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Social Permaculture


July 28th to August 4th at EcoDharma, Catalonia, Spain with Alfred Decker (12 Principles Permaculture Design) and Michel Thill (Social Landscapes).

For more complete information on the course, tutors and registrations, visit the official course page here.

The Social Permaculture course will explore permaculture as a tool for designing communities and organisations. It will help you to understand things in terms of connection – between people, economies, and governing structures – and how to create the conditions for humans to flourish on a societal level, as well as how to develop beneficial relationships with the ecosystems which sustain us.

EcoDharma - Social Permaculture

Permaculture is a design system for creating sustainable and resilient communities and environments. It offers practical tools for creating productive and efficient landscapes as well as organisations and social structures. Permaculturalists place a high priority on developing resilience – the capacity to withstand shocks and disruptions – and we will look at connections between designing for resilience on a community and a personal level.

While the discipline originated as an ecological method for designing sustainable full-featured human settlements, more recently the design principles have been applied in urban, social and group contexts to organise, communicate and cooperate more effectively, rethinking existing social and economic structures – we call this “social permaculture”.

The ethics and principles of permaculture suggest a strong critique of current forms of social organisation and economic relationships. If we take seriously the idea of learning from natural systems, we are encouraged to reimagine economic and social systems as embedded in these, supporting the resilience of the system as a whole. Learning about ecological principles and patterns can help us to transform our human interactions and organisations to be dynamic, responsive to change and a means of flourishing for everyone involved.

Over the course of six days, participants will examine how to apply permaculture to civil society through:

  • Applying the ecological principles of permaculture to social structures
  • Studying economic models which serve to develop and enrich local communities
  • Using Systems Theory in identifying the leverage points/points of intervention/entry points to support positive transformation of society

Course participants will consider how each individual functions in society, and what are our social and ecological impacts; and how everyone can find their own roles in responding to the systemic crises we are facing: economic, social, and environmental.

The facilitation of the course will demonstrate how social permaculture can be applied to group processes, and its content will include:

  • Permaculture Design: Principles and Practice
  • Invisible structures: Creating solid and efficient organisations
  • How to collaborate effectively in groups (decision making, leadership/natural authority, structures, dynamic activities, etc.) and strategies for creating environments in which something more than the sum of the individual parts can happen. Avoid the typical pitfalls for all groups (power, money, sexuality, etc.). How to increase the energy of a group and sustain it, how to grow as a group
  • Ethical money, alternative currencies, time banks, divestment, social innovation and enterprise, right livelihoods
  • Communities (including the Global Ecovillage Network and the Transition Town movement)
  • Examples of Social and Urban Permaculture from around the world
  • Design your Life: A Process for Finding Your Path
  • Designing factors of community resilience (including preparation and response to disasters)