“Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system.”
Permaculture is a set of design principles centered on whole systems thinking, simulating, or directly utilizing the patterns and resilient features observed in natural ecosystems. It uses these principles in a growing number of fields from regenerative agriculture, rewilding, and community resilience.
The term permaculture was coined by David Holmgren and Bill Mollison in 1978. It originally meant “permanent agriculture”, but was expanded to stand also for “permanent culture”, since social aspects were integral to a truly sustainable system.
The 12 principles of permaculture is illustrated in this figure:
The principles of permaculture inspire us. Partly because we feel strongly about the importance of being connected to nature, for both physical and emotional wellbeing, and because we love gardening – but also because we think that in many ways, a company can actually be seen as a garden. A well-designed workplace, like a garden, is high yielding, requires minimal intervention, make good use of resources and produce minimal waste. Diversity creates strength and resilience, for a company as well as for a garden. Responding to change with creativity, carefully observing and intervening at the right time is as crucial for the CEO as for the gardener. And most importantly, for our work, the principle of “Integrate rather than segregate”: By putting the right things, (plants or people) in the right place, relationships develop between them and they work together to support each other.
For more information about the Principles of Permaculture, and how to apply them in business:
Damian Watson has some interesting thoughts about the 12 Principles of Agile vs the 12 Principles of Permaculture: