Urban gardeners. Native seed-saving collectives. Ecovillage developments. What is the connection between these seemingly disparate groups? The ecological design system of permaculture is the common thread that weaves them into a powerful, potentially revolutionary—and evolutionary–movement. Collected together, 60 inspiring regenerative design sites around the globe show us what the future could look like
Permaculture is a philosophy based on common ethics of sustainable cultures throughout history that have designed settlements according to nature’s patterns and lived within its bounds. It is taking form as a growing network of sites developed with the intention of regenerating local ecologies and economies. Permaculture strategies can be used by individuals, groups or nations to address basic human needs such as food, water, energy, and housing, and the movement has been building momentum exponentially for the past 40 years. As a species, humans are being called forth to evolve, using our collective intelligence to meet the challenges of the future. Yet if we are to survive our collective planetary crisis, we need to revisit history, integrating successful systems from sustainable cultures. To boldly confront our position on the brink of the earth’s carrying capacity and make change that incorporates the wisdom of the past can be truly re-evolutionary.
Sustainable Revolution features the work of a worldwide network of visionaries, including journalists, activists, indigenous leaders and permaculturists such as David Holmgren, Vandana Shiva, Charles Eisenstein, Starhawk, Erik Assadourian, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Albert Bates, and Geoff Lawton. This beautifully photographed collection of profiles, interviews, and essays features 60 innovative community-based projects in diverse climates across the planet. Edited by anthropologist Juliana Birnbaum and award-winning activist filmmaker Louis Fox, it can be read as an informal ethnography of an international culture that is modeling solutions on the cutting edge of social and environmental change. The research presented in the book frames the permaculture movement as significant ally to marginalized groups, such as the urban poor and indigenous groups resisting the pressures of globalization. Sustainable Revolution uplifts and inspires with its catalog of dynamic cultural pioneers stewarding vibrant communities.
“Our culture has been at war with the world for 10,000 years, wresting our food from it as from an enemy to be conquered, poisoned, worked to death, and discarded. Permaculture isn’t just a way of growing food, it’s a culture different from ours, a culture making peace with the world in every way. See it at work here. You’ll be astonished. I was.” – Daniel Quinn, Author of Ishmael
“The most significant discovery of the space age is that we humans are, first and foremost, indigenous Earthlings. Sustainable (R)Evolution is a profound reminder of what it means to take on the responsibility this realization implies. By detailing local applications of eternally regenerative design principles, it eloquently demonstrates the inspiring possibilities – and critical importance – of synchronizing with the highly evolved patterns emerging from our home planet’s cycles of life.”
– David McConville, Chairman, Buckminster Fuller Institute
“In today’s sped-up, hyper-individualized, consumer-frenzied society, it’s hard not to feel off-kilter. Birnbaum and Fox’s book is the perfect medicine for the moment, offering guidance and inspiration to reclaim and repair our relationship with ourselves, our community and the planet. Put down your screens and pick up this book and you’ll feel better in the morning.”
– Annie Leonard, Founder, The Story of Stuff Project