Bio-regional Organisations, Courses/Workshops, Development & Property Trusts, Ethical Investment, Society, Village Development — by Neil Bertrando February 11, 2013
Giving opportunities for young people to make a living improving the world
is the great need of the hour
As more and more people in developed nations (and the USA in particular) become aware of the effects of their personal decisions on ecologies and economies at local and global scales, both the supply and demand of permaculture design education has seen a dynamic increase over the past decade. With a whole-systems solutions-oriented design concept that encourages practical application, the permaculture movement is poised to provide a positivistic world-view and skill-based design platform for the development of a society that actively improves ecosystem health while meeting human needs and improving quality of life at a community scale.
With the stage set for a fast-tracking of permaculture design education, action and implementation, I believe that there exist both social and economic bottlenecks that are being addressed through creative solutions to provide permaculture career opportunities and shifts in local governmental policy to incentivize eco-literate communities and ecologically beneficial developments and retrofits.Comments (2)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Bio-regional Organisations, Community Projects, Eco-Villages, Economics, People Systems, Society, Village Development — by David Bollier March 10, 2012
The following is an adaptation of my notes for my talk at the Occupy Wall Street “Making Worlds” conference on February 16-18, 2012.
I am so pleased that the Occupy and Commons movements are finding each other and starting a new conversation. Occupy is an incredible force for change. It has a bracing vision, a deeply principled philosophy, and an independent, risk-taking spirit that is unusual in American political life. There are many challenges for Occupy, however, as it tries to imagine new ways to move forward and grow. I’d like to suggest how the commons framing and language may be strategically important by surveying the international scene of commons activism, which is remarkably robust. There is a lot is going on — but I won’t presume to be comprehensive; my apologies for any significant omissions.
Let me start by giving a brief speculation about why people from so many backgrounds are embracing the commons. First of all, it is a way for people to assert the integrity of their existing communities, or to try to reclaim that integrity. The commons also provides a way to assert a moral relationship to certain resources and people that are endangered by market forces. It’s a way of saying, “That _________ (water, air, software code, cultural tradition) belongs to me. It is part of my life and identity.”
Many people are embracing the commons, too, because it provides a powerful critique of neoliberal capitalism. But it is much more than that. It is a pro-active set of alternatives that work. And therefore it provides a positive, constructive scaffolding for practical alternatives to the prevailing market economy and corrupt political process. But the commons is still more than this. It is not just a policy critique or political philosophy, but equally a distinctive worldview, language and social ethic.Comments (19)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Bio-regional Organisations, Community Projects, Eco-Villages, People Systems, Society, Village Development — by Millo Magnocavallo February 11, 2012
I have seen a possibility and a lot of factors that are working in favor of this possibility, so it has motivated me to start working on my idea. It’s about collaboratively re-occupying and regenerating abandoned rural land, starting here, where I am in Portugal. Since I know of no other cases of this here in Portugal I will be starting with my own land as a lead case study, lead example or pilot project for lack of a better term. I am currently in the process of investigating this further, but let me explain the idea….Comments (36)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Bio-regional Organisations, Community Projects, Education, People Systems, Society, Village Development — by Dann Zealley January 31, 2012
Back in 2008 I spent 6 weeks in Venezuela. I have a Venezuelan friend who believes as I do that permaculture could and should be a driving force for positive change. We both also believe that the Bolivarian Revolution, championed most famously by the charismatic and controversially colourful personality of Hugo Chavez, despite many serious ‘growing pains’, provides the most pragmatic model for the social transformation of humanity towards a truly just and ecologically sustainable world. Already tremendous social and political changes have taken place since Chavez was elected in 1998. Despite corporate media propaganda to the contrary, his government’s record of accomplishment is undeniable (particularly when contrasted with the dramatic economic and social decline of the so-called ‘developed’ nations and the disturbingly increasing deficit of democracy occurring in Europe and North America.)*Comments (8)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Bio-regional Organisations, Community Projects, Consumerism, Development & Property Trusts, Economics, Land, People Systems, Plant Systems, Society, Village Development — by David Bollier January 16, 2012
Rarely have I read an essay that knits together some very different commons with such wisdom and depth. Joline Blais’ 2006 essay, “Indigenous Domain: Pilgrims, Permaculture and Perl,” is a wonderfully insightful analysis that reveals the underlying unity and logic of commons principles. Her piece appeared in Intelligent Agent (vol. 6, no. 2), published by the Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts.
