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Social Permaculture Research, would like your thoughts  RSS feed

 
Ernest Rando
Posts: 31
Location: Fredericktown, Ohio
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Educational Videos
By Ernest Rando on Friday, November 22, 2013 at 10:13am
observations (recent research and data)=

Ecological Footprint Calculator - Know your footprint before you talk about sustainability
http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/gfn/page/calculators/

International Panel on Climate Change 5th assessment report
Mr. Rajendra Kumar PachauriChair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
http://unfccc4.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/cop19/templ/play.php?id_kongresssession=6911&theme=unfccc#

J. David Hughes - PCI - Energy Sustainability Dilemma - Cornell 5-2-12
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4aaOPWvw3I&list=PL5BD5861504A0DC87&index=116

Paul Wheaton - Building a Better World One Permaculture Brick at a Time
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aaxGXzDc80&list=PL5BD5861504A0DC87&index=120

Freedom, Equality and a Future Political Economy: the structural change we need
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1MthzjqeWE&list=PL5BD5861504A0DC87&index=118

A nice Ethical Observation
http://unfccc4.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/cop19/templ/play.php?id_kongresssession=6914&theme=unfccc

ADP workshop on pre-2020 ambition: urbanization and the role of governments in facilitating climate action in cities Warsaw, PolandThursday, 14 November 2013
http://unfccc4.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/cop19/templ/play.php?id_kongresssession=6921&theme=unfccc

CEE Bankwatch Network: Undermining Our Climate: Commercial Banks and the Coal Sector
Warsaw, Poland15 November 2013
The actual report http://bankwatch.org/publications/banking-coal-undermining-our-climate
The webcast presentation http://unfccc4.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/cop19/templ/play.php?id_kongresssession=6924&theme=unfccc

Press Briefing Warsaw, Poland16 November 2013
World Energy Council: The Energy Trilemma – What is needed to balance the energy challenges?
http://unfccc4.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/cop19/templ/play.php?id_kongresssession=6943&theme=unfccc


Very Difficult video to enjoy, its a phone from the audience i think, but is subtley amazing observation on the discussion of changing political boundaries to geographic ones. If you find a better one let me know.
Toward a Bioregional State and Ecological Revolution: green constitutional engineering for the world
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhVRunuAi24&list=PL5BD5861504A0DC87&index=126

Manifesto for Economic Democracy and Ecological Sanity
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSB8yxgCmU0&feature=youtu.be


Understanding (people are already moving beyond capitalism) =

The Shape of the Emerging New Economy by Gar Alperovitz
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KXqDWIXVNc&list=PL5BD5861504A0DC87&index=125

Ecological transformation using current and appropriate technology
Permaculture Greening the Desert
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1rKDXuZ8C0&list=PL5BD5861504A0DC87&index=127

A Cure for Capitalism Richard Wolff
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guSdjsctrUQ&list=PL5BD5861504A0DC87&index=128

Community Wealth Building: Creating the new economy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TntC29EPSLQ&list=PL5BD5861504A0DC87&index=124

Occupy Student Debt Campaign
http://www.occupystudentdebtcampaign.org/

The Case for Permaculture (yes I am a bit biased to this video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSB8yxgCmU0&feature=youtu.be

Good example of Americans taking action into their own hands and moving ahead of or beyond government and not waiting on them to make decisions for us. Warsaw Climate Change Conference - November 2013 Press BriefingWarsaw, Poland 15 November 2013

University of California:What must the 2015 Treaty Do? Perspectives from Youth Climate Justice Activists and IICAT
http://unfccc4.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/cop19/templ/play.php?id_kongresssession=6932&theme=unfccc
 
Ernest Rando
Posts: 31
Location: Fredericktown, Ohio
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So I was asked exactly what do I mean, and what am I trying to do here. So let me quickly explain.

These are some of the resources I am using for a permaculture project, the videos are mostly very current, recent research that has come out of the Climate change conference, democracy conference, and some good permaculture vids as well, ie 72 blocks. This is a lot of video to watch but ultimately yes I would like folks to watch the videos and comment on them. I am trying to not influence the comments so I probably was not clear with what I expect.

This is a lot to ask, but what I am learning is that we have a lot of fringe movements within the states and while many of these videos are not talking about permaculture if you put on your permie goggles you will recognize the patterns. People re-localizing, reorganizing, and democratizing their communities and ultimately changing the systemic structures of society. Really what I am trying to get at is "What is Fair Share in today's context?" how are we redefining fair share.

Also there is a lot of hope in these videos. Permaculture practices are being supported and measured by the UN Climate Change Folks (which is amazing) Also Permaculture as an institution is localization and decentralization at its finest. We start with out sphere of influences which may be our balcony and then we scale it up acre by acre, watershed by watershed. This ability to scale up is what folks are looking for and the planet needs. And each permaculture center is autonomous, one can stand under the rule of the all mighty duke of permaculture if they wish or they can live in a consensus based cob village. The contradiction is a harmonious relationship that is difficult to understand unless you know permaculture or study dialectics.

