Design principles – guiding principles
- The Transition Handbook (Transition Towns) gives set of rules, not
- Elinor Ostrom, Nobel Prize in Economics 2009, the commons.
Design Principles for CPR Institutions
Ostrom identified eight "design principles" of stable local common pool resource management:
1. Clearly defined boundaries (effective exclusion of external un-entitled parties);
2. Rules regarding the appropriation and provision of common resources that are adapted to local conditions;
3. Collective-choice arrangements that allow most resource appropriators to participate in the decision-making process;
4. Effective monitoring by monitors who are part of or accountable to the appropriators;
5. A scale of graduated sanctions for resource appropriators who violate community rules;
6. Mechanisms of conflict resolution that are cheap and of easy access;
7. Self-determination of the community recognized by higher-level authorities;
8. In the case of larger common-pool resources,organization in the form of multiple layers of nested enterprises, with small local CPRs at the base level.
- Permaculture Principles
12 Principles of Permaculture by David Holmgren
1. Observe and Interact – “Beauty is in the mind of the beholder”
By taking the time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.
2. Catch and Store Energy – “Make hay while the sun shines”
By developing systems that collect resources when they are abundant, we can use them in times of need.
3. Obtain a yield – “You can’t work on an empty stomach”
Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the working you are doing.
4. Apply Self Regulation and Accept Feedback – “The sins of the fathers are visited on the children of the seventh generation”
need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can
continue to function well. Negative feedback is often slow to emerge.
5. Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services – “Let nature take its course”
Make the best use of nature’s abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources.
6. Produce No Waste – “Waste not, want not” or “A stitch in time saves nine”
By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.
7. Design From Patterns to Details – “Can’t see the forest for the trees”
By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.
8. Integrate Rather Than Segregate – “Many hands make light work”
By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.
9. Use Small and Slow Solutions – “Slow and steady wins the race” or “The bigger they are, the harder they fall”
Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and produce more sustainable outcomes.
10. Use and Value Diversity – “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”
reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of
the unique nature of the environment in which it resides.
11. Use Edges and Value the Marginal – “Don’t think you are on the right track just because it’s a well-beaten path”
interface between things is where the most interesting events take
place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive
elements in the system.
12. Creatively Use and Respond to Change – “Vision is not seeing things as they are but as they will be”
We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing and then intervening at the right time.
- Serge Latouche Declaration of Degrowth
This Declaration is the product of a workshop held at the Conference on Economic Degrowth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity held in Paris on 18-19 April 2008. It reflects the points of view of the conference participants and articulates the vision of the Decroissance movement.
We, participants in the Conference on Economic Degrowth for Ecological Sustainability and
Social Equity held in Paris on 18-19 April 2008, make the following declaration:
1. Economic growth (as indicated by increasing real GDP or GNP) represents an increase in
production, consumption and investment in the pursuit of economic surplus, inevitably leading to
increased use of materials, energy and land.
2. Despite improvements in the ecological efficiency of the production and consumption of goods and services, global economic growth has resulted in increased extraction of natural resources and
increased waste and emissions.
3. Global economic growth has not succeeded in reducing poverty substantially, due to unequal
exchange in trade and financial markets, which has increased inequality between countries.
4. As the established principles of physics and ecology demonstrate, there is an eventual limit to the
scale of global production and consumption, and to the scale national economies can attain without imposing environmental and social costs on others elsewhere or future generations.
5. The best available scientific evidence indicates that the global economy has grown beyond
ecologically sustainable limits, as have many national economies, especially those of the wealthiest
countries (primarily industrialised countries in the global North).
6. There is also mounting evidence that global growth in production and consumption is socially
unsustainable and uneconomic (in the sense that its costs outweigh its benefits).
7. By using more than their legitimate share of global environmental resources, the wealthiest nations are effectively reducing the environmental space available to poorer nations, and imposing adverse environmental impacts on them.
8. If we do not respond to this situation by bringing global economic activity into line with the
capacity of our ecosystems, and redistributing wealth and income globally so that they meet our
societal needs, the result will be a process of involuntary and uncontrolled economic decline or
collapse, with potentially serious social impacts, especially for the most disadvantaged.
We therefore call for a paradigm shift from the general and unlimited pursuit of economic
growth to a concept of "right-sizing" the global and national economies.
1. At the global level, "right-sizing" means reducing the global ecological footprint (including the
carbon footprint) to a sustainable level.
2. In countries where the per capita footprint is greater than the sustainable global level, right-sizing implies a reduction to this level within a reasonable timeframe.
3. In countries where severe poverty remains, right-sizing implies increasing consumption by those in poverty as quickly as possible, in a sustainable way, to a level adequate for a decent life, following locally determined poverty-reduction paths rather than externally imposed development policies.
4. This will require increasing economic activity in some cases;but redistribution of income and wealth both within and between countries is a more essential part of this process.
The paradigm shift involves degrowth in wealthy parts of the world.
1. The process by which right-sizing may be achieved in the wealthiest countries, and in the globaleconomy as a whole, is "degrowth".
2. We define degrowth as a voluntary transition towards a just, participatory, and ecologically
3. The objectives of degrowth are to meet basic human needs and ensure a high quality of life, while reducing the ecological impact of the global economy to a sustainable level, equitably distributed between nations. This will not be achieved by involuntary economic contraction.
requires a transformation of the global economic system and of the
policies promoted and pursued at the national level, to allow the
reduction and ultimate eradication of absolute poverty to proceed as the global economy and unsustainable national economies degrow.
5. Once right-sizing has been achieved through the process of degrowth, the aim should be to maintain a "steady state economy" with a relatively stable, mildly fluctuating level of consumption.