Blais’ essay is valuable because it speaks to the rift that is said to separate commons based on natural resources and those of cyberspace. The segregation of those two classes of commons has always bothered me. There are of course significant differences between managing depletable natural resources and managing cheap and limitless stores of digital information. Yet it has always struck me that the two great tribes of commoners have much more in common than not, and should be in closer consultation with each other.Comments (1)
Aid Projects, Alternatives to Political Systems, Bio-regional Organisations, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Developments, Eco-Villages, Education Centres, Networking Sites, News, People Systems, Social Gatherings, Urban Projects, Village Development — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor February 3, 2011
After months and months of work, we’re now launching a new system — the Worldwide Permaculture Network (WPN) — which will enable permaculturists everywhere to:
- Put themselves on a clickable map, where people (permaculturists and non-permaculturists) can see at a glance the scope of the spread of permaculture worldwide
- Showcase their work as individuals, and the work of any projects they are administrating
- Be searchable according to many variables (climate zone, project type, and more)
- Network with other permaculturists everywhere
- Advertise their consultancy services
- Advertise their courses (for educational projects)
- Share knowledge, experiences, challenges, successes, and inspiration
- Help inspire non-permaculturists with the potential for positive, systemic change that permaculture design systems can bring
- And more…
Aid Projects, Bio-regional Organisations, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Development & Property Trusts, Eco-Villages, Education Centres, Ethical Investment, Financial Management, Networking Sites, People Systems, Social Gatherings, Urban Projects, Village Development — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor January 4, 2011
Welcome to the new year everyone.
The first live, public launch of the Worldwide Permaculture Network is imminent. There are just a few things to tidy up, and then you can all ‘have at it’.
I could use your feedback on the below. Here you’ll find draft descriptions of the project ‘types’ that can be selected when you upload your various permaculture projects. (Each of these project types has a badge associated with it which will show on respective project profile sidebars.) Please feel free to let me know via comments if you have constructive observations for tweaks/improvements that could be made to the descriptions below. Thank you all in advance:Comments (15)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Bio-regional Organisations, Community Projects, Consumerism, Developments, Eco-Villages, Economics, Financial Management, People Systems, Society, Urban Projects, Village Development, peak oil — by Marcin Gerwin December 16, 2010
Editor’s note: This is what I like to see, and hope others will emulate: concrete action to bring about organised, localised change. Some subscribe to free market magical thinking — that self-interest combined with market mechanisms will somehow automatically harmonise our social, and even environmental problems. But, permaculture is not about blind hope and trust in disorder. In contrast, it’s all about intelligent design — not just of food forests, raised beds, and passive solar natural buildings, etc., but also the ‘invisible structures’ that can be either a significant impediment to their implementation, or a positive incubator of the same. Go Marcin!
Something extraordinary happened in our city, Sopot in Poland: four out of five candidates for city mayor declared that they would like to introduce participatory budgeting. Participatory budgeting means that citizens are directly involved in deciding what the funds from the city budget are spent on. It is a great opportunity to make a turn towards sustainability, and for Transition initiatives or permaculture groups it is a tool to suggest concrete projects to achieve it. The whole process is not just about money, it is also a starting point for the residents to meet, to discuss city matters, to learn about transport policies, designing parks or harvesting rainwater, it is an opportunity to make friends and to build a sense of a real local community.Comments (4)
Aid Projects, Alternatives to Political Systems, Bio-regional Organisations, Community Projects, Consumerism, Economics, Ethical Investment, Financial Management, Networking Sites, People Systems, Society, Village Development — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 23, 2010
This is Part X, the final installment, of a ten-part series – If you haven’t already, please read Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, Part VIII and Part IX before continuing. This series is part of my work for the Sustainable (R)evolution book project.
Preamble: As I type, much of France is grinding to a halt as an enraged public strike against austerity measures that would impose restrictions on their lifestyles. This year we already watched placard waving, gold watch wearing, Greek protestors gnashing their teeth in their overspent, tourism-dependent country, and now the French are blockading fuel depots, torching cars, throwing rocks and threatening to bring the whole country to a standstill. Trouble is brewing in the UK and elsewhere as well as similar attempts to patch their disastrous economic situations are on the table, and let’s not even mention where the implosion already underway in the US will inevitably lead…. I can’t blame people for being mad. They’ve been told lies — given the "trust us, vote for us, we know what we’re doing" spiel and fed the immoral and impossible fiction of an American Dream to keep them as mere compliant labour and ‘consumers’. With their pockets beginning to suffer they’re awakening out of their apathy, but, in their protests, as they spit the dummy and throw their toys out of the cot, what are they really seeking to accomplish? As far as I can tell, they’re demanding a continuation of the status quo — they want to persevere with our credit based, unrestrained, consumer treadmill just a little longer. This also is wholly detached from reality. What if, instead of pulling down rather than building — just to usher in a new era of fascism as governments spend more on internal security than positive options like permaculture education — people were to objectively look at the situation we find ourselves in, learn from the mistakes of our past gorging on credit and finite resources, and determine to build an alternative, sustainable, cooperative, economy that has happiness, equality, health and natural capital as priority goals? We could then begin to replace our current leisure-oriented consumer system with an alternative that takes reality by the horns, and, en masse, urge our governments to incentivise and support it. We would aggressively propose, with a workable road map in hand, rather than aggressively protest without viable alternatives. We would transform present invisible structures through unity of purpose, defeating the system, rather than allowing the confusion born of our individualism to only strengthen the resolve of government. And should government fail to come to the party, we’d build a parallel economy regardless. In Sri Lanka, the world’s largest participatory democracy movement, Sarvodaya, has been quietly building such a parallel economy over the last few decades. We could learn something here….
All photographs © copyright Craig Mackintosh
Alternatives to Political Systems, Bio-regional Organisations, Community Projects, Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Economics, Networking Sites, People Systems, Presentations/Demonstrations, Social Gatherings, Society, Village Development, peak oil — by Tom Toogood October 13, 2010
Editor’s Note: I would recommend people in Australia get behind this, and people everywhere could consider how to organise your own festival in your respective states. Getting transition discussions into the lenses and microphones of mainstream media is an urgent need.
What: Natural and Economic Solutions to the Global Financial Crisis
Where: Hamilton Public School, Newcastle, NSW, Australia
When: Friday night 22nd October (6pm to 9pm) and Saturday 23rd October, 2010 (9am to 9pm)
Why: Isn’t it obvious?
Newcastle is hosting a unique and timely event, Australia’s first Fair Share Festival, focussed on urgent economic and social justice issues and sustainable solutions. It’s planned to run at Hamilton Public School hall, grounds and Permaculture garden between 22-23 October (Friday and Saturday).
It is produced by Permaculture Hunter Region (PHR), the Permaculture Research Institute (PRI), Transition Town Newcastle and Unions NSW.Comments (1)
Aid Projects, Alternatives to Political Systems, Bio-regional Organisations, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Developments, Education Centres, Networking Sites, People Systems, Social Gatherings, Society, Urban Projects, Village Development, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor
I know some of you are itching to use the new Worldwide Permaculture Network system. Well, I hope to launch in just a few weeks!
One aspect that I want your input on is in regards to user guidelines. We want to make a clear list of guidelines for what kind of projects are and are not in harmony with permaculture principles, and what kind of behaviour is regarded as acceptable as far as profile information, profile updates, comments, etc. goes. This guideline list will be the basis upon which users can be reported for offences and potentially removed from the system if they persist. The guideline should create a protective fence around the system that encourages nurturing rather than criticism.
The most important thing is to ensure the system is used for its intended purpose – that of fast-tracking permaculture take-up in mainstream society, and helping people transition to a post-carbon world as peacefully and painlessly as possible. This incorporates helping people become permaculture consultants and aid workers, and helping share resources and knowledge and inspiration to get permaculture projects, large and small, started all around us. With this in mind, user guidelines will help us keep this system on track, and help give us the policing powers to stop misuse and/or intentional antagonism by people who do not understand or appreciate the basis and need of permaculture.
Please place listed suggestions in the comments below, and please write specific text as you’d expect it to be in the guidelines, rather than broad philosophical vagaries. I will take the best parts, aggregate them, and later create a final draft we can all revisit to finalise.
Thanks in advance for your support and participation in this important aspect of the new system.Comments (15)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Bio-regional Organisations, Community Projects, Developments, Networking Sites, People Systems, Social Gatherings, Society, Village Development — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor September 28, 2010
A few days ago I gave you all a sneak peek at the Worldwide Permaculture Network database we’re furiously working on. As I’ve expressed multiple times on this site and in discourses with permaculturists worldwide, it’s my firm belief that driving permaculture into mainstream thinking will only happen if the mainstream see the breadth and scope of permaculture work today, and its enormous potential if demanded by citizens and incentivised by governments. People need to see us as a movement; a force to be reckoned with and taken seriously. This is where such an online network as we’re building can become a valuable tool for real change. With it we can both showcase projects of every shape and size worldwide, and network and collaborate to put pressure where pressure is needed.
The following video clip expounds on these thoughts nicely.
I look forward to releasing this system for general consumption, and hope you will help us with feedback and involvement to make it everything it should be.Comments (9)
Bio-regional Organisations, Community Projects, Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Developments, Networking Sites, People Systems, Social Gatherings, Village Development — by Penny Pyett September 3, 2010
Dear NSW Permaculturalists,
For some time now Permies in NSW have been talking about having a regular NSW Permaculture gathering. The discussion has been gathering momentum lately and many of us feel it’s time to organize the first such event.
The idea is to hold a state convergence late next year on the August long weekend – Friday 30th July to Monday 1st August 2011 – at a desirable live-in venue. Permaculture Sydney (representing Pc Sydney North, Pc Sydney South and Pc Sydney West) has agreed to host the first event in Sydney.
At this stage Permaculture Sydney would like to hear from Permies and representatives of local Permaculture groups across NSW about: a) Support for the convergence b) What you would like to see happen at the first State Permaculture convergence and c) If and how you would like to present or be involved in some way.
A State convergence provides many personal, social and professional opportunities:Comments (5)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Bio-regional Organisations, Economics, People Systems, Society, Village Development — by Matt Whittley April 9, 2010
In our efforts for positive change, while we should be open minded and receptive to opportunities to work with our governments, we cannot leave all responsibilities to the government alone. Rather, the public should take action and represent themselves when their appointed officials do not.
Self-reliance and true sustainability are extremely difficult as an individual or single family. Local permaculture groups have been a very effective tool in local communities for positive change, including influencing local government.
How to start a local permaculture group:Comments (4)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Bio-regional Organisations, Community Projects, Developments, Eco-Villages, Economics, Networking Sites, People Systems, Society, Urban Projects, Village Development, peak oil — by Marcin Gerwin March 23, 2010
It’s been more than a year since we’ve started our initiative in Sopot, Poland. It has the same aim as the Transition initiatives, however we have decided to focus on local democracy first. Democracy helps to eliminate the struggles of political parties and it weakens vested interests. What we have also quickly realized is that even if you come up with a great plan for improving public transport or installing a biogas digester in your city, there’s this little, tiny issue: how can you make it all happen? Where will the money come from? Who will give all permits and change the city plans? The city council may be supportive and help you with that, but what if your city council is not interested in preparing for peak oil and doesn’t care about climate change? Certainly, citizens can exchange the city council in the next elections, nevertheless, at least in Poland, members of the council don’t have to keep their promises. Their commitments are not guaranteed by law. With participatory democracy citizens are involved in decision making directly. Citizens don’t need to worry about political campaigns, they can think long-term. If most of the citizens share the vision of a sustainable city, and if they have a direct influence on budget spending, than realizing this vision becomes possible. And, what’s also important, all projects are not imposed on people by the mayor, but they are agreed upon by the majority of the population.Comments (3)