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.

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