On July 12, #changemakers from around the Denver area met at the Joining Vision and Action offices for the monthly Conversations That Matter salon and networking event. This month featured Adam Brock, director of social enterprise at Joining Vision and Action and recent author of the new book, Change Here Now: Permaculture Solutions for Personal and Community Transformation, who led a conversation with participants about applying permaculture principles and patterns to help organizations thrive.

After introductions, the conversation began by handing out a copy of the 12 permaculture principles and inviting participants to discuss how they think these patterns may connect with their experiences in organizations.

Here’s some of what the collective wisdom gathered in the room came up with:

  • “Catch and store energy”: Retain good people on your team and minimize employee turnover, which is a big loss of energy.
  • “Make the smallest change for the greatest effect”: Employ “lean startup” processes like building a “minimum viable products” to learn as quickly as possible, and fail quickly in the smallest way possible–thus minimizing overhead.
  • “The Problem is the Solution”: For a nonprofit, this could be interpreted as understanding exactly what the community needs. How can you be sure that the program you’re investing resources into providing is of benefit to the community? Does low attendance mean poor advertising–or an actual lack of a need?
  • “Integrate, don’t segregate”: Ensure you bring in a diversity of ideas and overlap them, rather than keep relevant work in separate silos. Draw in ideas from the business world, ideas from the nonprofit world–and integrate those for the greatest strength.

The group then broke into small groups and discussed and mapped how some of the patterns and concepts from Change Here Now might apply to their own organizations and experiences. There were numerous exciting takeaways–and some book signings to close out the event!

Want more?

Interested in working with Adam to explore how applying social permaculture thinking could enhance your organization? Talk to us today – and join us for our next Conversations That Matter networking event for more conversation relevant to social and nonprofit changemakers!