How to permaculture our way out of a crisis

How do we unite to permaculture our way out of the crisis? How can we get people up to speed with ecological literacy and resilience thinking? What can we to avoid going back to our old ways post-COVID? These questions and more are discussed here in CERES Winter Webinar #1 featuring Kat Lavers, Dr Keri Chiveralls, and Dr Ben Habib, facilitated by Lorna Pettifer.

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Talking social permaculture on Permaculture Visions

Thank you to April Sampson-Kelly for interviewing me for her Permaculture Visions video series. In this video we discuss permaculture design for the care of people. We touch on nurturing healthy and productive social spaces, and “holding space” for nurturing collaboration. We also explore the idea of horizontal organisational models as governance models for people care instead of hierarchical systems.

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6. Permaculture ethics and systems of power

Examines the permaculture ethics from the perspective of systems of power. Permaculture practice needs nourishing economic, social and cultural ground in which to take root, yet much of our society today is a desert in that respect. We need to incorporate an understanding of power into our social permaculture pattern literacy if we’re to turn that desert into a flourishing garden of Earth care, people care and fair share.

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5. Surfing the wave of complex inter-connection

In Episode 5 of the Social Permaculture Online Bootcamp, Ben Habib explores how we are nested in webs of relationships with each other and with all of life on Earth, through different intersecting ecological, social and economic systems. Ben also introduces social permaculture “sectors” as a pattern language to help us locate ourselves in relation to the different inter-connected systems that influence our lives.

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4. Relationships and connection

In Episode 4 of the Social Permaculture Online Bootcamp, Ben Habib draws on the concept of permaculture “zones,” and specifically how they might be interpreted in a social permaculture context, to inventory our networks of interpersonal relationships. Ben also introduces a social permaculture patterning tool, inspired by the zoning concept, of levels of political organisation of increasing scale from the individual to the global.

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3. Subsistence needs and gift economies

In Episode 3 of the Social Permaculture Online Bootcamp, Ben Habib explores reclaiming more control over our subsistence through gift economies and the commons, as a compliment to food production. This video’s activity prompts participants to create a basic “gift circle” as an easily replicable model of community-level exchange to obtain some of the things we need, outside of money economy. The objective is not just to obtain more of what we need through networks of mutual aid, but also to lay the foundation of sharing and reciprocity needed for larger-scale alternative economic systems for the post-COVID19 recovery and post-carbon transition.

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2. Making the next decision

In Episode 2 of Social Permaculture Online Bootcamp, Ben Habib confronts the feeling of overwhelm that many are feeling in the COVID-19 moment. Ben looks to the acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) framework for guidance, and specifically to a recent article “FACE COVID” published by renowned psychotherapist Russ Harris. Ben likes this model to help get grounded so that we can put one foot in front of the other and make the next decision.

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CERES Global in India—Day 06: Hidden Landscapes of Waste

On day six of our CERES Global Sustainable Development, Permanent Culture and Un-learning tour to India we visited a municipal waste dump on the outskirts of Udaipur. Dump sites are always the dirty little secret of industrial development and commerce. They are the hidden landscapes of every city, a landscape so toxic and forbidding to life. In the Udaipur dump site, however, a community of “rag pickers” live and work in the mounds of refuse, earning a living from picking and selling recyclable materials from the waste piles.

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