The Work that Reconnects helps people discover and experience their innate connections with each other and the self-healing powers of the web of life, transforming despair and overwhelm into inspired, collaborative action.
This group work arose in North America in the late 1970s, during a time of escalating concerns about nuclear weaponry and the hazards of nuclear power.
In the mid-1980s participants began calling it Deep Ecology work, thanks to the consonance and inspiration they found in the deep ecological perspective. By then the work was spreading to Europe, Australia, South Asia, Japan and the Soviet Union.
Coming Back to Life: Practices to Reconnect our Lives, Our World , by Joanna Macy and Molly Young Brown, was published in 1998 to provide an up-to-date description of the theory behind the work and some sixty of its exercises, both new and old.
Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy , by Joanna Macy, came out in 2012 and has been translated into several other languages. This book presents the background and context of the work, with exercises old and new, at a level appropriate for individual reflection, book groups and communities of practice.
The Work That Reconnects is a self-evolving system, and it is growing and changing with the times. It is called “Deep Ecology Work” in Germany, Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan and “Active Hope” in parts of Japan. The Work That Reconnects Network formed in 2015, offering webinars for facilitators and network hub leaders to bring people together to share their experiences with the Work.