Active Hope Workshops

Active Hope Book Cover-Chris

How to Face the Mess We’re In
Without Going Crazy

Claire Maitre and Chrysalis Transitions invite you to a Workshop series about this [r]evolutionary book.

“Don’t just read the book. Experience it.” –a participant

This 6-part Active Hope workshop series, based on the book by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone, Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazyserves as an important vehicle for personal transformation and community building.

The book itself is timely and clear, distilling decades of the authors’ deep inquiry into accessible and relevant insights, approaches and activities that fortify our ability respond honestly and creatively to the times we live in.

But this is much more than just a reading group. The activity-based, experiential approach of Active Hope brings depth to the understandings developed, anchoring them for continued growth and positive change.  With Claire facilitating, participants connect, share, explore, and grow through these experiences over a series of sessions.   As a longtime student of Joanna Macy and certified facilitator of The Work that Reconnects, Claire also brings knowledge of group processes and their theoretical underpinnings that goes well beyond the book.

Participants have ranged from veteran activists and others working for change to those who are just waking up to the enormous challenge now facing humanity and wondering how to respond.   Whatever brings you to Active Hope, your personal experiences and contributions are essential as we explore together. 

What: A facilitated discussion group that will include Ritual & Group Exercises from the extensive work of Dr. Joanna Macy and Dr. Chris Johnstone

When: This series is offered upon request from individuals/organizations. Ask about upcoming scheduled opportunities or to be put on the mailing list for future open workshops TBA.

Where: Sometimes offered at Sunward Cohousing, 424 Little Lake Drive in the Common House. Other locations TBA.

Bring Active Hope to your church, organization or group: Contact Claire: 248-613-8803 or

Donations of $150/person for this workshop series will help pay expenses and support this offering.  Those with financial constraints are invited to register and pay what they can.


“Whether you are a seasoned activist, wondering where to start, or seeking a community for support and inspiration, this series is a deep dive into our motivational wellsprings so that we can be most joyful and effective in our lives and work. Claire has a special way of combining knowledge, vision and emotional intelligence to fully engage her participants on all levels. Highly recommended.” –Clifford Dean Scholz

“Powerful!  ‘Active Hope’ is something that is certainly needed as we contend with the challenges of living in these times.  The book succinctly presents Joanna Macy’s work with The Great Turning.  Better than merely reading the book, Claire Maitre’s group allows you to experience it.  Claire’s own journey, her in depth reading and training with Joanna Macy is evident in her skilled facilitation of this group.  More than a book discussion, Claire’s insights and teachings expand on the reading, group sharing invites community, fosters an understanding of our ‘radical interconnectedness,’ and invites exploration of each person’s understanding of how they may participate in the Great Turning.  Don’t just read the book.  Experience it.” –a participant

“Claire’s Active Hope Workshop continues to be an evolving experience, in community, that allows me to open to my purpose and my passion for making the world a better place.   Her warm, clear and compassionate facilitation invite participation and hope that we can and do make a difference in our world, that all of us matter and that we do not have to, nor is it expected, that we do this work alone.” –Gwynne

“I am grateful for Claire’s compassionate guidance through the Active Hope process. She creates a circle of trust for others to share their deepest fears, sadness, anger, and isolation about the current mess we’re in…and then channels the despair into a willingness to engage in the practice of social change. She offers a way to move through these troubled times with courage and hope for the future.”—Carol Izant, Alliance to Halt Fermi 3

In their book on Active Hope, Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone, among the leading visionaries of our time, present important tools for helping us  to move toward a new paradigm or Shift in consciousness both as individuals and communities.  As a participant in the Active Hope seminar facilitated by Claire Maitre, I was introduced to such unique concepts as Deep Time and other exercises based on scientific, social and spiritual research. I found this experience truly transforming as some of my fears about the future were replaced with new strategies for not only surviving but thriving. The world we can imagine for ourselves becomes the world we can build.”–Marijo

“This workshop was a blessing, a pleasure, and a paradigm shifter. I now go forth into my hearts work with hope and confidence. Knowing that when struggle and strife arise I have the tools to work through it, returning to a place of gratitude and grace-filled loving service again and again. Claire Maitre is a wise and compassionate guide who brings to you a deep understanding of Joanna Macy & Chris Johnstone’s work. I feel this life change series should be on the to do list of every permaculture minded person.”—Bridget

Book Reviews:

“Books about social and ecological change too often leave out a vital component: how do we change ourselves so that we are strong enough to fully contribute to this great shift? Active Hope fills this gap beautifully, guiding readers on a journey of gratitude, grief, interconnection, and, ultimately, transformation.”— Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine

“Given the state of the world, how do we find a truly sane, effective, and life-affirming response? Joanna Macy, one of the true wisdom voices of our age, has devoted her life to helping people find their resilience, their creativity, and their passion while living with their eyes and hearts open. Her work is powerful, needed, and life saving. If you have despaired for our world, and if you love life, Active Hope will be for you an extraordinary blessing.”
— John Robbins, author of Diet for a New America and The Food Revolution