While there are many folks studying social permaculture within the permacommunity, I am trying to study social permaculture from folks that may not even know the word and hopefully by sharing this research, I can bring groups of people together and expand the permaculture pie. But this is my comment on these videos, I would love to have other folks comments and I would like to recieve more videos to add to this list. This is only a fraction of the videos that I have studied (The Climate Change Conference has about 100 hours of video)

We are at a time in history where the international community moves backwards on climate change, but the international permaculture convergence, perma voices conference, and other regional convergences are moving forwards. So many people are not aware of this yet at the same time we are aware of the feelings that we all share that the system needs to be different. But then again maybe you like our current social system and think that everything is perfect as it is. If so I want to hear that as well, I am guessing that won't be the case.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
Posts: 2679
Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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Ernest:

I love where you're going with this but that list is TOO DAUNTING!

Perhaps break these out and start a discussion on each specific video? I look at that list and am already in overwhelm (even though I have some passing knowledge on the topic and it is a favorite of mine). Any chance of reworking this and making it more "doable" and perhaps getting better data for your project at the same time??

Best,
Jen
 
Ernest Rando
Posts: 31
Location: Fredericktown, Ohio
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Indeed it is daunting, breaking it up makes sense. I am at a very early stage in my research. I am hoping that those really looking for social change and making sacrifices in their lives and working with others to do so will perhaps be a little more motivated to take on the task of watching these videos. I also hesitated to write a summary of the videos cause I did not want to influence any comments on the videos.

Maybe I just need to ask people to pick one video on the list and watch it and comment on it. Thanks for your comments and thanks to the permie empire for sharing this!
 
Ernest Rando
Posts: 31
Location: Fredericktown, Ohio
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Thanks very much for the thoughts. Social Permaculture is such a nebulous term. I will try to narrow some ideas. One thing is that this is pretty new content, maybe not all new ideas, but they do reflect many of the social movements that are converging or are very close to converging at this unique time in history. For example in November you have an International effort to cooperate and come together to try and mitigate and adapt to our climate's changes. And most people would say that the UN efforts are failing to address the needs of our planet. However you also have the International Permaculture Convergence where there is an international effort to adapt to our changing climate that is working. In the videos and photos from the UNFCCC no one really looks happy, whenever you see a permaculture gathering folks are usually happy.

One of the nice thing here on permies and I am sure one of the pains of forum administrators everywhere at the same time is that we find it pretty easy to discuss permaculture techniques and strategies, but we do get very emotional when it comes to social ideas. Ultimately I feel permaculture asks us to discuss and observe and listen. I am looking for actual critiques (not attacks) of these videos, and I am looking for other videos that may disagree perhaps with the ideas in these videos. Also I am looking for stories and examples of perhaps how local communities have been successful or not implementing or envisioning some of these facts or ideas or different facts or ideas.

An interesting note and this is a complement to all the "Green Party Social Democrats , Libertarians , Anarchists , hippies , rednecks" and others that are here at permies. At least they have an attention span that can handle an hour long video or more. On some other sites where I have kind of plopped this in the water there has been no response. Are the videos to technical, do Americans have an attention span anymore, or are there other reasons for not getting a response. Is the Permie empire the only group of concerned citizens with attention spans? Perhaps the inclusiveness and sense that biodiversity is a good thing, that is inherent in permaculture, is something that will allow us to adapt to the future. I am finding social in-groups that are made up of Dems, Repub, and Anarchists . They are stacking functions instead of dividing labour and creating cooperatives that make their local communities healthy and happy. Are we at a unique time in history as some in these videos claim?

I do have one other agenda. I will be applying permaculture analysis (i think we forget sometimes that permaculture is a design science) to the information that I gather. For example what if we learned from a zone analysis that anarchist principals tend to favour our social zone 3 and democratic values tend to work better in zone 2 and republican values are more effective in our zone 5 social interactions. This is perhaps a seemingly absurd hypothesis but far as I know there is little to no research into our social and community developments that study this using permaculture analysis. What if a positive interest rate requires very little maintenance in an economic system and works great when dealing with international commodities but a negative interest rate required more maintenance socially, but was extremely effective at distributing resources on the local level?



 
Jennifer Wadsworth
Posts: 2679
Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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Ernest:

I really like where you are going with this and I have to say I agree with many of your points and would like to help out as I am also on a mission to understand "social permaculture" better. I say this because I live in a large metropolitan area (Phoenix) and to truly apply permaculture principles and create a no-waste system, you have to, by design, reach out into the community and use municipal systems. We have to move beyond the self-contained "homestead" approach of small acreage where we might have greater control over our immediate surroundings but possibly a much smaller impact beyond the borders of our property. I think the intent of intentional communities is one way of addressing this, however, intentional communities take time, effort and money to set up. On the other hand, we already have huge populations living in cities. What can we do where we are, right now, where we already are, to effect change? Some people say it's hopeless. I say it's not at all hopeless. It can be maddening, surely. And SLOW. But change does happen.

