Design for Resilience

Supporting individuals and communities through deep adaptation and emergency preparedness

Programme Overview

Type: e-Learning
Start Date:
September 21, 2024 
Target audience:
With Facilitators
Registrations: until September 28, 2024 

Developed by:

The world as a whole is living through many crises: climate change, ecosystem degradation, war, social inequality, supply chain disruption and resource depletion, to name just a few. Communities are seeing more wildfires, heatwaves, unusual storms, floods and pandemics. The weight of mass migrations is an extra burden for communities and local systems often already stretching their boundaries. While many governments and NGOs have plans to respond to punctual disasters and disruptions, they often only focus on getting things back to normal as quickly as possible, and lack a longer term plan for resilience, or prevention of recurrence. 

In this course, we will use a whole systems approach, incorporating interdisciplinary tools (resilience science and practice, Art of Hosting, Theory of U, Transformational Resilience, Permaculture and the practical tools from disaster management and emergency preparednes).
Using the VUCA context tool (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) we will guide you to map your household and community and support you on designing integrated and resilient systems, from inner to physical. 

This is a hands-on, very practical and fun course where you will come up with a realistic plan for you, your family and your community.

Course Structure

For each module, the course provides material to read and watch and interviews with people involved in different aspects of resilience. Participants will have the opportunity to interact in a forum, ask questions during Q&A with specialists in the different aspects of resilience and work on suggested exercises and case studies.

For each module, participants are encourage to research, map and describe the status of their own community, group or household.

At the end of the course, participants will have the tools and resources to design their own resilience plan for a household, group or community, present the design to their peers and receive feedback.

This is a very practical course. Participants can expect to have a clear plan of their community and household systems including the risks, vulnerabilities and hazards as well as well as opportunities and strengths. The emphasis is both in inner, personal as well as community/household resilience.

At the end of this course you should be prepared to work with your community towards a clear plan to prevent, respond and re-design the systems and approaches to potential disruptions caused by climate change as well as social, political or financial disruptions.

Course Content

  • Module 1 - September 21 - Welcome session, creating the container together: defining resilience in an era of uncertainty/ bouncing forward vs bouncing back 
  • Module 2 - October 5 - Module 2 session - personal and inner resilience 
  • Module 3 - October 19 - Module 3 session - community resilience - storytelling and tools
  • Module 4 - November 2 - Module 4 session - ecoliteracy & permaculture
  • Module 5 - November 16 -  Module 5 session -  water & food
  • Module 6 - November 30 - Module 6 session - energy & economy
  • Module 7 - December 14 - Module 7 session - systems mapping
  • Module 8 - January 11 - Project presentation and feedback 
  • Project design: resilience plan (December 14-January 10) - on your own or in pairs (with tutor)

Pre-recorded interviews with:

  • Professor Jem Bendell from Deep Adaptation
  • Looby MacNamara from Cultural Emergence
  • Oscar Gussinyer from Resilience Earth
  • Rosemary Morrow from Permaculture for Refugees
  • Tom Llewellyn from Shareable and The Response
  • Bob Doppelt from Tranformational Resilience Coalition
  • Jeremy Lent, author of the Web of Meaning
  • Interviews with permaculture experts

Who is this course for

This course is for you if you:

  • care about the physical and emotional wel-being of your loved ones and/or your community
  • understand that we are facing unprecedented challenges as a species and that life in the next 20+ years will be very different from how life was in the last 20
  • feel overwhelmed, isolated or deeply concerned about the many uncertainties due to climate change and its many consequences on the systems that sustain life as we know it
  • think that many of the political and social responses emerging are not enough or even contradictory to what people and ecosystems seem to need
  • have witnessed or experienced reductionist approaches to disasters management that end up being inefficient or inappropriate for many communities and households
  • think there must be a different, more holistic and regenerative way to address all the above issues

Main Facilitator

Silvia Di Blasio

My name is Silvia and I am passionate about resilience. Resilience comes in many shapes and forms: from psychological to spiritual (in my view, the more important types) to physical and strategic. There are resilient individuals and resilient communities. There are resilient systems. The resilience I believe in is called bounced forward resilience. We don't want to go back.

A bit about my studies and experience: as a refugee and later immigrants I learned about psychological and spiritual resilience. I worked over 10 years supporting refugees and immigrants in Canada. I am also a permaculturist, for many years I helped individuals and communities to map and design resilient systems (food, water, energy, transportation, shelter, communication). During my nine years of experience with the Disaster Management department at the Canadian Red Cross, I learned and helped communities and groups to create preparation plans and respond to disasters.

In 2019, I started one of the biggest groups to discuss Deep Adaptation and facilitated dozens of meetings and workshops on the subject.

My role in this course is to introduce you to the existing tools and resources as well as people who are deeply connected to resilience that is compassionate and caring. I hope you join us!



Aline 2
Aline Van Moerbeke
Flemish born but residing in Spain since 2000, where she arrived as a Chinese Philologies' student working a summer job as an entertainer, and then ended up again for love. Just over a decade later she finds herself taking the Ecological Dimension of a Gaia EDE course on Mallorca, where she learns about whole systems design, bioconstruction, and... permaculture. 
A Permaculture Designer Course (PDC) in October 2011, a volunteer’s position on the WorldView dimension of the Gaia EDE course in November 2011, and the co-founding of the association PermaMed (Permacultura Mediterránea) in December 2011 were next.
After having received training by tremendously inspiring people such as Julio Cantos, Rosemary Morrow, May East, Robin Clayfield, Darren Doherty, Robina McCurdy, Ana Digón, Stella Strega and others, especially in the fields of Education for Sustainable Development, Community Collaboration, Group Facilitation as well as Regenerative Agriculture, Tourism and Enterprises, she is now a Permaculture Facilitator and Diploma Tutor and runs a Permaculture Consulting and Design Studio with her partner in Catalunya, "La Casa Integral".

She is back for a second year as a facilitator of the Ecological Dimension at Gaia Education. 

Kym Chi

Kym Chi is a grateful settler on the unceded Coast Salish territories of the Squamish and shishalh Nations where she stewards land, facilitates courses, runs a holistic healing practice and is the Dean of the School of Permaculture Design at Pacific Rim College. Kym has spent many years growing her understanding of the natural world and through this has developed a strong passion for herbalism, plant connection, resilience, creative facilitation, art, community building, decolonization, reconciliation and regenerative design.  She continues to do self study and take courses that help her to deepen a healthy relationship with nature and its inhabitants. In all of her practices, Kym strives to work with empowerment models and feels that her own success is measured on the successes of those she collaborates with along with her allies and friends.

Certificate of Completion

  • The Design for Resilience runs for 12 weeks  and provides an extra 4 weeks (optional) for working on your project solo or in a team and a tutor from the course.
  • We suggest you dedicate a minimum of 7-14 hours a week to receive maximum benefit from this programme.
  • You can choose to pay in full or in instalments.
  • We provide a limited number of partial scholarships, please apply here. Applications will be accepted until September 10, 2024 and results will be communicated to applicants by September 21, 2024.
  • For further information, please email: or:

Graduates of our programmes have gone on to contribute to sustainability projects, build communities, become social entrepreneurs, partake in permaculture projects and bio-dynamic farming, support transition movements and much more.

Course investment:

We provide three options, please choose the one that better meets your situation:

Students/retirees/low income: £250

Community supporter (your contribution helps others to take the course): £300

Community supported: your group or community is paying for you to attend and share with them: £350

Limited scholarships available (partial only). Please use this form to apply.