PDC+++ Module 4 Class 5 Dana Meadows

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Why Dana Meadows as the mother of Integral Permaculture?

Dana Meadows was a pioneering environmental scientist, a great system thinker & educator, a leading voice in the environmental movement. She is best known for being the lead author of Limits to Growth, a milestone which alerted the world to the unsustainable course the western model of development was taking, back in 1972. The book, which reported on a study of long-term global trends in population, economics, and the environment, sold millions of copies and was translated into 28 languages & inspired the birth of permaculture, amongst its many of other important influences. A long-time organic farmer, professor & journalist, Meadows had a unique insight, passion & ability for translating the complexities of systems dynamics into practical action-points, some of this we will explore during this class.

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PDC+++ Module 4 Class 5 Dana Meadows

  1. 1. + PDC Module 4 of the PDC+++ + + Energy & EcoTechnology Class We dedicate this Module to the Mother & Father of Integral Permaculture: Dana M4.5 Meadows & Howard Odum, two original pioneers who helped humanity makeDana Meadows great strides in understanding systemic thinking, in all four quadrants. Why Dana Meadows as the mother of Integral Permaculture? * Dana Meadows was a pioneering environmental scientist, a great system thinker & educator, a leading voice in the environmental movement. * She is best known for being the lead author of Limits to Growth, a milestone which alerted the world to the unsustainable course the western model of development was taking, back in 1972. The book, which reported on a study of long-term global trends in population, economics, and the environment, sold millions of copies and was translated into 28 languages & inspired the birth of permaculture, amongst its many of other important influences. * A long-time organic farmer, professor & journalist, Meadows had a unique insight, passion & ability for translating the complexities of systems dynamics into practical action- points, some of this we will explore during this class.
  2. 2. M4.5 * Why Dana Meadows as Mother of Integral Permaculture? Direct Link to her page in the e-book: http://bit.ly/DanaMeadowsEn Visioning Life & Works Thinking in Systems Leverage Points in a System Dancing with Systems
  3. 3. M4.5 * Why Dana Meadows as Mother of Integral Permaculture? Direct Link to her page in the e-book: http://bit.ly/DanaMeadowsEn Visioning Life & Works Thinking in Systems Leverage Points in a System Dancing with Systems
  4. 4. A very touching & unique video in YouTube Dr. Dana Meadows "Down To Earth" October 1994 Recorded Articles to listen to > gift for mind-map of VisionsLecture :) Changed her technical talk ... nottaking for granted the vision.In something she has been systematically un-trained ... visioning.
  5. 5. M4.5 * Why Dana Meadows as Mother of Integral Permaculture? Direct Link to her page in the e-book: http://bit.ly/DanaMeadowsEn Visioning Life & Works Thinking in Systems Leverage Points in a System Dancing with Systems
  6. 6. Donella Meadows 1941 - 2001 USA Founder of The SustainabilitySystem Analyst Centre, 1996, now The Donella Meadows Institute Journalist to apply systems Writer thinking & organizational Teacher learning to bit.ly/DanaMeadowsEn economic, environ mental & social Farmer challenges
  7. 7. Dennis Meadowsborn 1942 USA husband & co-author of Limits to Growth Scientist EmeritusProfessor of Systems Some great lectures of his onManagement Danas bit.ly/DanaMeadowsEn page, about the 30yr update to Limits to Growth
  8. 8. M4.5 * Why Dana Meadows as Mother of Integral Permaculture? Direct Link to her page in the e-book: http://bit.ly/DanaMeadowsEn Visioning Life & Works Thinking in Systems Leverage Points in a System Dancing with Systems
  9. 9. Towards the beginning of our adventure together we said ... Dont worry if some parts of the course still dont make sense, or you dont know where to fit them ... if its all a bit like this ... We cant learn systems in a ... its normal :) linear way Relax & TRUST in your mind - which IS a hopefully by now some bits are starting to re-connect in system! a new way, ... & Meadows work is very helpful for this
  10. 10. Systems Design - a Review Dana Meadows 1) they have these components from class 2.1 Elements InterConnexions Purpose heart2) & complex systems in turn veinsare made up of sub-systems arteries Systems & capillaries SubSystems your circulatory system etc.
  11. 11. Systems Design - a ReviewHierarchy ecosystem Holarchy2) complex Holonssystems in turnare made up ofsub-systems organism 3) & sub-systems organize themselves into nested hierarchies (holarchies) organ
  12. 12. Systems Design - a Review1) have these components 2) complex systems Elements made up of sub-systems interConnections Purpose 3) sub-systems organized in nested hierarchies (holarchies) 4) & we have a great symbols language to make maps (models) of complex life systems
  13. 13. A System in Harmony Elements &Eg. a healthy body: the InterConnexions Workwhole self-regulates tokeep you alive Toward a Common Purpose heart veins your digestive system arteries capillaries your respiratory your circulatory etc. system system
  14. 14. A System in Dis-Harmony Purpose Eg. a university: as intended & discover knowledge & pass it to how can mis-align (bad design) future generations Professors ignore students in order to write their papers to get tenure balance the sack budget profesors to get good gradesStudents cheat in exams Sub-systems can enter into conflict with the intended Administrators purpose
  15. 15. A System in Dis-Harmonya Rational System Vision (for our Purposesystem) > a sustainable one > a For all creatures to thrivePermaCulture thriving Energy creativity & use the least commerce to amount possible & supply all slowly (REDUCE healthy human CONSUMPTION) needs (PEOPLE CARE) toward maximum fertility & diversity (EARTH CARE)Environment Economy
