New Home Forums Course Ideas & Outlines Who's intrigued and if not why not? – My Lesson Outlines

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    Chris Gilmour

    Hey Everyone, This exercise took me quite a while, like several hours, but it was really good, I’ve been refining and reworking this over and over again and realized I needed to shorten the course quite a bit during this process. I am not set on the lesson names yet but I think I am pretty close to being settled on the general content. Please have a look and let me know if your intrigued and why and even more importantly if your not intrigued and why.

    I am thinking of making the theme like a dojo in martial arts, except it is the dojo of life and we are training to be adaptable in an uncertain future. Participants would get presented a belt at the end of each module from the course Sensei. What do you think of this concept?

    Here is the basic course outline:

    Module 1 -Adapting to a Changing World – The Optimization of Human Potential

    Lesson: 1 – Entering the Dojo – The Journey Begins
    Overview:: To inspire empowerment, leadership and purpose, over fear in the face of climatic and other changing world situations. Introduce the storyline of the course.

    Lesson: 2 – Who is Coyote and what can he teach us about adaption and resiliency?
    Overview: To highlight the story of human resiliency as our natural state/way and our fall into dependency on infrastructure and government.

    Lesson: 3 – Changing World Challenges and YOUR Unique Strategy for Success
    Overview: Speak to some of the possibilities of the changing world such as climate change, emerging diseases, a changing economy, destabilized food system, etc. Creating your unique strategy to set yourself up for success in the course. What is strategy and how will you use it in course?, Go over course layout, documents, how to use them and how to make the most of the course.

    On The Mats Part 1 – Winter Blizzard Roadside Survival
    Overview:: Demonstrate a skill in action to inspire participants and challenge them to train. I’ll spend a night in my car in negative temperatures and film the tactics I use to survive.

    Module 2 – White Belt (Level 1) – Building the Foundation
    Through this transformation we will streamline our training and preparations by cutting through the mountain of information and figuring out what YOU actually need to know to do your best at keeping your friends , family and community safe and thriving in a changing world.

    Lesson: 4 – Emergency Preparedness Theory & Practice
    Overview:: To create a theoretical strategy and mental framework for preparedness. 5 pillars of emergency management, Sacred 4 (plus 1), 10 c’s, short, medium and long term plan.

    Lesson: 5 – Hazard, Vulnerability & Risk Assessment – Focusing your priorities the strategic way
    Overview: To deliver a methodology and working tool that can be used to cut through the overwhelming sea of information and possibilities of emergencies and scenarios and help participants decide what to focus on in their Immediate (this week), Short Term (6 months) medium term (1 -2 years), Long Term (5yr +) planning and training-

    Lesson: 6 – Basic Training Begins – The Disaster Ready Home – Part 1
    Overview: In this lesson we discuss all the components of our homes that can be understood better and/or modified to improve our ability to prevent, mitigate and prepare for potential threats.

    On the Mats – Part 2 – Emergency Kits
    Overview: Learn about gear that is useful in emergencies and how to pack family and car emergency kits.

    Module 3 – Yellow Belt (level 2)- Time for Exponential Growth – Skills of the Protector!
    This is where we really dive in and start to execute the theory learned in the last chapter. Get ready for lots of results!

    Lesson: 7 – Don’t Reinvent the Wheel, Improve it and Make it Your Own!
    Overview: Learn what systems are already in place on a local, regional and national level, as well as learn to utilize tools and resources that already exist. Also develop a basic family plan that they will grow and build off of for the rest of their training.

    Lesson: 8 – Shelter & Water
    Overview: Participants will dive deeper into understanding the principals of shelter and how to apply them in different situations as well as the basics of water contamination, purification & storage under a variety of possible scenarios.

    Lesson: 9 – Fire, Heat & Food
    Overview:: Learn some awesome techniques around options for lighting fires and creating heat/ Learn about the basics of food storage. improvised stoves for cooking, food caches, fire behavior and types,

    On the Mats – Part 3 -Trapped in a Cold House!
    Overview: Learn a few tricks for staying warm in the winter during a multi-day black-out, I will record myself spending a night in a house in minus temperatures with no electricity.

