Archive for November, 2012


Physicist and systems theorist Fritjof Capra discusses in this talk the scientific thinking of Leonardo da Vinci. Capra argues that Leonardo was the first scientist to apply the scientific method based on systematic observation of nature. Leonardo, however, did not perceive the world as a combination of isolated objects. He was interested in living forms, patterns, processes, movement, growth and connections between things. He observed the world artistically by drawing it, which lead to a more holistic, qualitative grasp of phenomena. Capra sees Leonardo’s approach as more akin to systems thinking than the mechanistic Cartesian worldview still prevalent in science until quite recently. The talk was held at the Schumacher College in Totnes in May 2010.


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In this talk David Holmgren provides a concise overview of permaculture thinking. He sees permaculture as a creative response to the oncoming period of energy descent where the use of non-renewable and slowly renewable resources will by necessity come drastically down. The goal of permaculture is not so much to approach a steady-state plateau of resource use, but to initiate an ongoing process of natural regeneration. In discussing food production, Holmgren emphasises the need to redesign not just the way we produce food, but also the ways we distribute and consume it. He goes on to outline a number of rather specific tasks to be carried out to move towards these goals. The talk was held at the Feasta Food Security Conference in Dublin on June 25, 2005.

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