  16. 16. A System in Dis-Harmony The current system & how it Purpose might be currently mis-aligned or For all creatures to thrive or for off purpose (discuss in wiki!) humans to dominate all species? make it as cheap, thriving abundant & Energy creativity & universally use the least commerce to available as amount possible & supply all possible, with fast slowly (REDUCE maximum healthy human turn-over CONSUMPTION) consumption needs at highest (PEOPLE possible profit CARE) toward maximum fertility & diversity (EARTH CARE)Environment try to adjust & survive under Sub-systems in brutal attack serious conflict with Permaculture Economy Ethics
  17. 17. Can we Re-design a Whole Society? = a system where it is very difficult to eradicate drug addiction & crime people who want dealers who are quick relief from less limited by psychological the law than the pain police that oppose them governments that make harmfulsubstances illegal& use police power to control it is only by returning responsibility & self-regulating functions that a stable life-system can evolve rich people who live in the vicinity of por people non-addicts that are more interested in farmers, drugdeal protecting themselves ers & bankers than in encouraging who want to recovery of the addicts make money self-regulates?
  18. 18. is this art or science?Systems are complex, & lots of creativity is also needed to understand them
  19. 19. Look anything like the whole or some other part A Text Book but there are rulesRemember... each part might not
  20. 20. M4.5 * Why Dana Meadows as Mother of Integral Permaculture? Direct Link to her page in the e-book: http://bit.ly/DanaMeadowsEn Visioning Life & Works Thinking in Systems Leverage Points in a System Dancing with Systems
  21. 21. Winter 1997 Recorded Articles to listen to Jay Forrester (MIT, Danas mentor) > gift for mind-map of > Complex Systems are Counter-Intuitive VisionsLecture :) "People know intuitively where leverage points are. Time after time Ive done an analysis of a company, and Ive figured out a leverage point. Then Ive gone to the company and discovered that everyone is pushing it in the wrong direction!" Article the result of an "intuition jump" when listening to the new global trade regime, NAFTA & GATT. "What bubbled up in me that day was distilled from decades of rigorous analysis of many different kinds of systems done by many smart people. But complex systems are, well, complex.Places Its dangerous to generalize about them. .. this .. is not a recipe for finding leverage points. Rather itsto an invitation to think more broadly about system change. "Intervenein a System bit.ly/PlacesToIntervene
  22. 22. "12 Leverage 9) Numbers. Points" 8) Material stocks and flows (11.size of buffers, 10. structure of material stocks & flows, 9. length of delays) 7) Regulating negative feedback loops. PermaCulture were building 6) Driving positive feedback loops. 5) Information flows. 4) The rules of the system (incentives, punishments, constraints). What weve got / already built 3) The power of self-organizationPlaces 2)The goals of the systemto 1) The mindset or paradigm out of which the systemIntervene arisesin a System 0) The power to transcend paradigms (1.)
  23. 23. The role of a successful design is to create a self- regulating system it is only by returning responsibility & self-regulating functions that a stable life-system can evolve3) The power of self-organization2)The goals of the system self-regulates?1) The mindset or paradigm out of which the system arises
  24. 24. We need to create a new myth ... a modern myth see class 5.10 designing with Myth “In times of extinction of extraordinary biodiversity & change, the gray wavethe problem isntnot to realize all that we can PETROL PEAK 2000 CLIMATE dream, 2020 CHANGE but in notdreaming all we monetary could realize” instability & (Dee Hock) the information revolution
  25. 25.  The Founding Mother of Permaculture? “Limits to Growth” (in the 60s)  Club of Roma (in the 70s) > inspired Mollison  The Brudtland Comission (in the 70s-80s)  Local Agenda 21 (in the 80s) 2)The goals of the system 1) The mindset or paradigm out of which the system arises
  26. 26. M4.5 * Why Dana Meadows as Mother of Integral Permaculture? Direct Link to her page in the e-book: http://bit.ly/DanaMeadowsEn Visioning Life & Works Thinking in Systems Leverage Points in a System Dancing with Systems
  27. 27. Winter 2001 “People who are raised in the industrial world and who get enthused about systems thinking are likely to make a terrible mistake. They are likely to assume that here, in systems analysis, in interconnection and complication, in the power of the computer, here at last, is the key to prediction and control. This mistake is likely because the mindset of the industrial world assumes that there is a key to prediction and control. But self-organizing, nonlinear, feedback systems are inherently unpredictable. They are not controllable. They are understandable only in the most general way. We cant control systems or figure them out.Dancing But we can dance withWith them!Systems
  28. 28. 1) Get the beat. 2) Listen to the wisdom of the system. 3) Expose your mental models to the open air. 4) Stay humble. Stay a learner. 5) Honor and protect information. 6) Locate responsibility inDancing the system.With 7) Make feedback policies for feedback systems.Systems
  29. 29. 8) Pay attention to what is important, not just what is quantifiable. 9) Go for the good of the whole. 12) Expand the boundary of 10) Expand time horizons. caring. 11) Expand thought horizons. 13) Celebrate complexity. 14) Hold fast to the goal of goodness.DancingWithSystems
  30. 30. M4.5 * Why Dana Meadows as Mother of Integral Permaculture? Direct Link to her page in the e-book: http://bit.ly/DanaMeadowsEn Visioning Recorded Articles to listen to Life & Works > gift for mind-map of VisionsLecture :) Thinking in Systems AND ** Permis for articles Leverage Points in a System presentations ** Dancing with Systems

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