Marcin Gerwin

Building Community Through Permaculture – an Interview with Mark Lakeman

Marcin Gerwin: You used to work as an architect for a large company. How did you come to be involved in permaculture? Mark Lakeman: I was working for a large firm in 1988 and I wasn’t exposed to permaculture while working in a corporate career, which was very typical. But fortunately for me there was a day in my firm when there was a huge toxic waste cover-up that I […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Do We Really Need Compulsory Schooling? An Interview with Peter Gray

Marcin Gerwin: It seems almost natural that when children reach the age of six or seven they go to school. The idea of compulsory schools seems obvious and it is rarely questioned. However, one may start to wonder if forcing children to learn is an effective way to provide education at all. We learn easier when we want to do it rather than when we are told to. Is it […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Permaculture and Climate Change: Interview with Patrick Whitefield

Marcin Gerwin: With temperatures rising and changing weather patterns, agriculture will most certainly feel the effects of climate change. Do you think permaculture has the potential to help farmers to deal with the changing climate? Patrick Whitefield: One specific way in which permaculture can tackle climate change is through diversity, which we emphasize. In terms of trees, one of the big problems with planting trees is that we don’t know […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Elections: Understanding the Invisible Structures – an Interview with Peter Emerson

Peter Emerson is the director of the de Borda Institute in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is a leading authority on voting systems for use in both decision-making and elections. See a previous interview with Peter here. Marcin Gerwin: This autumn we will have local elections in Poland and instead of the proportional representation a new electoral system will be used in most places — first-past-the-post. Some politicians say that it […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Permaculture in the Cities – An Interview with Geoff Lawton

Photo © Craig Mackintosh Marcin Gerwin: Permaculture is currently hardly known in Poland. Could you explain what it is? Geoff Lawton: Permaculture is a design science. It’s a system that supplies all the needs of humanity — all the basic needs and all the intricate needs — in a way that also benefits the environment. It works from the intimate small space of human habitat right up to the broad, […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

A Shorter Working Week is Possible

Click for full view Marcin Gerwin: It was predicted in the 1930 by the economist John Maynard Keynes that thanks to the technological innovations, people in the twenty-first century will not have to work more than 15 hours a week. But here we are in the twenty-first century and many people in the industrialized world are in a hurry all the time and they have very little free time left. […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Majority Voting is Inadequate – an Interview with Peter Emerson

This is an extended version of the interview which first appeared in Dziennik Opinii in Polish. Peter Emerson is the director of the de Borda Institute in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is a leading authority on voting systems for use in both decision-making and elections. Marcin Gerwin (Poland): There are many divisions and even hostility in the Polish parliament. The ruling coalition currently has 232 votes in a parliament with […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Interview with Richard Heinberg: Do We Really Need Economic Growth?

Marcin Gerwin (Poland): For most heads of states, the prime minister of Poland included, the central point of economic policy is maintaining or increasing economic growth. The aim is to encourage people to consume more goods and services every year so that the Gross Domestic Product continues to grow. Do you think it’s a realistic approach?

Read More >
Shares Comments

Improving Democracy Through Deliberation – Interview with Lyn Carson

Source: flickr Lyn Carson is a professor with the Business Programs Unit at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her research areas are community engagement and deliberative democracy. She is also a director of NewDemocracy Foundation. Marcin Gerwin: There are many people who are disappointed in the way the democratic system works. They see politicians arguing and making decision in the interest of their political parties rather than the common good. […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Healthy Planet and the Law of Ecocide – an Interview with Polly Higgins

The disappearing Amazon rainforest Photo: Cifor Marcin Gerwin: You propose introducing a new international law of ecocide as an amendment to the Rome Statute. Ecocide is defined as “an extensive damage to, destruction of or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been or will be severely diminished.” […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

From Traffic Jams to Ecocities – Interview with Richard Register, President of Ecocity Builders

Marcin Gerwin: In many cities there are problems with traffic jams. The streets are clogged with cars and as a response mayors build new roads or widen the streets. Old buildings are demolished to make way for new lanes so that a highway running through the middle of the city could be built. Would you say that this is the right way forward?

Read More >
Shares Comments