    Module 4 -Orange Belt (Level 3) – A head of the game- Expanding Awareness
    Through this transformation we will use strategies and tools used by leaders in the fields of emergency management and self sufficiency around the world and begin to cultivate a new awareness and heightened senses to walk through the world with. Eye’s of the Protector

    Lesson: 10 – Situational Awareness 1
    Overview: Develop heightened awareness and gain the mental and physical tools to stay one step ahead of the game in a changing world and in a emergency situations.

    Lesson: 11 – Everyday Readiness and Resiliency
    Overview: In this lesson we focus on simple skill sets and tools you can have on or near you all the time that allow you to adaptable and ahead of the game when the unexpected occurs.

    Lesson: 12 – Community Hazard & Resource Mapping
    Overview: You will begin to map hazards and resources available to you in various situations and take your situational awareness to the next level.

    Lesson: 12 -Hazards Specifics Research
    Overview::This lesson will be self guided research on the top 5 hazards you believe to be most likely to occur in your lifetime.

    On the Mats 3 – Intruder or Attack
    Overview:: Learn about different options for self defense when out in public or in your home.


    Module 5 – Level 4 – Red Belt- Community Protector
    As your skills, awareness and personal emergency preparation improve, the basic needs of yourself and family are hopefully taken care of. This free’s you from playing the role of victim and allows you to be of service to the greater good and your surrounding community.

    Lesson: 13 – Situational Awareness 2
    Overview: Now we will dive into advanced awareness theory and techniques, studying and applying concepts used by professionals around the world such as the OODA Loop, Minds Eye Imaging, and visual training exercises.

    Lesson: 14 Purpose Beyond Self – Supporting the Greater Community
    Overview:: We will explore what it can mean to be a protector in the modern world and you will have the opportunity to explore your unique relationship with this path.

    Lesson: 15 – Honing the Strategy
    Overview:: In this lesson we will revisit the Hazard, Risk and Vulnerabilty Assesment you did earlier on in the course and update it with you current level of experience and knowledge. You will refine your short, middle and long term plans to make sure they are realistic and that best use of your resources.

    On the Mats 5 – Not sure yet, maybe: Nuclear Emergency? Preparing for Vacation? Pandemic?
    Module 6 – Level 4 Blue Belt- Tracking Growth & Wrapping the Bundle
    We have come along ways so far, it is time to take inventory of everything we have learned thus far and celebrate this milestone!

    Lesson: 16 – Situational Awareness 3
    Overview:: Explore the core routines of connection and awareness and learn highly effective tools to better understand the ecosystem you live in.

    On the Mats 5 – Wild Plant Foraging
    Overview:: A great introductions to the basics of harvesting wild foods from nature.

    Lesson: 17 – A Few More Great Skills to Know
    Overview: Another video with a few more improvised emergency survival skills ppl can go practice right away.

    Graduation – Receive your Blue Belt!
    Overview:: Recap main points and concepts of course and celebrate the growth of participant.


    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    Wow, this is looking so good. It’s come along way!

    Love the dojo and belt idea. That keeps things exciting, playful and like there is a bigger purpose for learning the next skill.

    There are a lot of really great lessons that I’ll be excited to learn. I’m sold man. Great work!


    Anneke Dekkers

    Hi Chris,
    love the dojo theme.Would like to get the white belt at the end.
    Yet it is not clear to me what the purpose of the course is.
    Survival? From what?
    It seems pretty broad to me. And quite a lot.
    Who is your audience?
    So, not sold yet 🙂


    Chris Gilmour

    Hi @adekkers

    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and especially for being honest in saying your not sold yet.

    My general audience will be people who are concerned about the state of the world and are noticing the impact of climate change and environmental degradation as well as people who like to be independent and know how to do things for themselves and take care of themselves. I have a number of much narrower target groups I will initially put it out to but I really want it to be able to grow to a much larger audience. Any thoughts on this?

