Permaculture: Leadership for Sustainable Futures

Photo of Cornucopia Community Garden Calgary Canada courtesy of ItzaFineDay

In entitling this blog, Explorations into Permaculture: Concepts beyond the Garden I’ve wanted to explore how permaculture could inform system design, changing the way that we interact with each other and our environment. I somehow got sidetracked from this mission while I completed the PDC. It seems that much of permaculture as presented in the web (and perhaps even in the PDC) is a recitation of techniques; an endless stream of techniques. Many permaculture websites seem to focus on these techniques and show how they have actually created them “at home.” Much less time is spent on the thinking that underlies permaculture design and allows its concepts to spread beyond the garden.

I haven’t been creating much new content for this website.   I am discovering that I’m not really interested in the techniques of permaculture but searching for a step forward in my attempt to take permaculture beyond the garden. I’m very interested in this recent You-Tube video I learned about through the Permaculture Linked In Group.  A link to the video appears below.

It’s long but worthwhile video. The speaker, Stuart Hill from the University of Western Sydney makes some great points that I thought were very interesting and that I want to follow-up on in a few subsequent posts. Specifically:

  • This culture has an emphasis on socializing, problem solving and an exclusionary institutional focus.  We want to shift to an enabling (I don’t like this term), redesign and a participatory institutional focus. (Watch the video for clarification.) [06:51]
  • Under the subject of resilience: Permaculture builds capital which enhances the capability of systems to survive disruptions. [34:50] In my grant writing life I’ve been engaged in a wealth creation project since last year. I’ve started two posts about this and its relationship to permaculture.  You will be seeing them soon.
  • Practices of rehabilitation and maintenance build natural capital and ecological integrity.  This is the basis for sustainable productivity.  Sustainability is the maintenance of healthy systems and the rehabilitation of existing systems so they become healthy. [37.45]
  • When you ask people to envision a new future, they are often unable to do so because their wounded selves censor their authentic self. A way that Professor Hill has overcome this is by giving people permission to lie instead of asking them to vision. For example, what is the most amazing change that you have seen in your garden?  He says that when he does this, the wounded self stop censoring the authentic self, allowing it to express itself, because the wounded self sees no risk in “lying”. Lying is not a reality. [1:15:42]. I would guess that children have less difficult creating a vision that wounded adults.

There is much more in this video. I’d urge you to watch it and tell me what you think.


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