Syncretic Practice to Applied Scientific Synthesis

Gaia Permaculture is an ecological design and operation system for human symbiogenesis with Gaia. It applies traditional and modern concepts and technologies to human interaction with the planet. It is a ecological design framework for the age of the Anthropocene.  The Gaia Permaculture synthesis scales permaculture practice up from the local - home garden, small and broad scale farm, evo-village and eco-burb, transition town up to larger organisational groups such as bio-regions, states, continents and planetary systems.

Gaia Permaculture is a new synthesis conjoining the ideas and practice of the Gaia Hypothesis, created by James Lovelock, and co-developed with Lyn Margulis, and the ecological design system of Permaculture, as created by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, and developed by many practioners, but especially the creator of the Transition Towns concept, Louis Ronney and popularised by Rob Hopkins.

Gaia Permaculture is the application of the principles and practices of the ecological design and management system of Bill Mollison and David Holmgren applied to planet-scale problems such as peak oil, climate change, corporate-malfeasance, global justice. By coordinating the local implementation of sustainable agriculture, appropriate technology, human settlements Gaia Permaculture works from local to global solutions. Gaia Permaculture seeks to work within the natural planetary physiology of the Gaia hypothesis and works counter to high-tech geo-engineering solutions. Gaia Permaculture is based on practical geo-engineering applications such as sequestering carbon pollution in Bio-Char as suggest by Lovelock. 

Gaia Permaculture’s prime directive is to stablise planetary ecosystem design and management so that human permanent culture can be realised. The primary task is the stablisation of atomspheric C02 by sequestration in soil and ecologies and the reduction in emissions via other strategies of the Transition Movement.



Lovelock’s Biochar Proposal

The most serious problem of Gaia Permaculture design is excess atmospheric carbon dioxide. To which Lovelock makes the vital connection between carbon or organic farming and C02 emissions.  

The C02 atmospheric concentrations are such that we can override the precautionary principle and are able to fulfil a core criteria of Ecological Systems Engineering and Management. “Given our current level of ignorance, only intervene when necessary, and then only to the extent required, in complex systems.”

Lovelock proposes the use of Biochar to sequester carbon pollution as humanities last chance to save itself from mass human mortality. In an interview with New Scientist

 So are we doomed?

There is one way we could save ourselves and that is through the massive burial of charcoal. It would mean farmers turning all their agricultural waste - which contains carbon that the plants have spent the summer sequestering - into non-biodegradable charcoal, and burying it in the soil. Then you can start shifting really hefty quantities of carbon out of the system and pull the CO2 down quite fast.

Would it make enough of a difference?

Yes. The biosphere pumps out 550 gigatonnes of carbon yearly; we put in only 30 gigatonnes. Ninety-nine per cent of the carbon that is fixed by plants is released back into the atmosphere within a year or so by consumers like bacteria, nematodes and worms. What we can do is cheat those consumers by getting farmers to burn their crop waste at very low oxygen levels to turn it into charcoal, which the farmer then ploughs into the field. A little CO2 is released but the bulk of it gets converted to carbon. You get a few per cent of biofuel as a by-product of the combustion process, which the farmer can sell. This scheme would need no subsidy: the farmer would make a profit. This is the one thing we can do that will make a difference, but I bet they won’t do it.

Modern biochar production can be combined with biofuel production in a process that is energy-positive(exothermic)—producing 3-9 times more energy than invested, is carbon-negative—withdrawing CO2 from the atmosphere and rebuilds geological carbon sinks[12]. This technique is advocated by prominent scientist James Lovelock, creator of the Gaia hypothesis, for mitigation of global warming by greenhouse gas remediation.[13]

Carbon Farming Today

Organic farming is based on the concept of building living soil ecologies by natural processes of composting, no-dig or low-tillage and the increasing carbon content in soil, plants, fungus, micro-organisms and ecosystems generally.

Darren Doherty and other leading permaculture-related activists are running Carbon Farming Courses across the USA during 2009.

    • Terry Gompert & Kirk Gadzia (Holistic Management)
    • Dr. Elaine Ingham & Paul Taylor (Soil Food Web)
    • Darren Doherty, Brock Dolman, Brad Lancaster, Scott Pittman & Penny Livingston-Stark (Broadacre Permaculture)
    • Howard Yana-Shapiro PhD & Warren Brush (Effective AID)
    • Michael G. Smith & Justin Kirmse (Natural Building)
    • Joel & Daniel Salatin (Pathways to Relocalisation)
    • & TBC Paul Stamets (Fungi)

Australian permaculture and natural farmer, Darren Doherty and others such as Allan Yeomans, have formed a consortium called Carbon Farmers of America.