    It is not quite about survival in my my mind, it is more about having a personal and family strategy for a changing world, such as the short term predictions of increased severe weather over the next 10 years due to climate change. I know a LOT of people worried about this who do not know where to start and feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of changes, from climate, to economic, to environmental, to political going on right now. This course is really about preparedness, awareness, skill development and choosing empowerment and action over fear.

    It is a big idea I realize. I feel really clear on how to deliver it, this is what I have been doing for the past 10 years, but how to brand it so people really know what it is I am trying to provide is my big question.

    Here is my latest description, please have a read and let me know if this helps to clarify the curriculum for you or not. And whether it gets you more interested or if you still feel confused as to what it is about or why it is relevant and if you still feel uninterested/not sold:

    “A citizens/family guide to being prepared for climate change (events such as extreme weather) and other unexpected events in a unpredictable world. The essence of it is being resilient, adaptable and prepared for the unexpected, improving your situational awareness and strategic problem solving skills and bringing your “A” game to life. The course will walk participants through a process in which they will create a unique strategy for themselves/family/community to be better prepared for a changing climate and world. The strategy will be realistic to accomplish with their current resources and time allowances and will be catered towards the ecosystem they live in and their unique concerns and needs. It will be fun, positive and inspiring yet get noticeable and traceable results they can be proud of. Its goal is to bring peace of mind in uncertain times.”

    Thanks again, your feedback is greatly appreciated!

    Chris Gilmour
    Changing World Project


    Jessica Antonelli

    So cool to see this all so neatly laid out, I can see how learning all this would transform the student into a badass, and a valuable resource to any community!

    1st Question–who is coyote and how does that tie into the theme, is it a running character that interacts with students?

    I would be intrigued for a class like this for myself except for the focus on cold weather situations and surviving freeing temperatures. I see how it’s a valuable skill set of course, but I’m in a warm coastal zone where the big threat is storm survival and I don’t know if I’d commit to the segments that didn’t seem to apply to my region. I wonder if you could boil the course down to the universal survival skills, and have mini-courses that applied to different areas that you sold separately?

    I love the Hazard Specific Research lesson and helping students learn to take researching into their own risks helps them self-customize the course and learn to be active researchers for their own well-being/self-improvement.

    Looking great!


    Chris Gilmour

    Hey @jescantonelli

    Thanks so much, that was super helpful!

    Question 1 – No Coyote is not a running character, that is just one lesson in which I’m going to use the resilience of the Coyote and his impressive adaptability as a metaphor for human potential to adapt and thrive. The running characters will be Sensei, myself and likely a female young Mom actor to make sure I have a female presence as well to have a good masculine and feminine perspective balance to the course.

    I had not realized how much it is catered to a cold climate. That is just the kind of feedback I am looking for. I do want the original course to be fairly general and then have specific courses ppl can sign up for on specific situations. I just realized Im going out to the west coast this spring to visit my sister. Maybe Ill do a lesson while Im out their on storms, Tsunamis and Earthquakes.

    Thanks again, those thoughts were super helpful!

    If you have another second please put your vote in on a name –


    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    For me, I was sold immediately because this is all stuff I’m interested in learning and knowing. For someone who may not necessarily be looking for THIS PRODUCT, I think the “chapter titles” could speak more directly to the transformation. Some of them are a little vague. Treat the names for each of your lesson titles/chapters like they are a course in themselves. You want people to be like “Oh wow, I want to know how to do that!”

    I think you’ll get some people who sign up for your course because they’re interested in x,y,z but maybe not a,b,c BUT because they loved lessons x,y,z they got stoked about a,b,c. That’s the beauty of having such a variety of skills being taught like in this.

    Your WHY message is very clear “The essence of it is being resilient, adaptable and prepared for the unexpected, improving your situational awareness and strategic problem solving skills and bringing your “A” game to life.”

