Culture Change: New Norms 

 May 22, 2020

By  Rhonda

“When any real progress is made, we unlearn and learn anew what we thought we knew before.” 

-- Henry David Thoreau

Targeting best in class and possibly build ROI. Funneling user stories so that as an end result, we create a better customer experience.

Communities change by recognizing and adopting new norms. What was once unorthodox and strange, becomes common and accepted. Language changes rapidly—just look at the evolution of the Urban Dictionary. Styles in modern clothing can change very rapidly—new colors or design lines shift every season. Similarly, colors and styles of flooring, cabinetry, furniture, paint colors, and throw pillows are designed to shift in order to drive markets and spending. We’ve been told that doing these things brings us approval from our knowing peers. We know that game is up. 

As permaculture people, we know that the old games are shifting. We can’t keep on keepin’ on. But can we really envision that gradual shift from where we are to where we want to go? Can we recognize the progress we are making and still push for the next step? When we are faced with opportunity in the guise of crisis, can we look at the systems that are disrupted and use that as feedback to create something more stable? 


One of the remarkable things about mainstream, modern society (MaMo Society) is how much it seems to adopt innovation and new norms. I am sometimes surprised, but also pleased to find that solar panels and passive solar construction are more common than they were 15 years ago when I began teaching permaculture. Recently, while supporting a community-led process, I was talking to a community leader and complaining about how radical I felt advocating for something five years ago. She pointed out that many of the things I mentioned were now codified in the city’s development ordinance. My internal response was to find out where the new edge is and begin advocating for the next evolution in order to keep us moving toward sustainable.  

What allows us to do this is vision and our commitment to the life and people affirming ethics we’ve embraced. Taking the time to discern our vision of how life can be for us, and what we have to offer our communities by way of that vision is essential to our health and the well-being of those around us. 


What is your vision?

On a journey to understand how we came to this moment and how to live well in connection to the Earth and each other.

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