Some of the shoulders on which I am standing.
Mentor, colleague, tireless explorer of design process. Infectious enthusiasm abounds! Dan cofounded VEG and many vital projects which have influenced my thinking including Making Permaculture Stronger, Living Design Process and Holistic Decision Making. Top of the list.
Making Permaculture Stronger
Regenerating permaculture design process together is the byline for Dan Palmer’s ever-evolving project. A treasure trove of articles and podcasts on regenerative thinking which has been vital in transforming my approach to design and teaching. It’s a journey, so I recommend starting at the beginning.
Radical architect, design thinker and author of books including A Pattern Language (1977) and (most notably) A Timeless Way of Building (1979) in which he explores frameworks for supporting people to design things themselves using generative processes.
Living Design Process
Another resource from Dan Palmer, Living Design Process is a design approach which shuns fabrication and advocates generation — immersing deeply in context and participating in transformation towards life, beauty and wholeness. Strongly influenced by the work of architect Christopher Alexander.
Allan Savory is an ecologist and farmer who developed Holistic Management, a proactive, non-reductionist, whole systems approach to agriculture, which places future quality of life at the centre of decision making. Savory’s book Holistic Management is a rich resource.
Holistic Decision Making
Described by its developer Dan Palmer as a whole-oriented decision making practice adapted and evolved from Allan Savory’s Holistic Management decision making framework, HDM is an approach to life which supports you to escape a reactive mindset and keep moving towards what really makes you tick. This podcast episode may be a good place to jump in.
A collective of regenerative thinkers who work together to support designers and oraginsations in land use and community development. Members include Joel Glanzberg, Bill Reed, Carol Sanford and Ben Haggard, whose ideas have strongly influenced my thinking. The Regenesis site is a rich source of articles and reflection on their ever-evolving practice. These are some relevant podcast episodes.
FUTURES / SOLUTION SPACE
Co-originator of permaculture, design theorist, futurist, reader of landscape. After 45 years of ecological design thinking and evolution, David Holmgren and parter Su Dennett have developed a rich and detailed tapestry of design patterns and practical solutions for life in a low energy future. One of my favourite interviews via Happen Films.
It’s a book, it’s a movement; it’s a practical manual. Retrosuburbia is David Holmgren’s vision for the transformation of Australia’s suburbs into local, resilient, productive communities in an energy descent future.
Samuel Alexander is a Melbourne-based writer and educator whose work explores degrowth, permaculture, voluntary simplicity, economics of sufficiency and energy descent. Most recently, I’ve enjoyed Degrowth in the Suburbs and Carbon Civilisation.
An author, thinker, speaker who pulls together thinking from many fields including economics, Buddhism, non-duality, climate change, living systems, activism into an original, cohesive and hopeful way of seeing and being. Charles tells a new and ancient story — a very positive agent for change!
A realist, futurist, systems thinker who writes on energy, finance, limits, community, permaculture, solution space and pulls them together into ‘the biggest possible big picture’. A 2015 article which takes a via-negativa approach to defining solution space and a 2-hr interview via Happen films provide a good summary of her thinking.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Writer, former trader, risk analyst, flâneur, prolific reader, author of books including Antifragile and The Black Swan. Taleb draws heavily on ancient thinking, presents refreshing critiques on many aspects of modern life and proposes alternative approaches in the form of practical Roman-style heuristics or rules of thumb. So many useful observations!
Ex-Wall Street trader turned thinker, activist. Nate’s research explores human psychology, energy blindness, Earth as superorganism, solution space, community, a new narrative for what matters. Reality 101 is a primer for the Nate’s university teachings. This podcast epsiode is a great place to start with Nate’s current thinking.
Other worthy mentions
William Catton on ecology and overshoot
Thomas Berry on our relationship with the living world
Joanna Macy on active hope and work that reconnects
Joel Salatin on regenerative agriculture
Charles Massy on regenerative agriculture
Bruce Pascoe on indigenous history and ways of thinking
Richard Heinberg on limits and resilience
Joseph Tainter on the collapse of complex societies
Daryl Taylor on community, psychology and solution space
Nafeez Ahmed on systems thinking
LFC (Local Food Connect)
A community group based in Nillumbik and Banyule which connects growers and eaters and works towards a healthy, resilient local food system. Organisers of the Eltham Farmer’s Market and publishers of a wonderful weekly newsletter.
NERP (North East Region Permaculture)
A growing network of people from the North East of Melbourne who support each-other in practicing permaculture in a local context. Currently most activity is in the form of Google Group discussions and scheduled garden visits. This group is heavily centred around Banyule and Nillumbik municipalities but most discussions are universally relevant.
Telopea Mountain Permaculture Farm and Nursery
Permaculture elders based in Monbulk, Victoria, Peter (aka Pete the Permie) and partner Sylvia produce and sell beautiful, healthy fruit trees and teach courses on permaculture and biodynamics. During bareroot season they make monthly appearances at Eltham Farmer’s Market.
Working towards developing food systems sharing knowledge and giving people access to healthy and affordable fresh food grown within walking distance, KABUU are a micro-nursery and urban farm based in Banyule and Nillumbik, Victoria. Beautiful, healthy seedlings can be ordered online.
Other worthy mentions
BAAG (Bulleen Art & Garden) for plants and garden supplies
Motschall for straw and stockfeeds
Deep Green Permaculture for articles on permaculture and growing
Edendale for education and indigenous plants