    Love @jescantonelli ‘s idea of mini courses. I think you’re going the right one by having this be your main course with a bunch of mini branches. That is the same long-term thinking we have with the Great eCourse Adventure. We’re not just creating one mountain, we’re creating a whole mountain range.

    Hope this helps.


    Chris Gilmour

    @bradleytmorris, Thanks Brad, this is great. I’ll go over the chapter titles again and see about refining them to reflect the transformation a bit more. I can see how some are pretty vague and may not give people a clear ideas of what they are learning. I think the chapter titles could be part of my marketing that gets people stoked if done right. I also definitely going with the general intro course then mini add on courses down the road that dive deep in different topics.

    Thanks for your thoughts on the why as well. I have been refining the course description over and over again and am finally getting it down to a paragraph that I feel is starting to capture the essence of the course. It is still a bit long but I am feeling better about the message being conveyed.


    Lorraine Watson

    @chrisg – I think you have a pretty solid outline here. The idea of a dojo works well as a unifying theme.

    For your course description, I think it’s close to being solid as well. What jumps out at me is it feels distant, at arms length. Have you tried writing it in second person? Here’s a version:

    “A personalized guide to being prepared for the effects of climate change, extreme weather and other unexpected events in a unpredictable world. The essence of your experience is being resilient, adaptable and prepared for the unexpected, improving your situational awareness and strategic problem solving skills and bringing your “A” game to life. The course will guide you through a process of creating a unique strategy for yourself, your family and community to be better prepared for a changing climate and world. Your strategy will be realistic, and easy to accomplish with your current resources and available time. Your plan will cater to the ecosystem you live in and your unique concerns and needs. You will have a fun, positive and inspiring experience while creating noticeable and traceable results you can be proud of. Most of all, the goal is to bring peace of mind in uncertain times.”


    Anneke Dekkers

    Hi @chrisg,
    I’m sure you know what you want. I’m not sure whether your strategy of creating a very broad course, and than applying it to very specific groups will work.
    For me it is hard to judge.
    It might also be a cultural difference.
    Your way of thinking is very different from the Dutch approach.
    We see the climate change. We could put it much higher on the political agenda, but alas. Our approach is: the government has a role in watermanagement (preparing against the rising of the sea, preparing for many rainfall), citizens are stimulated to be careful with energy. Like isolating your house, solar cells, electric cars. These kinds of things. There are local groups to create awareness and take intitiatives on energy management.
    Maybe the main difference is that we trust the government?
    Yet i wished the sense of urgency was bigger.

    Your kind of thinking could in our case be useful for themes like terrorism. There is a lot of fear an anger which is triggered by some politicians and of course the attacks. We could be more resilient.

    Dont’know if it is helpful. But just wanted to let you know that the kind of society might be of influence.


    Chris Gilmour


    Oh wow, thanks SO much Lorraine for taking the time. Reading your rewrite in second person just brought the description a whole lot closer to where I want it. Your the best! Thank You.


    Chris Gilmour


    Thanks Anneke, it is very helpful to here the perspective you are coming from. I’d like to hear as many different perspectives as possible at this point in the game, especially from the folks that “aren’t sold”. And the course is not going to be for everyone. I will think more about the balance between the broad audience and the more specific one. I would like to attempt to speak to both, which is why I am so interested in hearing from a diversity of people right now.

    Interesting thoughts on cultural differences. I don’t know much about dutch politics. I work in Emergency Management in Canada and have worked for the government. I can tell you from first hand experience that most people in Northern America and around the world expect that the government is adequately preparing for climate change and larger scale disasters. Most governments, world wide, are way behind and not adequately prepared. Some of the poor responses and lack of prevention and mitigation to some of the big disasters around the world the past number of years has been evidence of that.

    I am creating this course because:

    1) I have worked for government and studied government policy around preparedness. In most places we are not prepared for the predictions of climate change over the next 10 – 20 years, not by a long shot. Most professional emergency managers are well aware of this and will tell you this. I was at the World Conference of Disaster Management last year which had government agencies from around the world as well as the united nations represented there and everyone was talking about how underfunded they were and how worried they were about the future.