Paul Stamets in his book Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms describes permaculture techniques for fungi that could provide food, medicine and carbon security.

Linked with local, honest, non-speculative carbon finance carbon markets and carbon farming could sequester enough carbon to avoid the worst climate change scenarios.

Quite literally, organic farming, and permaculture could save the world, as well as feed and heal it.

What is Permaculture ?

Permaculture is an approach to designing human settlements and perennial agricultural systems that mimic the relationships found in the natural ecologies. It was first developed by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren and their associates during the 1970s in a series of publications. The word permaculture is a portmanteau of permanent agriculture, as well as permanent culture.

Permaculture education

Permaculture is now accredited training in Australia. This Accredited Training Program has been largely developed by Robyn Francis and others.

Permaculture media ecosystem

Permaculture media consists of Permaculture Activist (USA), Permaculture Magazine (UK), numerous books and DVD’s

Permaculture doctrine

Permaculture as New Age cult

Permaculture business franchise

Permaculture science 

‘I wrote the manuscript , which was based partly on our constant discussions and on our practical working together in the garden and on our visits to other sites in Tasmania… I used this manuscript as my primary reference for my thesis, which I submitted and was passed in 1976.’ (Mulligan and Hill, 2001:203)

Permaculture as social movement

Permaculture engineering

Permaculture as global management system

Permaculture as liberation for world’s poor

Permaculture as cultural imperialism

Permaculture as international aid

Permaculture as gardening & farming system

Permaculture as counter-culture

“Bill Mollison calls himself a field biologist and itinerant teacher. But it would be more accurate to describe him as an instigator. When he published Permaculture One in 1978, he launched an international land-use movement many regard as subversive, even revolutionary.” Scott London

Permaculture as alternative culture

Permaculture as trendy lifestyle

Many baby-boomer’s subscribe to narrow definitions of permaculture and consider their

What is Gaia ?




New Age cult


Richard Branson’s Gaia Capitalism, Japanese car, online community


Permaculture & Gaia

Schumacher College with Plymouth University offers a Masters in Holistic Science which combines Transition Movement application with Gaia theory, some of the course is taught by Lovelock and Hopkins.

The Living Earth: Gaia, Complexity and Chaos Theories

In this module, students work with the concept of emergent self-organisation to understand how the health and well-being of individual organisms, biotic communities and entire ecosystems contribute to the health of Gaia: planet Earth as an integrated whole.

Applied Holistic Science: Social Ecology, Design and Planning

Holistic science can contribute to the understanding of human affairs and to the development of an ecologically, culturally, economically and socially sustainable society. This module seeks to translate the theory of holistic science into a vision of a sustainable future.

Since 2007/08 students have been required to engage with Transition Town Totnes (TTT) as a means of applying holistic science in the world. Students may opt for one of two ways of collaborating with TTT or the Transition Town Network (TTN): 

Gaia Trust and Eco-Villages

The Gaia Trust has been a major source of funding and support for the Eco-Village movement.

The Gaia University is a private online educational organisation that teaches Gaia and permaculture ideas and applications.

In the permaculture literature, Gaia theory is integrated into the 3 principles of Earthcare, Peoplecare & Fairshare.  

    • Earthcare – recognising that Earth is the source of all life (and is possibly itself a living entity — see Gaia theory), that Earth is our valuable home, and that we are a part of Earth, not apart from it.
    • Peoplecare – supporting and helping each other to change to ways of living that do not harm ourselves or the planet, and to develop healthy societies.
    • Fairshare (or placing limits on consumption) - ensuring that Earth’s limited resources are used in ways that are equitable and wise.

Status of the Gaia Hypothosesis

Sir Crispin Tickell in the 46th Annual Bennett Lecture for the 50th Anniversary of Geology at the University of Leicester in his recent talk “Earth Systems Science: Are We Pushing Gaia Too Hard?” stated “as a theory, Gaia is now winning.” [2]

At the Third Gaia Conference in 2006 ” approached Gaia Theory as both science and metaphor as a means of understanding how we might begin addressing 21st century issues such as climate change and ongoing environmental destruction.”

He continued “The same goes for the earth systems science which is now the concern of the Geological Society of London (with which the Gaia Society recently merged). Whatever the label, earth systems science, or Gaia, has now become a major subject of inquiry and research, and no longer has to justify itself.”

Permaculture Movement

Adam Fenderson: Could you give us your definition of permaculture and tell us a little bit about your role in its creation and evolution?