6. In general, the process of degrowth is characterised by:
- an emphasis on quality of life rather than quantity of consumption;
- the fulfilment of basic human needs for all;
- societal change based on a range of diverse individual and collective actions and policies;
- substantially reduced dependence on economic activity, and an increase in free time,
unremunerated activity, conviviality, sense of community, and individual and collective health;
- encouragement of self-reflection, balance, creativity, flexibility, diversity, good citizenship, generosity, and non-materialism;
- observation of the principles of equity, participatory democracy, respect for human
rights, and respect for cultural differences.
7. Progress towards degrowth requires immediate steps towards efforts to mainstream the concept of degrowth into parliamentary and public debate and economic institutions; the development of policies and tools for the practical implementation of degrowth;
and the development of new, non-monetary indicators (including
subjective indicators) to identify, measure and compare the benefits and costs of economic activity, in order top assess whether changes in economic activity contribute to or undermine the fulfilment of social and environmental objectives.
Gardens of Resistance - new governance
A DREAM IN SEVEN POINTS FOR A NEW GOVERNANCE
Key words as they appear in the text:
- delocalization of production and distribution systems
- natural and cultural hybridization
A Dream in Seven Points for Gardens of Resistance 1. • A
garden of resistance is an area, public or private, where the art of
gardening – for sustenance, pleasure, parks or other programs of
urban or rural –is practiced in harmony with nature and man, free of
market domination. Diversity, both biological and cultural, as well as
the preservation of water, soil and air is encouraged for the common good. 2. • A garden of resistance
is part of a life style that, in a larger sense, reflects the
relationship between man and his socio-biological environment . As in
the Garden in Motion, this relationship, or the economy of life , does as much for and as little against existing energies.
This applies to daily acts in all domains and is relevant at all
levels. However, a constant state of alert must be maintained in order
to avoid confusing consumerist values with ecology. 3. • Environment friendly practices emerge from gardens of resistance. They propose a way of life that is not wasteful of the common good as a basis for a new economy. This economy is the confrontation of two processes: - One is the planetary stirring of all living things and of distant exchange systems, leading to a series of biological and social readjustments : emergent ecosystems. - The other, delocalization of
exchange and distribution systems, minimizes global production and
management costs, hence controlling pollution and carbon balance. Planetary stirring multiplies exchanges and encounters between beings and cultures traditionally apart. These encounters produce the natural and cultural hybridization involved in the global process of evolution.
The delocalisation of exchange and distribution systems resulting from planetary stirring is an important aspect of the emergent economy,
composed of new patterns of exchange (emerging ecosystems) and of new
priorities: spend less and better, consume less and better, establish a
dynamic sharing process. 4. • The emergent economy of gardens of resistance consolidates two opposing forces: • One is connected to distant exchanges, generating dependence
• The second , connected to local exchanges, allows self-sufficiency
The emergent economy of gardens of resistance does not favor one or the
other with regard to bulk exchange but establishes the frontier
between dependency and self-sufficiency affirming that : • Non-vital exchanges
are tied to distance and dependence. A distant accident would only have
an incidental impact upon the emerging economy and would not place it
in danger. • Vital (or highly necessary) exchanges are linked to proximity, hence to self-sufficiency. A distant accident would not modify performance.
• None of the exchanges that could occur in gardens of
resistance should, in principle, contribute to the deterioration of
the biological or social balance
5. • Gardens of resistance already exist on the planet in dispersed form. This dispersion (“atomization”) is the logical consequence of self sufficiency but does not necessarily require a network. A policy favorable to the emergent economy,
originating from gardens of resistance and in a larger sense from the
Planetary Garden, should federate a system with no legislative curbs in
order to: • establish fair exchanges • establish forums for high level artistic and scientific exchanges • encourage the exchange of immaterial goods derived from planetary cultural diversity
Dispersion (“atomization”), difficult to apprehend, operates in favor of resistance
6. • As long as the
belief persists that capitalism is the only possible model, its
destructive presence must be energetically challenged by multiplying
“resistances” on the planet, forming a Milky Way that gains in force and
intensity with time. The substitution of one system
by another is not necessarily a deflagration but an implosion, an
irreversible shift from unjust to fairer distribution of imposition ,
from unjust to fairer distribution of goods – at least statistically –
and from the privatization of the common good towards their municipalization. It then becomes possible to federate a dispersed “(atomized”) system and establish a political project in harmony with the planetary garden. 7. • The Planetary Garden merges the Gardens of Resistance into a single concept. When resistance operates on a planetary level, a plan for humanistic ecology becomes possible.
Planetary Garden is based upon the notion of diversity, underlining
humanity’s dependence upon biological and non biological heterogeneity
its vulnerability. A key question is “How to capitalize from diversity
without destroying it?” Indeed, any modification of the ecological
balance through human behavior, causing the disappearance of non human
species, ultimately condemns mankind. A scientistic
vision of the future, substituting technology for circumspect
management of natural resources, could only precipitate the “garden”
towards destruction. The Planetary Garden must federate comprehension of the living with intelligent use of technological assistance. It presumes a level of knowledge sufficient to run the garden by offsetting removal and return to the milieu. Symbiotic man is in a key position to maintain this balance while biotic potential continues to obey the evolutionary process.
these seven points open the way to new governance and, implicitly,
prepare a new political program leading to the establishment of a novel
government, complete with ministries and their responsibilities. As in a
dream, the outline
of a Constitution whose introductory articles establish the foundation
for a society in which sharing and growth of knowledge supplant
- Charte, Theatre Evolutif, Bordeaux, 2011
- The Right to Right, The Partial Declaration of Human Wrongs; by Libia Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson, 7th Liverpool Biennial, 2012
- The Manifesto of Urban Cannibalism (www.urbanibalism.org)
an ongoing project by Wietske Maas and Matteo Pasquinelli, 2012