Category: People Systems

The Tale of a Local Community Network (Melbourne, Australia)

I attended the Community Gardens Conference in Canberra in 2010. Myles Bremner, CEO of Garden Organic, Europe’s main organic gardening organization, was speaking about how surprised he was that in Australia there was no unified network of Community Gardens. In fact in Australia no one even knows exactly how many there are. This highlighted for me the importance of building local networks to improve the credibility of local food growing […]

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Social Permaculture: Principles in Action

Photo by Lisa DePiano Permaculture as a movement has most of the knowledge, tools and resources that we need to create a regenerative society in the physical sense. Just Google ‘passive solar design’ or ‘aquaculture’ and you will find hundreds of books, articles and how-tos. Certainly we can fine tune and experiment but the harder task lies in transforming our social and invisible systems. This becomes even more crucial when […]

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Video Spotlight on Kotare Village (New Zealand)

You’ll enjoy this little video, a nice collage of thoughts and scenery and developing community integration. This is Kotare Village in the North Island of New Zealand, where PRI New Zealand (Koanga Institute) is making excellent headway into creating a model community where freedom of individual expression is combined with cohesion of collective purpose. And, to help put Kotare village into some kind of historical context, I thought I’d juxtapose […]

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Success in Tough Times (France)

by Steve Hanson 2012 is our eighth year of small scale farming in France and has seen us move from income dependence to financial security and independence. Looking back over the last eight years at our mistakes and our successes in getting to this point demonstrates the value of an integrated approach. When we arrived in France we had a single idea to provide us with income; that of breeding […]

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Thoughts on Vocational Training Centers for Ecological Restoration

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John D. Liu I’m often asked “What can I do to help?” to restore the Earth. Over the years I’ve struggled with the answer. Sometimes I feel like it is unfair to ask me what someone else should do because even if I told them what I thought they probably wouldn’t do it. I think that each person should look inside their heart and decide what they will do. However, […]

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The Sufficiency Economy – Envisioning a Prosperous Way Down

Editor’s Preamble: I would exhort readers to ignore the potentially off-putting length of this piece, to instead step into, and allow yourself to be absorbed by, this important and worthy attempt at future-visualising. Readers who have been following my own work over the last several years will recognise and appreciate the themes covered. From my own perspective, what follows is a highly pragmatic view on the potential near-future of civilisation, […]

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The Global Movement that Barack Obama Isn’t Leading

A lot of people look to Barack Obama as the enlightened leader, the psychopomp who will lead the world away from the brink of catastrophe and into a new era. I see him in a somewhat different light. I see his election as the American expression of a global shift in consciousness that is already well underway. He may or may not be able to fulfill his promise of hope […]

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Women of the Gobi (video)

Following on from the last one, this John D. Liu video from the Environmental Education Media Project takes us to the steppes of the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. If you love learning from different cultures that find ways to survive and flourish in circumstances and climates very different from your own, as I do, then you’ll find this an interesting piece.

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The Guardian Institutions of Hierarchy

One aspect of human culture that seems irresistible to the ancient status-seeking part of our brain is the development of hierarchies. The encoding of personal status and power into social structures is evident in the tribes and troops of all the great apes, but human beings have gone much further. We built an entire globe-spanning civilization on the foundation of hierarchy. One inevitable effect of social hierarchies (in fact the […]

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Vivir Bien (Living Well): a New Model For Development From Bolivia’s Indigenous Process of Change

Pachamama (Mother Earth) Under the presidency of Evo Morales, Bolivia has taken a leadership role in the global climate change negotiations. It did so most recently at the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancún, but also hosted the World People’s Conference on Climate Change (WPCCC) in Cochabamba in April 2010 and spoke out against the Copenhagen Accord at the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference. Among the ideas underpinning Bolivia’s principled […]

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Law Against Ecocide Was Suggested As Early as 1972

Imagine it’s 2020 I write to you from 2020, a world where there is no more Ecocide; a law of Eococide has now been passed after 5 years of transition where all companies have been given subsidies to prioritise a green economy; governments have been re-writing their policies and laws to bring them in line with the 5th Crime Against Peace and banks have new investment rules that categorise investment […]

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Money Spinners

Here’s how we can defeat political corruption of the kind that’s destroying US democracy. by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom. It’s a revolting spectacle: the two presidential candidates engaged in a frantic and demeaning scramble for money. By November 6th, Obama and Romney will each have raised over $1bn(1). Other groups have already spent a further billion(2). Every election costs more than the […]

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