Discovering Wisdom in Living Systems Design

Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa (神奈川沖浪裏) adapted into a meme about pollution

For the minority of the global population who have encountered the term “permaculture”, many still hold a limited view of this design system, associating it (with historical accuracy) to farming — but only farming.

The truth is, although this term was coined by a couple of English-speaking post-agriculture revolutionaries, its…

Whole systems are changing rapidly. What kind of education makes sense now, for ourselves and our children?

Education is the greatest preventative medicine for any kind of illness.

If there that’s true, then the challenge has only begun.

Who chooses what we need to learn, when there’s so much to pay attention to and a lack of certainty about what matters?
What should be on the curriculum for the leaders of 2030? 2040?
What on earth will be relevant by…

When our choice is between global collapse and a deal with the devil, what is the third way?

I’m reflecting on a video call with my collaborators, Philippe Greier and Marc Thibault. It’s a stormy day in Wellington, and my plans for the year are being cancelled one by one in the face of COVID — 19.

Things are going to get worse. What can I do now…

Where do I stand as a Digital Nomad? Where do I belong as a Digital Native?

This post is an exploration on the emergence of digital localism and community, and how it stands in solidarity with decolonization movements worldwide. I’m writing from a personal perspective, as someone who is working actively for ecosocial justice, yet lacks ancestral connection to land and culture. …

Commons And Consciousness

Cosmic Energy by Remedios Varo (1956)

Consciousness as unmanifest.

Commons as manifested collective unconscious.

A collective which expands beyond control,

Metamicromacro patterned Being.

Who can we be in times of crises?

“Seeds lead into sparks who speak.”
Another audio recording, erased.
My tech game is weak.
I sang
and my words went unheard

Waking up to consciousness & waking up to climate.
Micro-climates and…

How Perennial Endings Shape a Permanent Culture — and Why That Matters

Art by Edgar Ende (pun unintended)

This essay is written as a response to the second book in my social permaculture reading list: Ends, by Joe Macleod.

A multi-faceted inquiry which addresses the overall inadequacy of closure experiences in most business models today, this book is an interesting study into a pattern of our culture which (at least in the structure of today’s mainstream world) gets pretty awkward at the stage where one life cycle comes to…

The Conditions for Growing Peace

You are about to read Part 1 of a 10-part series exploring the relevance of Open Space Technology (OST) to Social Permaculture Design.

This piece sets the tone for Self-Organization as a key mechanism in a design practice which emphasizes the eventual redundancy of the designer.

Stay tuned for these…

Making Space For a New Story

How to find the right question?


Start at the end.

What is going, what is going to be? What is? What since?

How could you ever know?

If you plant it, it will grow.

Reflect upon the landscape.

Like a dream

How the light and the water move

Across the horizon between spaces

Above the earth and below the sky

Which stage is the moon?

And where have you been
Or what has changed since you last asked the question?

Here. nowhere. Everything.

Anywhere that has a centre.

Now. Open.

Still Tuning in.

— Answers (and/or questions)
to guestions I get about
doing, going, being, and becoming.

The ones I give

Naomi Joy Smith

Invoking wisdom & generosity, playing with permaculture in tech. Into weaving, tea, music, patterns & cultural evolution. What questions are living within you?

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