Example - a couple of weeks ago, the former mayor of Phoenix (whose mailing list I didn't even know I was on) sent around an op ed piece he'd written in support of a US-Mexico collaboration on a desalinization plant to provide water security to the Sonoran desert area. I know this man as an acquaintance from yrs ago when he was our city council person. He is very community minded and wants what's best for AZ. He, however, likes to "think big" and not all his ideas are feasible (no one's are). So I wrote back with some other ideas on how we could use our existing water better to a similar effect and asked him if he would be holding any public panels on the topic. At first he was reluctant - after all, he'd just come out in favor of de-sal in our major newspaper and wanted to garner support. However the next message I got from him (on Thanksgiving) was "I'm setting up some public discussions around this issue - are you in and who else do you think should be there?" WOW - that was awesome. A step in the right direction.

Here's what I would request from you regarding the above videos. For myself, this process is still too amorphous. I have limited vision (blind in one eye, low vision in the other) that I must manage to best effect. If you could say "here's the video of the week and here are things I'd like to discuss around it" that would, in my opinion, help move the discussion aspect along. If we all watch different videos at different times, I don't know that you'll truly get the discussion you want or the insights. I can commit to a video (of your choosing) per week with interactive discussion. Otherwise my time is taken up designing materials for my own PDC and raising funds to get my blind-assed self to geoff lawton's internship at the "Greening the Desert - the Sequel" site next Oct. Oddly enough, I'll probably be documenting the "social" aspects of this project as part of that internship!

What do you think?
 
Ernest Rando
Posts: 31
Location: Fredericktown, Ohio
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Thanks for your comments, I think I have had a small moment of clarity. The patterns that I see in these videos and others are tools that are being used by society in order to have a more democratized and localized communities. And the reason is different for everyone. But the question is, how does a permie analyze the information observed. Just like the Zone analysis, or Sector analysis are design science tools used by the permaculturalist so theses tools may be effective in social planning but there may be other tools developing that should be put into the Permie's Bag of Tricks.

I posit that one of these methods is Dialectical Thinking. It is different from the mostly cause and effect thinking that we are used to. For instance you can use the dialectical framework to discuss nested ecological systems, or guild relationships, transportation, and who knows what else. The key is that a permie is always looking at relationships (and there are reasons for this) dialectical reasoning is one way to analyse the relationships in a system. Much like the Zone analysis looks at the maintenance of relationships in one's sphere of influence, separating into zones 0-5; a dialectical analysis may reveal relationship tensions. The most widely known dialectical argument is best exemplified by Karl Marx who describes various harmful relationships and principals that are inherent in a capitalist system that relies on unlimited growth and causes unnecessary pain and exploitation to the working class of the capitalist systems.

Also I posit another analytical tool that I have found amongst the videos. This actually comes from a book by ed chambers, but it is the idea that we have a world "as it is" and a world "as it should be". And that life is the process of moving from one to the other, we are that dynamic. Even if we substituted should with Could. We could live in a world that produces more resources than it consumes. We could be in a world that is non toxic. We could be in a world where carbon capture and sequestration is called tree planting." This then moves us into the symbols of the permaculture flower and ideas like the 72 blocks of permaculture and as an idea there is always the focus on the process or relationship, and what tools help us look for them. What if there is a tool inherent in the patterns of nature that help us to investigate ourselves socially?

The above two methods which I have poorly defined here but am starting to define in my research are diagramal and simple in nature much like any other permie's analysis tool
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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Earnest:

I like your thought processes and I see where you're going and it is a path that I myself am interested in. And I also have come to some of the same realizations through, perhaps, different paths.

However, I would respectfully ask again that you organize the above videos, parse them out once a week or so, elicit comment (and provide context for those comments) to gain more meaningful dialog. (this comes from the instructional designer and systems analyst in me!) I get that you may want unbiased opinions but opinions by their very nature are biased. And we already have a permie bias coming into this exercise.

Guidance through this process is critical to gain the information you want. None of us has unlimited time and must choose what interests us and can engage with meaningfully. Social permaculture is something that interests me. However - I have VERY LIMITED sight (blind in one eye, low vision in the other). I manage with what I have through systems I've tried and tested. I don't have the same visual bandwidth as most people. Therefore, for me personally to engage in this - it has to become more focused.

If I were to redesign your original email in hopes of getting more input I would do the following (obviously you may choose a different path!):
--State your goals clearly and VERY SPECIFICALLY up front. "I'm looking for people to view several videos and have a discussion about these (enumerated) items regarding them.
--Rank the videos somehow by importance, theme, etc.
--Clearly state your timeline and schedule for this
--Clearly state the purpose to which this input will go towards
--If you have more time, you might put out a poll/survey through surveymonkey to see what ideas people already have around social permaculture and that will help you limit or refine your goal.

As it stands now - the process, goals and outcomes are not clearly defined enough for me to gain purchase in any meaningful way so I am hesitant to start somewhere for fear of missing the point and having wasted both your time and mine.

I admire deeply what you're doing, however, to be sustainable within my own limitations, I need some specificity to be defined around this issue.

Best,
Jen
 
Ernest Rando
Posts: 31
Location: Fredericktown, Ohio
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Thanks so much, I agree and appreciate your feedback and will do some work. And again thanks, that is why this community is so valuable.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Earnest - I look forward to what you come up with!

Best,
Jen
 
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