Expanding social permaculture

During the Social Permaculture course in September we spent an afternoon engaged in a design process for how we might expand Social Permaculture. We started with visioning what that might look like, and worked out in zones starting from our own zone 00, then in our families and close relationships, moving out to groups, and then our social systems and then taking in the bigger global picture. There is plenty of room for growth in all of these areas. (this zoning is reflected in the different parts of People and Permaculture.)

We then moved into smaller groups to continue the design process using the design web. The group I was facilitating spent some time looking at limits; what are the things that holding back the expansion of social permaculture? There was a profound realization for me when we fell upon the possibility that perhaps there was a self limiting belief in permaculture or rather a collective limiting belief – that we are able and actually going to put permaculture into practice enough to transform the world into a healthy, productive, nurturing, life sustaining place, where the ethics of Earthcare, Peoplecare and Fair shares are fully embraced. Do we really believe that we can do this, or are we actually acting from a place of not really believing that our actions will be enough, that the world is how it is and we can’t transform it. This is of course a question not just about social systems but about our environmental and global concerns as well.

Seeding Social Permaculture from Gaiacraft on Vimeo.

In permaculture design whenever we reveal a limit, either one that is present or one that might become a limit in the future, we turn this around and make this a function of our design – we design ways to mitigate, overcome, bypass or flip the limit. So to turn around this collective limiting belief the function of the design becomes to build the belief that permaculture can and will transform the world we live in. We need to consciously create a sense of efficacy and responsibility about permaculture.

During our last meeting my fellow Thriving Ways members and I agreed that we would each create a portfolio showcasing social and personal permaculture designs as a way of increasing our own belief and sharing that with others. One of my designs will be to continue this design for expanding social and personal permaculture. I will share more as this design evolves.

I have been focusing on growing the peoplecare ethic within permaculture now for a few years and more strongly since People and Permaculture came out in 2012. I was pleased to note how strongly it was present at IPC in London this year, both in the design of the event and in the discussions and workshops. I am soon to be running a second People and Permaculture Facilitator Training with Peter Cow. We are planning to empower another group of people to use the design web in various situations and to share their social permaculture skills. It is exciting to have a group of people coming together with purpose to increase the sense of efficacy of social permaculture. The two strands of the course of design and facilitation will result in people ready to share their talents out in the world and thereby attracting more people to develop social permaculture. And as this journey will be continuing over the year there is the chance to really gain a lot of momentum with a strengthening learning community.

People and Permaculture from Gaiacraft on Vimeo.


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