Redesigning Civilization — with Permaculture

“Modern agriculture, industry and finance all extract more than they give back, and the Earth is starting to show the strain. How did we get in this mess and what can we do to help our culture get back on track? The ecological design approach known as permaculture offers powerful tools for the design of regenerative, fair ways to provide food, energy, livelihood, and other needs while letting humans share the planet with the rest of nature. This presentation will give you insight into why our culture has become fundamentally unsustainable, and offers ecologically based solutions that can help create a just and sustainable society. This is the sequel to Toby’s popular talk, “How Permaculture Can Save Humanity and The Planet, but not Civilization.” A related article is at Pattern Literacy – Toby Hemenway


Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway
“Gaia’s Garden has been the best-selling permaculture book in the world for the last 7 years. The enlarged, updated 2nd edition is the winner of the 2011 Nautilus Gold Medal Award.”

7 thoughts on “Redesigning Civilization — with Permaculture”

  1. Take a look at something like the transitions network and consider the the idea that the didactic phase is over. All knowledge for this change is readily available.

    Now, it is time for meetings, maps, community-supported farms. Is that what you’re doing?

    • My projects are based on my experience, interests, skill set, family needs and so on. Everybody is different and has a role to play in improving the world. Be the change you want to see in the world.

  2. This is the right direction, but I find many people talk, talk, talk, but fail to share and build the communities that are required for this to succeed even when asked directly to work together on permaculture projects. “I’m too busy” “I have my own projects” “Shared communities don’t work” and so on…

    The things you share are like the old days- building barns, making vermiculture bins, planting, compost making, and so on…You share the template, the design for self-sufficiency. But, the big trick is you have to actually do it.

    One must do small things, small projects, small connections to other people, shared projects like building beehives, trading seeds, biomass sharing and compost making. This can lead to community farms, subsistence agriculture, aquaculture, etc..

    • We’re doing both. We’re sharing the basics and doing larger real world projects. We now have over 1,700 blog posts on the basics. Now we’re building a sustainable homestead with forest garden and recycled wood house. I’m helping with projects such as earthbag community centers and houses in Vanuatu and the Wiki Natural House (cod approved straw bale housing). There’s a lot going on. I suggest starting your own projects that meet your personal goals.


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