David Holmgren: Permaculture is a design system for sustainable living and land use. It came out of awareness about the limits of resources, especially the energy crises of the 1970s. The work started between myself and Bill Mollison when I was a student in environmental design in Tasmania. Since then permaculture has spread around the world as a grassroots movement of activists and designers, teachers, land managers—both gardeners and farmers. It’s also connected in to a very broad church of sustainable alternatives in sustainable building, alternative currency, ideas, eco-villages—many diverse areas.

“It started from the premise of looking at the redesign of agriculture using ecological principles, but it extended out from that to the redesign of the whole of society using those principles. The foundation text was Permaculture One which was published in 1978, a joint work between myself and Bill Mollison. The biggest development of permaculture applications was then Bill Mollison’s Designer’s Manual, which he published in 1988. And then more recently my new book, Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability, has taken those ideas to a broader frame of reference, away from just talking about land management and practical issues to dealing with the fundamental underlying principles behind permaculture and the link to resource limits, especially energy peak.”

“What permaculturists are doing is the most important activity that any group is doing on the planet. We don’t know what details of a truly sustainable future are going to be like, but we need options, we need people experimenting in all kinds of ways and permaculturists are one of the critical gangs that are doing that.”

Dr David Suzuki geneticist, broadcaster and international environmental advocate


Perennial Polyculture

“In Perennial Polyculture Farming, Seeds of Another Agricultural Revolution? By: James A. Dewar, atRAND James Dewar presents arguments in favor of perennial polyculture farming as a positive contribution to a wide variety of global problems and suggests actions that should be taken to explore that promise further.

He explains perennial polyculture farming and differences between it and annual monoculture farming.

He explores its association with reversing environmental degradation; redressing the loss of biodiversity; reducing worldwide hunger, malnutrition, and energy use; and improving the health and education of women and children.

He also explores the feasibility of perennial polyculture farming. Perennials, as opposed to annuals, produce flowers and seeds more than once in their lifetime. In addition, perennial polycultures with mixed intercropping have continual ground cover throughout the year.

While a good deal of work remains to be done to develop the promise of perennial polycultures, there is reason to believe that the promise is real, that it is particularly salient with respect to Africa — the region that could most use the promise of perennial polycultures — and that there are many elements already in place to make that promise a reality. Only lacking are greater recognition of the role that perennials could play and the will to include them in the future of agriculture. ”


The Transition Movement 

The Transition Movement is the confluence of a number of movements; Peak Oil, Relocalisation, Transition Towns, Anti-Globalisation and earlier waves of permaculture.

A Transition Initiative is a community (lots of examples here) working together to look Peak Oil and Climate Change squarely in the eye and address this BIG question:

“for all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how do we significantly increase resilience (to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil) and drastically reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate the effects of Climate Change)?”

New Sustainability Paradigm 

Gaia Permaculture matches the New Sustainability Paradigm as outlined below;

Great Transition is a vision created by the Global Scenario Group of how humanity could create a civilization that reflects egalitarian social and ecological values, affirms diversity, and defeats poverty, war, and environmental destruction. [1] The elements of the Great Transition vision are increased human interconnectedness, improved quality of life, and a healthy planet.

Great Transition scenarios are, in contrast, transformative scenarios. Their defining feature is the ascendancy of a new suite of values – human solidarity, quality of life, and respect for nature. Conventional Worlds scenarios see capitalist values maintained and only market forces and incremental policy reform trying to curb environmental degradation. Barbarization is a set of possible futures in which environmental collapse leads to an overall social collapse. The Great Transition is a pathway that finds humanity changing its relationship with the environment. It has two variants: Eco-Communalism and New Sustainability Paradigm.

Eco-Communalism is the adoption of a lifestyle that turns to non-material dimensions of fulfillment – the quality of life, the quality of human solidarity, and the quality of the earth. It is a highly localist vision favored by some environmental subcultures and is a strong theme within the anti-globalization movement.

New Sustainability Paradigm sees globalization not as a threat to be resisted, but as an opportunity for forging a new category of consciousness – a global citizenship that understands humanity’s place in the web of life and its link to the fate of the earth.

The New Sustainability Paradigm endorses many of the ideals of Eco-Communalism with its plea for new human values and empowered communities. It rejects rampant consumerism, seeking improved human well-being through material sufficiency for all. It seeks a world where the quality of human knowledge, creativity, and self-realization – not the quantity of goods and services – signals development. It embraces equality, empowerment, and deep respect for nature. It recognizes plural paths to modernity, and welcomes regional diversity in expressing such values as freedom, equity, democracy, and sustainability. It champions subsidiarity, the principle that decision-making occurs at the most decentralized level possible.

