"The vision is not to see things as they are, but as they will be"
The understanding of change goes far beyond simply extrapolating statistical trends.
Cyclic link between this last design principle (the change) and the first one (the observation).
This principle has two facets: on the one hand, to conceive of using change voluntarily and cooperatively, and on the other to respond or adapt creatively to large-scale changes that can not be controlled or influenced. The acceleration of ecological succession in cultivated systems is the most common expression of this principle in the literature and practice of permaculture and it illustrates the first facet. For example, the use of nitrogen-fixing fast-growing trees to amend soil and provide cover and shade for more useful slow-growing forage trees represents a process of ecological succession between the pioneering phase. and the mature phase. Removal of some or all of the nitrogen fixers as fodder or fuel as useful plantations grow is a sign of success. Seed in the soil capable of regeneration after a natural disaster or change in land use (for example, an annual crop phase) provides assurance of a recovery of the system in the future.
These concepts have also been applied to understand how organizational and social change can be creatively fostered. In addition to using a broader range of ecological models to show how we could use succession processes, I now consider this in a broader context, that of our use and our response to change.
The successful adoption of innovation in communities often follows a path similar to ecological succession in nature. Visionary and opinionated individuals are often the first to propose a new solution, but innovation must generally be adopted by recognized personalities or influential notables before it can be considered useful and timely by everyone. A change of generation is sometimes necessary for radical ideas to be adopted, but it can be accelerated by the influence of school education on the domestic environment. For example, if children bring home trees they grew in the school nursery, this may encourage the family to plant them carefully and to maintain them well. Thus, they will for a long time benefit from valuable trees, which otherwise would probably have been abandoned or grazed.
Permaculture concerns the sustainability of natural living systems and human culture, but paradoxically this sustainability depends largely on flexibility and change.
Many stories and traditions show that it is within the greatest stability that the seeds of change lie. Science has shown us that what is seemingly solid and permanent is, at the cellular and atomic level, an effervescent mass of energy and change, similar to the descriptions of certain spiritual traditions. The butterfly, which results from the metamorphosis of a caterpillar, represents this adaptive change that is exhilarating rather than anxious.
Although it is important to integrate this understanding of impermanence and continuous change into our ordinary consciousness, we must understand that the nature of the changes depends on the scale of observation, which explains the apparent illusion of stability. , permanence and durability. Indeed, in any system, the rapid and ephemeral changes of the small scale elements contribute to the system stability of a higher scale level. We are now living and designing new solutions in a historical context of system renewal and modification at all scales, and this again gives the impression that change will be endless and that there is no stability or durability possible. A contextual and systemic sense of the dynamic equilibrium between stability and change helps to guide design efforts from a perspective of evolution rather than chance.