Journey to Hopeful Futures: a handbook

About Journey to Hopeful Futures: a handbook

This book  is now in preparation for publication in 2023 and will be of interest to communities and organisations. 

Journey to Hopeful Futures proposes that each of us individually needs to go on a journey of discovery and learning within self, community, planet and cosmos to understand what is happening to the planet and to own the undoubted pain in our hearts with love – the same love that we hold for our families and those dear to us.  From such understanding and love we can start to take action both individually and with others.  We  can help to change the predominant exploitative paradigm which is damaging the earth and much of society to one which respects the natural systems on which life depends, starts to restore the earth and totally changes our society so that it becomes, in Thomas Berry’s words, a ‘mutually enhancing society within planet earth’ (1999).  This is the ‘hopeful future’towards which this travelogue is aimed. I encourage readers to go on their own ‘hopeful journey’

In exploring an emerging participatory view of the world, the book argues that every single person is needed to create hopeful futures and that all our different skills are valuable for the tasks ahead. The book uses story from family and daily life to suggest faithfulness over years, outlining that taking action year by year is needed and necessary to create futures which are hopeful and not full of doom and despair and as such good for our mental health and well being.

My hope is that the book will inspire the reader to experiment and create their own journey of transformation into the wider planet and cosmos as well as still continuing to foster their own individual well-being and that of the business, organisation or community they participate within, finding within first, second and third person action research methods for the journey.

Giaa Maps for Hopeful Futures drawn by workshop participants


During the last four years Helena has delivered the ideas in the book to a wide variety of audiences: community, business, resident, academic, senior citizen, young people and children. At the end of each presentation, seminar or workshop – nearly fifty to date – the feedback is that the ideas resonate, are valuable and inspire participants to imagine how to create hopeful futures. Here are some responses:

Community Participant:  “Plant trees. Creative teaching. Inspire others. Appreciate every day.

Teacher:  “Plant more trees in new school. Help our students redefine happiness. We are all needed. It is vital we educators walk the talk.”

Business Participant:  “I sense a huge potential exists in our organisation for employees to feel part of something that serves a higher purpose…I think a new narrative should present sustainability as part of everything we do and feel more like an invitation to bring people in, rather than a programme to learn and comply with. I think this narrative is within people/staff.

PhD students:

“ More time for the lecture as I think it is important and useful for post graduate students. Very creative and new way at presenting the topic.”

“Really interesting way to pique interest in how to address this pressing issue. I loved that it was us coming up with the ideas. Brilliant! Thanks!”