    2) Most citizen are not adequately prepared either. The government here in Canada requests that all citizens be able to take care of all their basic needs for an extended period of time in the event of an emergency. Once again, MOST citizens in North America are not adequately prepared either. Thus in times of emergency able bodied adults who should be able to fend for themselves are clogging up emergency services which then prevents the response and recovery crews from getting to the root of the problem and vulnerable people such as the sick and elderly.

    I believe it is time for some big changes here in North America (and most of the rest of the word) in regards to how we adapt to this changing world. I have no experience with the Dutch system though, thus can not comment and I hope that you are further ahead of us.

    Thanks again for your thoughts, very helpful!



    Lorraine Watson

    @chrisg, as a fellow Canuck, I’d agree that there’s an expectation governments – at all levels – are prepared for emergencies. When one happens, citizens are quite shocked with the response by those in charge. I was affected by the 2013 floods on High River AB and the reactions by all parties were shocking. We all wanted a Nenshi at the helm who could respond appropriately, seemingly juggle a thousand balls at once with no sleep and keep people calm with a sense of humour. What I did learn about myself was how resilient and resolved I really am. With no clue how to deal with the aftermath of 4′ of sewer backup (and I was one of the lucky ones!), we figured it out. I would also say what was super impressive was the immediate sense of community and camaraderie and the overwhelming support from people who weren’t affected from far and wide. If there was anything that gave me a sense of real hoping and knowing we can make the world a better place, this was a strong, strong example.

    Quite frankly, even now people aren’t prepared. I’m as guilty as the rest. I do think about what I need to be prepared, have some things in place, but certainly not all. We should all practice fire escape plans, but how many of us do. Part of it is being human and the human brain. The more immediate and concrete the problem, the bigger attention it gets. Food on the table will always trump something that may happen down the road. The good news is that the more people become aware, the longer and broader thinking they will seem to see from.

    You might want to consider purposefully marketing your course for different niches rather than trying to attract a broader audience. Have different groups. I’m certainly interested in your course but I do not want to be in the course with doomsdayer alarmist bury your gold coins in the garden types. I shut down around that thinking because I don’t see the world that way. Integrating is my way forward, not isolation.

    Something that may play a part in your course description / paragraph is to include something about your experience in emergency management, what you’ve seen and what would help. I’m sure you’ve seen both the best and worst in people with the nod to the best. Give people a sense of true hope and they’ll be putty in your hands.


    Lorraine Watson

    @chrisg – oh, I also keep forgetting to mention something that trips me up in your course description is “and bringing your “A” game to life.” I don’t know what that means in the context of everything else. If you could be more specific by what you mean, that would be helpful.


    Chris Gilmour


    Thanks again for your great thoughts Lorraine,

    I really liked your comment, ” If there was anything that gave me a sense of real hoping and knowing we can make the world a better place, this was a strong, strong example.” Hope and empowerment is really what I want the course to be about. I have no interest in catering to the doomsday/preppers crowd either. I really want to distance this course from that mentality as I believe personal preparedness is for everybody and is not about the end of the word, it is about the reality that disasters and emergencies happen and they are predicted to become much more frequent in the near future for many reasons. I believe human are incredibly resourceful by nature and do not need to fear a changing world but that we should be a bit more intentional about adapting to these changes and being ahead of the game.

    I do think I will target the marketing to specific audiences but did not think this would change the content that much. Thus I have been trying to come up with a name and theme as a appealing to as large a crowd as possible then focus marketing on one group at a time. Do you think that this is still too broad? Do I need to release several versions of the course, each branded to a different demographic?

    Maybe the “A game” part does not quite fit as it is a bit confusing. What I was trying to get at is that being a resilient human being, to me, means bringing your best self forth in life, always learning, always striving to do better, and be better, while being content with where you are at. Thus aspects of the course are really around being creative and doing our best in life to be good people who are ready to step up and support our greater community in the face of adversity. Does that make sense to you now?

    Chris Gilmour

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