Last weekend I went with my partner to the Permaculture Convergence near Oxford. It’s an annual conference really, but assumes that members have robust constitutions, being mostly under canvas or in cold singe sex dormitories. It was her thing rather than mine, but I was impressed enough to join.
I have not exactly avoided Permaculture until now, just assumed that I have other priorities. That remains the case, because its ethos is firmly rooted in what happens to the soil, but several speakers were at pains to stress that this is only a part of a much wider philosophy.
Consistent with this I noted that I was one of quite a large number displaying the XR icon. Difficult to quantify, but I would guess 1 in 10 who stood up to be counted when asked. So whilst Permaculture and XR have much in common, there is clearly a need for XR’s new strategic approach.
The weekend featured several excellent speakers, and a number of well informed workshops, but one workshop, attended by about 25 which arose sponanteously was on the links between Permaculture and XR. It asked two questions: How can we help XR, and what can we learn from them? I hope the Association follows these leads up.
I continued my one-man crusade to persuade Permaculture/XR activists that the unconditional basic income (UBI) would allow a mind-set change – a paradigm shift – towards the aims of both organizations. Quite a number had heard of the UBI, and they all approved of it, but I was left with my usual worry that I still appear to be alone in seeing the UBI as doing more harm than good to the ecosphere unless firmly tied to an ecological narrative instead of the currently dominant Silicon Valley narrative, which sees more economic activity as a beneficial side-effect.
it really is essential to make less economic activity acceptable,