The Small Earth Institute is an initiative for the development of ecological awareness and development in social institutions through permaculture, regenerative design and deep ecology experiences. We offer courses, workshops, and retreats aimed at developing ecological sensitivity and appreciation as well as understanding of permaculture and Earth systems processes. Our aim is to stimulate ‘earthfulness’; an awareness of our connection to, interaction with, and interdependence on the Earth.
We believe in an ecological imperative for individuals and society ; that the development ecological consciousness and action is essential in order to protect and preserve the health and viability of the planet we live on and indeed, of ourselves as well. This is becoming more widely acknowledged and there is a growing insistence in the scientific community as well as more and more in the mainstream, for urgent action in this regard. However, setting requirements for or limits on others all too often results in resentment and opposition. Instead, we prefer to focus on developing ecological understanding through nature experiences, activities and reflection. The development of the imperative will then come through nature experiences which will lead to deep awareness and a re-identification with wider nature. It is this identification and commitment that leads naturally to action, whether in one’s own life, or in social institutions. These ideas were introduced by the famous Norwegian ecologist Arne Næss and elucidated and developed by Dr. Stephan Harding, resident ecologist at Schumacher College, UK.
Permaculture Design Principles offer both metaphorical and practical constructs for developing ecological understanding in practice in individual and social contexts. Permaculture is a term coined by Bill Mollison, an Australian researcher, teacher and field biologist who started the permaculture movement. Permaculture is a design protocol, a method for seeing and creating sustainable structures and cycles based on ecological principles, in order to develop productive systems that mimic the stability, diversity and resilience of natural ecosystems.
To this end, permaculture principles and design methods are applicable to all structural entities, both natural and social. As a design protocol, permaculture principles are based on those found in nature, and natural solutions are proposed for solving problems in the environment. In a social context, permaculture provides a methodology for creating sustainable social structures.
The Small Earth Institute has developed a series of initiatives to provide for deep ecological and nature experiences, as well as for the introduction and application of regenerative design principles to planning, and processes in schools and businesses. Use the menu bar above to explore these offerings further or to learn more about regenerative ecology and permaculture.