Turn the Systems Inside Out Workshop

“As we awaken to the interconnectedness of all our systems, we see that we cannot change, for example our energy technologies without changing the economic systems that supports them. We learn as well that all of our external institutions reflect our basic perceptions of the world, our invisible ideologies and belief systems.” – Charles Eisenstein

AAA1-InsideOutLogoLast year Beth and Ray Mylius initiated a discussion group on System Change which resulted in a workshop at the Box Factory last month. It was encouraging to have the event fully booked a week in advance, with over 50 people from various environmental groups attending on the day.

In the first half of the event we had presentations from:  Ben Mylius and Peter Burdon  on Systems Thinking and how changing the legal system to give rights to nature can help address the ecological problems we face; and Paul Downton spoke on the role of art in raising awareness of environmental problems - an important first step in creating change.


Following a delicious shared afternoon tea, participants broke into small groups for discussion centered on three questions.

1. What systems are there and how do they interact and what is the outcome of this?
2. What enables the systems to work despite growing dissatisfaction with them?
3. What new work needs to be done to change the system and how to we approach this?

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Big issues to cover in one afternoon and while we sadly didn’t solve all the worlds problems on the day there were a number of lively discussions and good connections made between people from different networks.
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Looking over the notes from the discussions its several themes became apparent:

  • The centrality of ecology in systems change and the future
  • The importance of community
  • Building a strong community through sharing
  • A continuum of protest
  • Utilising the machinery of government
  • Education for the future
  • Communication for the future
  • Caring for yourself as the world changes

See full list of Workshop Actions and References.

If you are interested in joining in the discussion on Systems Change there is facebook group – see www.facebook.com/groups/237930786330599/
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Wicking Beds

There has been a lot of interest lately in wicking beds.  I got one last October and so far have been very happy with it, especially after the stinking hot summer we had. If you are going to put in raised beds I would recommend you look at a  wicking bed. A wicking bed is incorporates a water reservoir beneath the soil layer. The plants are watered by the water from the reservoir being pulled up through the soil like a wick straight to the roots where it’s needed, helping to reduce water use.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAI bought a recycled timber kit from Adelaide Hills farmer 2 Acre woods, but if you want to keep costs down there are number of do it yourself designs. See this Sustainable Garden Australia page  for more information wicking beds and how to make your own. My one tip would be to take the time to level the ground you are putting the bed on. I didn’t and have noticed that the slightly higher side dries out more quickly.

Also see Costa’s How to make a Wicking Bed video: www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/l222662/backyard-revolution-how-to-ep3

SHIFT magazine

All this to play our part in a much-needed shift: a shift in attitude, action, and the trajectory our civilization is on.

The SHIFT magazine is a new magazine produced by Australia based charity Sustainability Showcase, whose aim is to help society prepare for the converging crises of ecological and economic decline, and post-peak resources. Run by volunteers and strictly ad-free the magazine creates a space for these important issues, that are overlooked by the mainstream media, to be investigated and discussed fairly. Pdf copies of the magazine can be downloaded for free from their website and they are definitely worth a read. The second issue focusing on the economic systems – its problems and alternative initiatives that are happening now – was published in March. Check it our here.