[permaculture] design as part of institutional strategic plans
johnsgamble at hotmail.com
Sun May 1 18:26:08 EDT 2005
>From Andrew Hunt 5/1/05 9:15 AM
----- Original Message -----
From: "michael snow" <msnow at mountainschool.org>
To: "permaculture" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Saturday, April 30, 2005 7:35 PM
Subject: [permaculture] design as part of institutional strategic plans
The school at which I work is starting to re-draft our current strategic
plan, particularly the parts pertaining to "sustainability". I like David
Holmgren's suggestion in Principles and Pathway's that design be a basic
literacy, with letters and numbers. This seems like a perfect time and
place to make this happen, at this school. What experience is out there
with making design a central strategy to a business, institution or school?
What has this list has been through, how might I approach this, do I want to
say,"hey, let's make our edu-system sustainable by being like an
eco-system..."? Anecdotes, lessons, strategies, and material is all
For those of you interested, here's a little more information...
I think I've introduced myself before; I work at a high school semester
program in the NE U.S. (www.mountainschool.org) We run an academic and farm
program with 45 students, 16-17, very bright people. We do a very good job
with the idea of place - in English class, in Environmental Science class,
Humanities, the rest. The farm raises meat and vegetables to eat here. In
the next five years, TMS plans to "become a living example of its new
mission statement regarding sustainability: Model the values of simplicity
and sustainability in practices such as food preparation, energy use, and
the maintenance of facilities. Through both educational and maintenance
initiatives, we would like to inspire our students to practice living
sustainability and to develop a heightened consciousness regarding the
long-term preservation of resources on which we all depend." The decisions
made here are already deliberate, the intention I think is here, maybe there
isn't anything to add really. Do we even need a design strategy here?
Currently, these are guiding principles written in 2003, we've already
changed them a bit but are similar to what follows:
Guiding principles: There are a few variables we would like to keep in mind
when considering issues of sustainability.
· Balance educational opportunities with the realities of economics
in decision making about sustainability. In each decision, incorporate an
understanding of the environmental economics as well as what is the best
choice for the long-term (i.e. perhaps it's better to invest in a wind mill
for Garden Hill seeing as that would be a highly visible project as well as
great for educational purposes and a sustainable option for the future).
· Focus on choices that involve the entire campus rather than one
part of the campus (i.e. putting in one composting toilet on main campus
rather than renovating a "green dorm"). We would hope for choices that would
impact the whole community.
· Prioritize a commitment to education and intentional conversations
about sustainability in our program. Recognize that the environmental
practices of the school speak significantly about the school itself and that
a large part of sustainability involves choices and decisions the school has
already put into practice. Creating a greater awareness of our current
system and working to improve upon it will greatly enhance the decision
making ability of students and faculty alike in all their homes.
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