Audio file on the foundations of PatternDynamics

Click to listen to audio file:  Foundations of PatternDynamics

This talk was recorded as part of the Certificate 4 and Diploma programs in Accredited Permaculture Training I taught at Permaforest Trust. This was recorded at the beginning of the second semester in 2006, probably in late July or August. It is interesting to go back and listen to how I was thinking about PD at the time now that it has developed into something more tangible 6 years later.

Ken, II, MI and the State of My Integral Enterprise

Below are the first few paragraphs (and before that, the editor’s note) on a piece I wrote for Beams and Struts ( regarding the launch of MetaIntegral ( as a nascent institution within the Integral world. In this article I try and make sense of the lack of ‘integral level’ functionality within the actual larger Integral scene itself, why the ‘big containers’ in Integral to date are not currently configured to support a more mature enactment of the Integral ‘we’, and why I think the emergence and design of the MetaIntegral initiative is important in this regard. In this context, I use PatternDynamics ( as a tool to explore some of the important ‘meta-patterns’ at work in the Integral space and through this provide an example of how PatternDynamics may be used as a way of understanding, communicating and designing better power and politics outcomes within a community of practice.

Tim (ThePatternGuy) Winton

“[Editor’s Introduction Chris]: This week we are publishing two pieces on MetaIntegral, a new organization launching their online presence later this week. Part of our mission here at Beams is to be a platform for new projects and new voices to be heard. Also we seek to further the discourse of integral theory and practice, fostering dialogue, and including as many perspectives as possible. We believe that these pieces fit within that overall mission. At the same time, I hope it’s clear that the views are those of the authors. We encourage folks to leave their comments below. This piece by Tim Winton explores the topic of whether there should even be ‘big container’ organizations within integral, and if so how to create them in an appopriate way–looking to ecosystems as a learning model. The second piece (on the Integral Planet Endowment) by Jordan Luftig and Sean Hargens is here. Also checkout the followupblog piece by Carissa Wieler on grief and love within the integral world.

“Techniques employ four qualities that reflect the nature of our world. Depending on the circumstances, you should be: hard like a diamond, flexible as a willow, smooth-flowing like water or empty as space.”

                                                                                                  –Morihei Ushiba (1972, p. 71)

In writing this piece I’m feeling a little like the guy who asks what might be a really dumb question in an auditorium full of really smart people. Intuitively, deep in my gut, I feel like I need to start a conversation, but I’m not really confident about how it’s going to go. I can’t stop myself from putting my hand up, and, now that I’m speaking into the mic, I’m getting those cold sweats down my spine and my stomach is in a knot.

I’m not sure I’m necessarily the most qualified person to start this, and I’m not even sure it’s going to be as important to you as it is to me, but, if it is, then it’ll be worth the risk. And, I’m prepared to be flat out wrong about how to go about this. Starting this conversation is not just about the ‘Integral community’–to a large degree it’s also about my own journey in Integral and my need, at this particular time, to try and make sense of what is going on and what I’m doing within the Integral space.

The question at the heart of this conversation, for me–and this is what I’ve been struggling with for a while now–is exactly how do we find meaning in what has gone down with the ‘Integral Enterprise’ to date. What happened to all the promise, the confidence, the potential for the more evolved organisation of the larger movement itself? How did we get to this underwhelming state of affairs when we were meant to be so fricken onto it–when our whole raison d’etre is that we think we have a better way of doing this sort of thing?”

Click here to read the rest of the article.

An Integral Permaculture

Note to the reader: I originally wrote this in 2009 at the request of the editors of a proposed book called Permaculture Pioneers. It was slated for inclusion, but I withdrew it after the publishing process dragged on. The book was eventually published without this chapter. You can find the book here.

Tim Winton

An Integral Permaculture

I’ve practiced and taught permaculture, at times intensively, for most of the last fifteen years. In that time my perspective on permaculture has changed and evolved, as has permaculture itself. If at times in this article I am critical of elements of permaculture, it is not to be negative or to lessen the importance of the discipline, but to examine the points of pain and disappointment that that have lead me to new understandings and new directions. The same should be true for the movement itself, and I’m writing here with this in mind. Continue reading

From Deep Green to Second Tier: Sustainability at the Threshold

Note to the reader: I submitted this case study as part of the proceedings of the first Integral Ecology and Sustainability Seminar hosted by Integral Institute and held near Boulder Colorado in October 2004. I attended the seminar as a participant. This case study gives some of the background for the later development of PatternDynamics™.

From Deep Green to Second-Tier: Sustainability at the Threshold

An Integral Sustainability Case Study of The Permaforest Trust

Tim Winton

September 2004


The Permaforest Trust is an integrally informed sustainability education facility working towards becoming a dedicated Integral Sustainability education and practice centre. This case study tells the story of its inception, growth and ongoing maturity in an integral context, and it outlines the particular challenges faced by the project, and by me, its founder, in the process of introducing integral ideas and practices. We will spend some time learning about the background of the project; about my own growing awareness of integral ideas and their implementation at The Permaforest Trust (The Trust); the often devastating confusion, chaos and resentment this created; and the eventual evolution of effective means for successfully introducing integral practices to our participants, who by and large, come from the green vMeme and often from a subset that is one of the deepest and most sensitive expressions of the green vMeme. Having been through the transition from Green to second tier personally (UL) and organisationally (LL and LR), I am now fascinated with the leap to second-tier consciousness and with developing the skilful means for facilitating this transition. After all, in terms of getting to an integral, second-tier level of consciousness, it is where the action is: no one comes to second-tier but by Green, in all of its manifestations and permutations. I see the same challenges I faced as an individual and that we faced at The Trust as an organization arise again and again where people or organizations try to transcend the green vMeme. This case study aims to illustrate these resistant patterns and to provide some examples of solutions and strategies that work effectively for us. Just as importantly, it helps to demonstrate that the negativity and confusion faced at the threshold of second-tier consciousness is normal, and to encourage people to persevere, because as overwhelming as it seems at the time, the confusion may be transcended and included into a new and vastly more exciting way of being.

Continue reading

Introducing Tim “The Pattern Guy” Winton

In this blog I’ll be analysing news, current events and other cultural phenomenon as they relate to the sustainability and thriving of the human project using PatternDynamics™ ( an Integral Sustainability Pattern Language and elements of Integral Theory.

I’ll also post related material I’ve created previously and links to good resources that look at sustainability and complexity from similar perspectives.