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To think regeneratively you have to work with a different mind. It is not the sustainability mind. It is not the mind of doing good things in the world. Those are fine processes, but they have nothing to do with regeneration. Regeneration is always working in a way that breaks a pattern, breaks a mould, that has been holding something in a way that it can’t be whole and complete, and shifts it so you are actually working with what it uniquely and distinctively is seeking to be. In other words, to realise its essence.

Carol Sanford

Welcome. My name is Dan Palmer, and I am proud to be stewarding Making Permaculture Stronger toward its overall purpose which is to:

hold space for exploration and dialogue around permaculture design process, in a way that develops our ability to think and act creatively within community, enabling permaculture practitioners to effect the systemic change we need.

Within this broader purpose, the project’s current focus is regenerating permaculture design process together. We seek to uncover core ideas about what permaculture design process is, bringing them into open with a spirit of collaborative inquiry to reveal and walk down deeper and more powerful pathways toward life.

Aside from the podcast and videos, this website consists of hundreds of written posts that fall mostly into what I call Phase One and Phase Two.

Phase Two (started October 2019)

To get started I recommend checking out the recent three-part Introducing Phase Two of Making Permaculture Stronger, which you can read, listen to, or both. In my opinion, the third post in this series of three is probably the most important post I’ve written in this whole project.

Oh yeah, on the cusp of the transition between the two phases I developed a framework for thinking about different levels in the development pathway of a permaculture designer.

Phase One (March 2016 – October 2019)

Phase One of this project consisted mostly of several introductory scene-setting posts, two multi-post inquiries, and the development of a chart I used to get across an approach to design I call generative transformation. There was also heaps of great discussion in the comments along the way.

Here are some links and a brief explanation of Phase One’s main parts (many of which are becoming a book).

Introductory / Scene-Setting

Starting with the first post, there are a total of five posts in the introductory category. Check em out here, listed newest-to-oldest. Among all the introductory stuff this is probably the most important post in terms of understanding what this blog was started to try and do. There is also this 2017 presentation by Dave Hursthouse at the international permaculture gathering in India.

The Two Inquiries Comprising Phase One

The first inquiry looked into the flawed but common understanding in permaculture that design is a process of assembling components to form whole systems. It starts here (don’t miss the comments!) and is summed up and concluded here.

The second inquiry looked into the way that designing and implementing are understood to be related inside permaculture design process. It started here, there was a progress summary here and a conclusion here. There are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 2223, 24, 25, 26 posts in the main body of this inquiry.

Generative Transformation

See the chart/diagram series here, which was the culmination of everything I learned in the first two inquires.

Other Highlights to Check Out

Living Systems Thinking

Some of the all-time most popular podcasts have been with Carol Sanford and members of Regenesis group. Click on their names to bring up the conversations – I doubt you’ll be disappointed!

Design Process Examples

So far there are one, two, three, four documented examples of experiments in alternative design and development processes.

Communities of Practice

This post on Nested Communities of Permaculture Design may be of interest.

Course Report

A four-day advanced permaculture planning and design process course co-taught by David Holmgren and Dan Palmer in April 2017 is reviewed in detail over six posts starting here.

Design Process Reviews

See a review of the Resilo Studio Design Process Primer starting here. I also have documented a delightful day spent designing with Dave Jacke here.

I hope you find this project of service.

My best, Dan Palmer