Category: People Systems

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 […]

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A “Pattern Language” for Women in Permaculture

Children planting pumpkins. Photo by Jeanine Carlson Though women receive the majority of all college degrees in the U.S., and are well represented in the work force, they are very under-represented in positions of high-level leadership. Most of the women I’ve encountered in permaculture note analogous patterns: often, women constitute 50% or more of the participants in PDCs, yet occupy disproportionately few of the positions of leadership and prominence in […]

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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. […]

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A Global Exploration of Economic Possibilities

Highlights from the Berlin conference that attracted 200 commoners from 30 countries. Click to download (665kb PDF) The Heinrich Boll Foundation just released a detailed, educational, and inspiring report [PDF inset] summarizing the international conference it hosted in Berlin, Germany May 22-24, 2013. Two hundred commoners from around the globe converged at the Economics and the Commons Conference (ECC) to explore the commons as an alternative worldview to market-fundamentalism, to […]

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The Deep Green Alternative – Debating Strategies of Transition

by Samuel Alexander and Jonathan Rutherford, Simplicity institute report 14a, 2014 Introduction Evidence continues to mount that industrial civilisation, driven by a destructive and insatiable growth imperative, is chronically unsustainable, as well as being grossly unjust. The global economy is in ecological overshoot, currently consuming resources and emitting waste at rates the planet cannot possibly sustain (Global Footprint Network 2013). Peak oil is but the most prominent example of a […]

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Crash on Demand? A Response to David Holmgren

D. Lange “Mr. Dougherty and kid. Warm Springs, Malheur County, Oregon” October 1939 David Holmgren, for whom I have the utmost respect, is best known as one of the co-originators of the permaculture concept. Permaculture is an ecological design method for regenerative agriculture, where the principles of natural systems are employed in order to create a self-sustaining means for food production while building soil fertility. I am increasingly involved with […]

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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 […]

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Permaculture’s Achilles’ Heel

There are some challenges in permaculture that do need to be addressed. And it is not what we commonly think — of such issues as big business trying to shut permaculture holistic practices down, or people just not caring about the next generations. In all honesty, if you think it through, our current systems involving big business, which are based on finite resources, will eventually fall. And people who are […]

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Connected – A Film for Change

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXuWqMiwSis ‘Connected’ is a film made by Paul and Kate Maple, a UK based family who have made it their lives for the last 4 years. Worried about the future and the seemingly insurmountable mountain of problems in the world, Paul and Kate decided to ditch their busy lives and start working out if there was any way they could help create positive social change….

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Retrofitting a Small Town

For the last four years, I have been dreaming of retrofitting a small town with a group of like-minded individuals with a diverse set of skills. I talk a lot about this in my courses, and it always gets a group of people charged up. It seems as though there are a lot of people that are tired of living in these massive, hyper-urban environments that meet our basic needs […]

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Transition Towns – Organizing For Resilience (video)

Rob Hopkins, instigator of the Transition Towns movement, is on tour in the U.S. This video is a 90 minute presentation that was given in Oakland, California, on October 10th, 2013. If you’re U.S.-based, and want to get involved in helping to start a Transiation Town, head here to find out more. There’s no time like the present….

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Syria Back-Story, Part I: Internal Displacement and the Story Framework

Editor’s Note: Some time ago I asked one of my permaculture contacts in Syria if they could give us some reports, with their particular on-the-ground views on the ongoing crisis there. I did so in the hope of our gaining a more rounded back-story viewpoint. With the mainstream media largely owned and controlled by vested interests, I think it’s critical that websites such as this one can be used as […]

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