The New Sustainability Paradigm seeks to shape the character of global civilization. It sees the planetary phase of civilization as an opportunity. Rather than retreat into localism, it validates global solidarity, cultural cross-fertilization and economic interdependence.

Scaling Permaculture 

In an email post, Australian-English clean tech entrepreneur, Mitra, challenged the Oceania mailing list to “scale permaculture”.  This challenge is partly being met by such initiatives as Transition Towns and the Transition Movement.

Homes & Suburbs

There are many examples of homes designed or retrofitted to permaculture principles. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Gardening Australia TV series and its magazines Gardening Australia and Organic Gardener feature many permaculture homes & gardens.

Presenter: Joshua Byrne & Peter Cundall, 19/02/2005

In 2004, Josh Byrne set up a permaculture garden in his suburban backyard in Perth. In this episode of Gardening Australia, Josh travels to Peter Cundall’s garden in Northern Tasmania to chat about the different gardening techniques each of them use. We revisit how Josh planned, established and developed his garden and look at the many aspects that make up his permaculture garden including building a chook shed and run, planting the verge garden and establishing a wetlands area.

One of the original eco-burbs, or ecological suburbs, is Village Homes in Davis California. Bill Mollison in the TV documentary, praises Village Homes.

David Holmgren talks of the positive potential to retrofit the suburbs.


David Holmgren on ABC’s Landline

One of the most accomplished broad-acre permaculture farm designers and practiioners is Darren Doherty.


Transition Towns


Transition Cities - US

other older examples ?

Abu Dabhi

Bio Regions

The Planetary Phase of Civilization 


Biomes are climatically and geographically defined areas of ecologically similar climatic conditions such as communities of plants, animals, and soil organisms, [1] and are often referred to as ecosystems. Biomes are defined by factors such as plant structures (such as trees, shrubs, and grasses), leaf types (such as broadleaf and needleleaf), plant spacing (forest, woodland, savanna), and climate. Unlike ecozones, biomes are not defined by genetic, taxonomic, or historical similarities. Biomes are often identified with particular patterns of ecological succession and climax vegetation (quasi-equilibrium state of the local ecosystem). An ecosystem has a habitat and a biome is a major habitat type. A major habitat type, however, is a compromise, as it has an intrinsic inhomogeneity.

RAND Corporation’s report, Perennial Polyculture Farming, Seeds of Another Agricultural Revolution? By: James A. Dewar sketches and outline of a corporate global management system based on perennial polyculture via organising around biomes. However, countrary to the corporate system of management in the RAND report, permaculture practicioners have pointed-out;

Corporate capitalist agribusiness must NOT be conflated with permaculture.

Permaculture is fundamentally an ethical framework based upon Care for the

Earth, Care for People, and Surplus Share; none of which modern capitalist

structures fulfill in slight comparison with what is possible or what is

done in non-capitalist, non-centralized economies like parecons


perennial polyculture may be utilized without going through the

organizational modes of permaculturally implied systems. ”



The New Sustainability Paradigm

Climate War

just like the Cold War framework was containment, the new Climate War framework will be sustainment… as in the US counter-insurgency manual.. supply of basic services for life directly from the military, indeed the disaster capitalism complex

3 options/pathways

1. Sustainment:  a permanent environmental war economy, corporate-state military industrial globalised sustainability, eco-terrorism will be the ultimate crime, Red-Green the new Communism, Gaia or some other kind of organised religious green theocracy/technocracy the state religion

2. Apocalypse: revelation at the end of the world, what will go wrong and why and what we should do

3. Liberation:  Liberation ecology, Sacred Gaia, Generative Gaia, Gaia Permaculture

my intuition is that a green technocracy will convert the world capitalist system (which is based on the military industrial system anyway) into a sustainable world military industrial system with a focus on carbon trading and ecosystem services financialisation, privatisation, genetically modified organisisms, nuclear power, (some renewables), massive surveillance, geo-enigneering, social engineering, and a massive epansion of the entertainment and other de-carbonised, service based industries where complex growth can still occur. In Revenge of Gaia Lovelock talks about a new low-carbon economy where most people live in cities and spend their time eating GMO fungi and entertaining themselves consuming digital and de-carbonised services… Lovelock is closely connected to various conservatives and captains of industry and has a big effect on the UK environmentalists such as Monbiot and also the new scheme Kyoto2 Kyoto2 is market bases, advocates GMO, nuclear, geo-engineering… and is backed by many ‘radicals’. It contains 4 quotes about climate change by Margaret Thatcher ! 2 more than Lovelock. The UK environmental movement is being subsumed by the Vote Blue Go Green campaign of the Tories under David Cameron which is an front for the broader green consumerism. Kind of a UK equivalent to the guilt-free green Governator in California.

 Thomas J Friedman, new book, NY Times “The inflection point is near”, emails to Chomsky, forumulation


Hansen, Lovelock, worst-case


military industrial sustainability, a continuation of the totalitarian agriculture of the levant and the Pharoahs

Gaia global national socialism = Global Fascism = global sustainment = global military industrial sustainability

emails, Chomsky, Minq Li, Albert, Leahy


the struggle for liberation from the imperial industrial slave complex, ancient and modern and a return to principles of perennial polyculture and non-hierachial forms of pre-industrial civilisation

Jensen, What a Way to Go, Zeitgeist, anarchism

Liberation Ecology


the potential for a new enlightenment, the revelation at the end of the world of the apocalypse…

Gaia Permaculture 1.0

how do we start ? Gaia Permaculture designs for Biochar, the Amazon, Australia, the USA, the UK

the 50 Year Farm Bill, ecological and indigenous rights from El Salvador, my emails

Cue the Green God ?  

Gore Vidal… avoiding the new green bought priesthood, the Carbon Dictarship (Flannery) and the Disaster Capitalism (Klein) of monstrous proportions

Climate Change and Gaia Permaculture


learning from the ancients - Hamlets Mill

Gaia Bible

see Revenge of Gaia

The Peoples History of Gaia

Aboriginal peoples, and homo sapiens sapiens have been on Earth for 200 000 years… so must of experience 2 or 3 glacial-interglacial changes.. the current climate change, or climate war, is not new… but will we survive ? will we have our apocalypse ?

Recommendations of Gaia Permaculture

The Internet is 20 years old in March 2009 and provides a model for the development of a set of Gaia Permaculture Technical Recommendations.

These technical recommendations would allow a global, decentralised and inter-operable development of Gaia Permaculture designs and applications.

The technical recommendations would evolve via democratic knowledge management processes through various phases.

W3C follows these steps when advancing a technical report to Recommendation.

    1. Publication of the First Public Working Draft.
    2. Last Call announcement
    3. Call for Implementations. Note: The Director MAY permit the Working Group to skip this step if the entrance criteria for the next step have already been satisfied.
    4. Call for Review of a Proposed Recommendation.
    5. Publication as a Recommendation.

The Political Economy of Gaia Permaculture

Mollison’s Complex Influence

According to Mollison, permaculture has always been more than a gardening system, and is a system of human settlements within the three basic principles of Earthcare, Peoplecare and Fairshare.

“an integrated system of design co-developed with David Holmgren that encompasses not only agriculture, horticulture, architecture and ecology but also economic systems, land access strategies and legal systems for businesses and communities.”

Indeed the early Permaculture One & Permaculture Two books are scattered with references to Mao Tse Tong and other political revolutionairies. At the APC9 (9th Australian Permaculture Convergance) Mollison told a story of his early days at the University of Tasmania as an academic in the late 60s. I paraphrase from memory ”All the communists I knew in Tasmania, where all rich with nice houses, including some famours gardeners (Peter Kundall of Gardening Australia)… the communists used to say to me, Bill, why dont you become a communist ?.. I would say to them, NO, why dont you become an ecologist !”. David Holmgren alluded to a similar theme in Mollison’s political past when he described the plaque on Mollison’s Hobart home as reading “The People’s Republic of .(cant recall).. Sreet”.

The Mollisonian permaculture doctrine was firmly a solutions-based approach to ecological design. In otherwords, no negative direct action such as protests, as general disengagement from politics and economics and a tendency to go it alone, back to the Earth or the land.

This suited many of the affluent baby boomers in the global north that could afford to buy land and subsidise experiments in low impact subsistence farming. This was part of a much larger back-to-the-land movement towards the end of the New Left and hippie era of the early 70s.

For many, the Permaculture Design Certificate 72 hour intensive course was a quasi-religious experience. Especially those PDC’s delivered by Bill Mollison, whose charisma, genius and story-telling are legendary.

However, its almost a truism that there are more x-permies than there are active pracitioners. For many this is simply due to factual errors in the permaculture canon. A positive take would be that the science of permaculture is poorly developed and the engineering even less so. Conceptually there is almost universal agreement, increasingly even from deep with the Establishment, which traditionally opposed much of the permaculture canon.

David Holmgren

At APC9, in conversation at a session, David Holmgren spoke of his family history of being a second generation social activist.

‘I wrote the manuscript, which was based partly on our constant discussions and on our practical working together in the garden and on our visits to other sites in Tasmania… I used this manuscript as my primary reference for my thesis, which I submitted and was passed in 1976.’ (Mulligan and Hill, 2001:203)

Transition Towns Movement

Permaculture Inc.

James Lovelock

Gaia Permaculture as Technical Recommendations for Liberation Ecology Design

Global Justice Movement

Via Campesina etc

Gaia Permaculture as Ecological Engineering

Ecological engineering is an emerging of study integrating ecology and engineering, concerned with the design, monitoring and construction of ecosystems. The design of sustainable ecosystems intends to integrate human society with its natural environment for the benefit of both.[1]

Mitsch and Jørgensen[3] were the first to define ecological engineering and provide ecological engineering principles. Later they refined the definition and increased the number of principles[7]. They defined and characterized ecological engineering in a 1989 book and clarified it further in their 2004 book (see Literature). They suggest the goal of ecological engineering is: a) the restoration of ecosystems that have been substantially disturbed by human activities such as environmental pollution or land disturbance, and b) the development of new sustainable ecosystems that have both human and ecological values. They summarized the five concepts key to ecological engineering as:

  1. it is based on the self-designing capacity of ecosystems,
  2. it can be a field test of ecological theory,
  3. it relies on integrated system approaches,
  4. it conserves non-renewable energy, and
  5. it supports biological conservation.

Bergen et al.[8] defined ecological engineering as:

  • utilizing ecological science and theory,
  • applying to all types of ecosystems,
  • adapting engineering design methods, and
  • acknowledging a guiding value system.

Ecological engineering involves the design, construction and management of ecosystems that have value to both humans and the environment. This engineering discipline combines basic and applied science from engineering, ecology, economics, and natural sciences for the restoration and construction of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. The field of ecological engineering is increasing in breadth and depth as more opportunities to design and use ecosystems as interfaces between technology and environment are explored.[9]


Systems Lithosphere Bioshpere Noospehere etc


management concepts




Earth Systems Engineering and Management

Over the past five years, the concept of Earth Systems Engineering and Management has been developed by a few individuals. One of particular note is Braden Allenby. Allenby holds that the foundation upon which ESEM is built is the notion that “the Earth, as it now exists, is a product of human design”.[3] In fact there are no longer any natural systems left in the world, “there are no places left on Earth that don’t fall under humanity’s shadow”.[4] “So the question is not, as some might wish, whether we should begin ESEM, because we have been doing it for a long time, albeit unintentionally.

The issue is whether we will assume the ethical responsibility to do ESEM rationally and responsibly”.[3] Unlike the traditional engineering and management process “which assume a high degree of knowledge and certainty about the systems behavior and a defined endpoint to the process,” ESEM “will be in constant dialog with [the systems], as they – and we and our cultures – change and coevolve together into the future”.[3] ESEM is a new concept, however there are a number of fields “such as industrial ecology, adaptive management, and systems engineering that can be relied on to enable rapid progress in developing” ESEM as a discipline.[3]


Principles   Individual  Household  Village  Town  City Bioregion Nationstate   Region Planet
Observe and interact
Catch and store energy
Obtain a yield
Apply self-regulation and accept feedback
Use and value renewable resources and services
Produce no waste
Design from patterns to details
Integrate rather than segregate
Use small and slow solutions
Use and value diversity
Use edges and value the marginal
Creatively use and respond to change


Principles   Global Warming  Poverty War  Water  Food Medicine Education  Media Housing
Observe and interact
Catch and store energy
Obtain a yield
Apply self-regulation and accept feedback
Use and value renewable resources and services
Produce no waste
Design from patterns to details
Integrate rather than segregate
Use small and slow solutions
Use and value diversity
Use edges and value the marginal
Creatively use and respond to change



