“As we continue to witness degradation, and perhaps looming collapse of our political, economic and ecological systems, it is critical that we begin to be proactive in our solutions. We need to start locally, and design democratically owned, regionally controlled and ecologically resilient systems. We must focus our energy on broad systems design, education and a shift in our cultural narrative. “ –Vic Guadagno, Bright Blue EcoMedia
Workshop Goal: To encourage and empower facilitators and participants to utilize permaculture and ecological design principles to continue the transition toward resilient, regenerative, and equitable systems.
In order to fully immerse both participants and facilitators in the permaculture lens, we intend to structure the workshop so that it mimics the traditional “design process” followed by permaculture practitioners when creating site designs. We will initiate the workshop by providing some generalized context to our mission, goals, and methods, as well as the inspiration behind them. We will then focus in, specifically on the area of our research and efforts (Central Vermont), and explore specific elements and topics in breakout sessions. We will reconvene to integrate the breakout topics into a master design, and explore next steps in our evolution to a vibrant and resilient region.
The NEXT SYSTEMS project:
The time has come to think boldly about what is required to deal with the systemic difficulties facing the United States. It is time to begin a real conversation—locally, nationally, and at all levels—about genuine alternatives. It is time to develop thoughtful, system-building answers to system-threatening challenges. It is time to debate what it will really take to move in a new direction capable of producing sustain- able, lasting, and more democratic social, economic, and ecological outcomes.
While it is clear that no universal solutions exist, valuable resources are available to inspire the development of systems that will revitalize both human and ecological communities. Applied on a regional scale, the design science of Permaculture, a concept coined in 1978 by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, offers a vehicle for exploring such strategies. Our research aims to demonstrate, via a case study in Central Vermont, that the application of Permaculture principles and ethics to regional planning offers immense potential in the development of regenerative, equitable, and resilient systems on a localized scale.