Regenerating Life with Carol Sanford’s Four Paradigm Framework (E33)

Carol Sanford mid-sentence during this episode…

Such a deep honour to have Carol Sanford return to the show after the wild ride that was episode nineteen.

In this episode Carol takes us deep into one of her living systems frameworks – that of the four paradigms she calls value return, arrest disorder, do good, and regenerate life. This framework has challenging implications for permaculture, and as I explain I am excited with the clarity I believe this framework can bring to our individual and collective efforts to navigate the current global coronavirus pandemic.

I will be using the platform of this podcast to look at the current situation through a process lens for the foreseeable future. All other bets are off for now.

Check out Carol’s website here, her new book The Regenerative Life here, her seed communities here, and the Deep Pacific Change Agent Community (that I am part of) here. The white paper she mentioned can be read in a series starting here, and she has a Regenerative Paradigm website too.

Stay well and until soon. I will endeavour to keep these podcasts coming from my family’s mini permaculture refuge (that has all been created within the last three weeks).

I’m also happy to publish the video of this chat with Carol but I’ll let one or two of you say you’d like that before I make the effort :-).

What came in the post today – hooray!
Snippet from page 162 – hoot hoot!


  1. Thanks Dan, I really enjoyed that. I see parallels with Cormac Russell’s work – particularly around the dangers of community development organisations ‘doing good’ without it coming down from ‘regenerate life’ – or truly uncovering essence / potential. He calls it ‘from what’s wrong to what’s strong’.

    Lots for me to think about – particularly as a public servant in local government 🙂 Going to go back and listen to your previous interview with Carol now.

    1. Cheers Nycole and just make sure you click your seatbelt in firmly before listening to my first Carol chat :-).

  2. Another amazing podcast Dan. I am listing to it the 5th or 6th time. I ordered Carol’s Regenerative Life book (along with Notes on the synthesis of form and Pattern Language). Thank you so much for your work in this area of human knowledge.

    1. Thanks Bill and wow good effort on the multiple listens – Carol sure does pack a lot into every sentence! That’s three amazing books headed your way and I look forward to hearing what you get from them in due course. Keep commenting!

  3. Brilliant conversation! Kept me awake later than I expected, but was profoundly worth it: to reframe my mind yet again.
    Carol Sanford crafts inspirational insights for this movement and everyone in general, honestly. What a simple way of beautifully describing the complexity of being an empathetic social being in an ever-changing world which is Alive. May you be safe from parasites and viruses, Dan while finding the tame to share and curate amazing content for all of us. I am very curious about how these philosophical inquiries will come to merge with your design ones.

    All the best,

    1. Thanks Manuel and lovely to hear from you. Yes Carol is gifted at not only keeping people awake but waking them up in the first place :-). As to your point of curiosity, well put and I am also curious! Curious and excited to start discovering!

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