   Individual  Household  Village  Town  City  Biome  Planet


   Individual  Household  Village  Town  City  Biome  Planet

Gaia Permaculture and the Earth Systems Sciences

   Individual  Household  Village  Town  City  Biome  Planet


   Individual  Household  Village  Town  City  Biome  Planet


Next Steps



Gaia Peace Atlas



 Biosphere  Technosphere  Gaia Permaculture  
  • Environment
  • Organism
  • Natural Product
  • Natural Selection
  • Ecosystem
  • Ecological Niche
  • Anabolism / Catabolism
  • Mutation and Selection
  • Succession
  • Adaptation
  • Food Web
  • Market
  • Company
  • Industrial Product
  • Competition
  • Eco-Industrial Park
  • Market Niche
  • Manufacturing / Waste Management
  • Design for Environment
  • Economic Growth
  • Innovation
  • Product Life Cycle
  • Fair Market
  • Cooperatives & Small Enterprise 
  • Fair Trade Product
  • Cooperation
  • Eco Park
  • Fair Market Niche
  • Manufacturing / Waste Management
  • Design for Environment
  • Economic Complex Growth
  • Innovation
  • Product Life Cycle
Filed March 17th, 2009 under National, Local, Regional, Global, Proposals, Uncategorized

I have just finished volunteering with the Nordic Organising Committee on the European Social Forum 2008.

As a forum it was a great success. Thousands of participants from all over Europe, and importantly the world, involved themselves in around 300 events, 220 of which where interpreted by the Babels organisation using the ALIS system (Alternative Interpretation System).

The forum effectively ended with a massive demonstration and parade, that for the first time brought the entire forum together. The atmosphere was lively and optimisitic. Families and the people of Malmo participated or witnessed the demo as it wound through town.

The most cohesive community at the forum was Latin America and their cooperators in the Kvarnby Folk School based in Malmo. The Latin America area, Jesus Park was a reliable and living space for information, nourishment, community and life.

For many, the most valuable experiences where the new personal relationships and networks, while the formal ESF process is beginning to publish many outcomes.

By corporate conference standards, the ESF2008 had many problems; transport, accomodation, coordination, information etc. However, when put into the context of the extremely low cost of particpation and the resources available, the ESF 2008 was an amazing success.

My personal involvement was volunteering with ALIS, the media center and the documention and memory projects. This basically meant the ALIS system and boothe set-up and dismantling, the creation of training videos and photographs for technicians and interpreters and generally helping the phenomenally hard working ALIS set-up team lead by the Australian Kajute, with close support from another Australian Robin and a super-Swede Karen.

In the area of documentation and memory I helped produce some ALIS training, created a basic image archive on a professional Flickr account and begun but didnt really use Blip.TV and YouTube.

Jonas lead the documentation, memory, registrations and media center team and I helped him set-up an excellent media center, that was used to host a radio program and was used a meeting place and low key media center by various people.

Many of the left media in Sweden, where accredited press operating out of the Press Center, working for a range of left and independent media. Newspapers of unions, the Left Party, social democracts etc

At the media center we didnt see many Indymedia, with a notable exception from the UK.

The ESF Action Network, a parrallel organisation independent of the ESF Nordic Organising Committee, attracted many of the young and more radical left.

I also had the pleasure of becoming friends with Dimitris, an Athenian who developed and administered the main ESF 2008 website, has a hand in and also volunteers on the excellent Greek independent media website.

Another new friend was Ethan, the tech lead, from The Open Plans Project, whose sofware runs the excellent Livable Streets project in NYC, the OpenESF and OpenFSM websites.

I also got to met and exchange information with a skilled and experienced hacker (in the true sense) MC who explained a great deal about the Swedish anarcho syndicalist or libertarian socialist union SAC.

As I wrap-up in Malmo, Sweden, I have been trying to bootstrap some cooperative projects.

Amongst the tech guys there is interest in techology cooperatives.Thanks to the Drupalcon is Szeged, Hungary, I met Jim from the Chicago Technology Cooperative and he connected me to some great work being done in tech worker cooperatives in the US. For instance HOWTO guide for tech freelancers to form a worker coop co-authored by Jim for the Freelancers Union .

After some glib conversations around a media workers cooperative iith some Swedish left media types, I feel like I have hit a wall, though I am still inspired to do it.

I still havent unpacked the propoganda model as it applies to left or liberal or independent media. Project Censored has done some excellent work extending the propaganda model to the liberal or progressive media, and a young English academic studying in Griffith University, Michael J Barker, has also done important work on the effect of liberal foundations on the left, independent and liberal media.

In short, I am not sure I know where to go with the concept of a multi-platform media cooperative.It needs to happen, but its a more complex and difficult problem than I can solve. Right now, I am thinking of spending time with the Project Censored people in Sonama County.

The last cooperative project, is a Global Permaculture Workers Cooperative. I have had initial contact with the Green Workers Cooperative in the Bronx in NYC which incubates such cooperative projects. I am trying to bootstrap that project, and somehow will fly to NYC this weekend for a bloc party.

