inconvenience. Now it should work!

  • The video is not opening.

  • kumah drah

    It has been great listening to Margaret… from not letting despair weigh us down to building of communities. She touched on leadership as well a subject I have been thinking of these days. I have been wondering and asking myself and others whether we need leadership at all. What kind of leadership? (Elsewhere on your website you qualified leadership with the word “sane.” Hierarchical structures and their key actors appear to be failing societies and nations.

  • Pimsou

    Although I totally endorse systems thinking, I found this presentation containing too many references to religion. The message makes me feeling facing a person at the verge of depression.
    Chaos and complexity theory is referred to but the speaker ignores to mention that a new system will emerge out of it.
    I am afraid to say that I don’t feel that communities alone will be able to create the change we need to globally team around the world to influence the climate trend. It is still time to do it.
    Maybe a first step would be for Americans to stop voting for planet destructors as president.

  • Francisca Escobar

    Meg brought me to a sad place, but also inspires me to action! Thank you for bringing the message to us with such calmness and clarity. Many thanks to GEN for this incredible opportunity to see so many of our world’s great thinkers come together around hope, despair and community. With great love, from (also unstable) Chile

  • Cata

    A serious message that put into words my innermost feelings and actions. Thank you.

  • Alice Güntert

    Thankyou for your quote from Vassel Powel, “Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something is worth doing no matter how it turns out.” At the first seminar of this conference Charles Eisenstein claimed,”Prayer is a declaration of Intention” Isn’t this whole conference an exercise in Hope ? Are we not all Dragon Dreaming with each other? GEN is on the rise, coming into awareness in many other institutions..As you claim we cannot rehearse for the Unknown. Something beautiful is evolving out of our collective consciousness. Aho!

  • Michaela

    Touching me deeply. Thank you! Creating islands of sanity- how beautiful.

  • Barb

    It is 8:24 pm in Germany on the 4th of February and me and my hub wanted to watch the videos…but, alas, there is nothing. When I checked earlier today they seemed to come up just fine but now there is no image in the space where the video should be. Could you make these 3 available for a bit longer?

  • Barb

    okay, it works now (9pm)

  • Alexandra Price

    What she said about leadership had a personal meaning for me. There is work that needs to be done that I can do, and that my life has space for. But I habitually like to hide behind a leader; to be king-maker. I like to tell myself it’s because I don’t have a big ego, but this story in itself is ego-supporting. And if the work that needs done requires me to lead it, then I should be doing it still. I don’t see leadership as the one active person drawing many followers. I see it as all of those followers deciding to take action for themselves, despite the difficulty in seeing themselves as ‘leaders’.

  • Leszek Frankiewicz

    Replay feature at the bottom of each comment does not work. I reply to Pimsou. Religion has nothing to do with spirituality to which Meg is reffering.

  • Florian

    The video is still not working for me. And it’s now 3:22am on February 5th on the West Coast of the USA.

  • CMK

    I tried to watch the video but can’t open it, unfortunately

  • Judith Leaf

    I’ve been traveling, got home and thought I would be able to access and catch up with the days’ videos I had missed, as I believe we were able to for the last summit. I’m disappointed to find that will not be possible this year unless the entire package is purchased. Nonetheless, thank you for hosting these visionary summits!

  • Elliot Billingsley

    Hi I’m experiencing the same issue. I was not aware of any cost to attend because this was billed as free. I would have considered paying to attend if I was informed ahead of time

  • Trying to access the lectures, I keep being asked to purchase the package although I have done so and received a confirmation.

  • I share Ms. Wheatley’s vision. It is not so much that something new will eventually emerge, rather that being with and for each other in loving kindness, support, creatively developing what is needed in our communities, building on our capacities, so that when it becomes worse we have a shared history of caring for each other and finding what we can do together. Thank you for your work and honesty.

  • CJ Del Piero

    I find the markers of a civilization in decline to be quite superficial and overly generalized. The media might portray that we share those values, but my work in grassroots communities has me believing that many do not seek power and money or worship sports heroes, for example. How can one link sports heroes and musicians in the same broad brush? Over a dozen years ago I attended a retreat with Diarmuid O’Murchu in which, for example, he talked of the number of organizations working for ecological justice that his team had interviewed and of how many hours it would take to list them all if shown at the speed and small size of credits on a movie screen. There were those in every generation who said “It is too late” for one reason or another. The human mind does not see all, as Nora Bateson makes clear. I have been privileged to live in several societies in the midst of radical transition like Spain just after Franco or Brazil and Argentina at the end of military dictatorships. One little thing can change a society. In Spain, destiny seemed sealed… and then a new newspaper revealed truths that changed the course of history. I trust that in the midst of crisis, a light dawns and a door cracks open to reveal new possibilities. Without that faith, I would curl up in a fetal position and wait for the end!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *