In my study of the design system of permaculture, one problem that I’ve come across is that, as permaculturists, many of us tend to focus on our own lives and individual actions to create change. But, systemic change cannot occur by isolated individuals trying to live in harmony with the Earth. Society’s systems must be changed by collective action — communities acting as a collective organism to re-design the structures they live under (social, food, housing). So, how do we foster collective action?
I recently attended the Eleventh International Permaculture Convergence (IPC11) in Cuba with this perspective, at which the theme was “Permaculture Solutions to Climate Change.” It was my goal to collect these solutions to bring back to my community and implement. I wrote a booklet based on the valuable solutions I learned at the IPC which was designed to be a remedy to the problem mentioned above: a tool communities can use to understand, plan, and democratically implement collective solutions to the problems related to climate change, peak energy, and global financial insecurity.
As we all know, there is no quick fix. But, my hope is that this booklet can help contribute to the ongoing work of communities implementing real solutions.
The five main solutions in the booklet are summarized as:
- re-design of community social systems / invisible structures
- re-design of community food / agricultural systems
- re-design of community shelter systems
- bringing atmospheric carbon (CO2) down to 350ppm.
There are sixty-seven more specific solutions with which communities can prioritize and make goals (using the interactive checklist format of the pamphlet). In this way, the booklet may act as the framework by which to facilitate a group to implement these solutions — whether that group is a neighborhood, permaculture group, church organization, political or anti-political group, union, state, province, or country.
The booklet may be downloaded for free or printed copies can be ordered through the permaculture crowd-funding website wethetrees.com (until February 13th):
Randall Jamrok practices permaculture in Indiana, USA.