The lessons;

  • Europe is not perfect, but has great traditions of social democracy, solidarity and civilization that are worth fighting to protect and develop
  • Latin America is organised, confident and a resource for the theoretical and tired left in Europe, North America and Australia.
  • The media and the web are fragmented
  • Task or process management is a serious bottleneck in organising events such as the ESF
  • And, of course, another world is possible, and indeed, many of the elements and aspects already exist, its a matter of weaving a fabric through struggle, hard work, skill and creativity.
  • I almost forgot, do I still want to organise an Australian Social Forum. As the Swedish say, absolut!
Filed September 25th, 2008 under Local, National, Regional, Global, Proposals


with so many Australian’s living abroad it makes sense for an Expat Australian Social Forum

hopefully, Australian’s at the Malmo event can get together and discuss further action

the Australian diaspora is a globalised network that generally works for multi-national corporations in big cities such as London, New York or Los Angeles.

 wouldnt it make sense to think about how this globalised network can feed back knowledge and experience into the country

 Australia is suffering from a concentration of control and an isolation

 the expat Australian’s are a potential source of energy, insight and connections to global movements

Filed August 24th, 2008 under National, Global, Proposals


­­ok, I am flying to London on Monday, spending the next 2 weeks attending Drupalcon in Hungary and meeting various semantic, social and web people in Austria, UK and Ireland. 

 From the 8th I’ll be in Malmö volunteering at the European Social Forum in administration and media with the express purpose of getting first hand experience organising such an event. 

I’ve also registered for an Australian Social Forum stall - 510 Euro (700 AUD approx) but may not actually set-up. It would just be me doing it so is perhaps a little absurd.

 Speaking of absurd, it reminds me of The Dead Parrot skit from Monty Pythons Flying Circus “he is not dead, he is pining for the fjjords’

 a bit like me and my lonely stall

 big ups to Jose Ramos for the encouragement and a shout-out to the Melbourne Social Forum and Byron Social Forum grass-roots community activists doing things around the country

I’ll be blogging and making media during the trip



Another Europe is possible!

The European Social Forum is coming to Malmö, Sweden!

ESF poster

From September 17th to 21st 2008 the European Social Forum (ESF) is being held in Malmö, in the south of Sweden. The forum is by far the biggest meeting place for social movements and a progressive civil society in Europe - with the aim to create a better Europe and a better world. More than 20 000 people are expected to participate in Malmö. During five days over 200 seminars and workshops will be mixed with even more culture, film, music, informal meetings, activism and demonstrations.

ESF 2008 will kick off on the 17th at 6pm with an inauguration, speakers and performers from all over the world, from the local to the global. The cultural program starts beforehand at 12 noon. From Thursday to Friday there will be seminars and workshops all day, from 9.30am - 9pm, on Saturday and Sunday from 9.30am - 12.30am. Saturday is the day for the big parade/demonstration, leaving from Rosengård in the afternoonand ending up in Pildammsparken to finish off the day with a big party. During Sunday there will be a closing event from 1.30pm to 4pm, with presentations and and open discussions around the results from the forum days.

Filed August 22nd, 2008 under National, Global
Karma: 0

651px-ausgeolbasic.jpghi all

I’d just like to float the idea that I am starting to organise an Australian Social Forum to be hosted at, at this stage its just the seed of an idea

I have made contact with the Melbourne Social Forum, which started in 2004, is still active and is planning another event for 2009.

I have also made contact with the local Byron Social Forum, I was on the periphery of the Byron Social Forum and my last gig was helping the Byron Shire Echo with some project consulting for their new website and strategy.

I’ve also registered the Australian Social Forum with the ESF, and have booked a stall etc. This maybe premature, but registrations are closing.

Ideally, I’d like the to tour around the country having Local (Australian) Social Forums building on existing networks, groups and individuals, travel with a group to Malmo in Sweden for the European Social Forum in September, The Social Forum of the Americas in Guatamala in October and the World Social Forum in Brazil in January.

I am hoping to seek permission from custodians of country here in Canberra at the Aboriginal Embassy in the next week or so

I am thinking that perhaps we could then have a full-on Australian Social Forum in Canberra at the Tent Embassy (assuming indigenous sovereignty is respected and permission is granted) in the Spring of 2009, perhaps in the university second semester break

I am new to this kind of thing, but was in Newcastle - my hometown - for Climate Camp ( see & ) and was so moved by the people and the participation and the effect that I wanted to be a part of bring these kinds of events and networks to the wider Australian community



Filed July 25th, 2008 under Local, National, Regional, Global, Proposals