Front Range Bioneers Sessions: Patterns for Peoplecare, Adam Brock, 11/8/14

By | November 12, 2014

Notes from this engaging session:

Front Range Bioneers, November 7-9, 2014

Patterns and Peoplecare, Adam Brock, Saturday, 11/8, 3:10-4:30pm


A topic Adam has been passionate about since he learned permaculture, but it just starting to put into words. As he applies names to patterns he’s interested in—the more helpful he finds it—and it has now become a focus. Similar themes to resiliency talk; in order to effectively be our best selves in the world that we’re in, we need to be in a state of personal resilience.

There are many more aspects to permaculture/permanent culture than just permanent agriculture. What does permaculture look like when applied to education/economy/justice? It cannot be applied only to food system without looking at these other elements—otherwise you run the risk of a solution that is not robust.

Pattern languages are a way of cataloging solutions, and linking them to one another. Building blocks that can be applied modularly. Example: yoga, pattern language of movement. Every asana a different pattern that affects our bodies differently, fine tuned over generations.

Pattern language of invisible structures: cannot see consensus the way you can see a straw bale house.

This site lists 150 patterns from the largest and most comprehensive to more specific:

Patterns discussed:

  1. Healing by Design
    1. we can use design to heal our communities—economy, justice, decision making
  2. Interdependent Communities
    1. What does community mean? A real community is a group of people that need each other. Not just like to hangout with each other, but actually need each other to meet basic needs.
    2. Intentionally engage with each other in a way that we need each other. Takes trust, time, re-skilling.
  3. Knowledge of Self
    1. If we don’t have a deep understanding of who we are, and what we’re skilled at, level of energy, we will not be effective as healers in broader community.
      1. Almost impossible to do if we’re spending 40 hours a week doing one specific thing.
      2. Make it past personal/intergenerational traumas
    2. Understanding systems of oppression in community
  4. Going Home
    1. Wendell Barry, “wisdom accumulates in a community the way fertility accumulates in soil” over time, with care, love
      1. takes a long time to understand a community, ecosystems, watersheds, its people
  5. Restoring Capital
    1. Traditionally, capital=wealth. This is a narrow view. Stored wealth of any kind, that can be used over time.
      1. Natural capital: tinder, water, air
      2. Social capital: interdependent communities-wealth through network
      3. Cultural capital: stored accumulation of generations of rituals, recipes
      4. Many of these getting subsumed by one form of capital—financial
        1. Rebuilding in ways that are circumventing the dollar—dollars flow toward scarcity that way water flows downhill. Need other media of exchange for a regenerative economy.
  6. Scale
    1. Today, “bigger is better”
      1. Ask, what is the right size for this—how can I design in self-regulation?
  7. Networks/Hierarchies
    1. Two fundamental ways of working together as people
      1. Hierarchies often destructive. Networks consensus based groups. One is not better than the other. Find both in nature. Examples: dendritic patterns in trees, circulatory systems.
      2. Networks more equitable, innovative, but take a lot more energy (example: dendrites in brain-less than 4% of mass, but—take 10% of bloodstream to keep going).
      3. Hybrid models—best use of each of their properties


Group Exercise: What are some areas in your life where you feel like you are at a place of struggle or challenge?

“The map is not the territory.”

Use pattern language as tool, to shortcut this problem and get to the solution. Start to think in terms of pattern, come up with your own patterns—what is my language that is going to help me solve my problems?

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