Open Collective
Open Collective

CoLab Permaculture Design has been archived.

CoLab Permaculture Design has been archived and is no longer active.

CoLab Permaculture Design


a Permaculture Design Process to support the CoLab to collaboratively develop the next iteration of a design for itself


Transparent and open finances.

-£3,449.68 GBP
Invoice #56098
Invoice #55087
Contribution #491227
Today’s balance

-£0.32 GBP

Total raised

£5,170.00 GBP

Total disbursed

£5,170.32 GBP

Estimated annual budget

--.-- GBP


Project Description

The CoLab has been experimenting with its current form over the past 3-5 years. The reports from 2020 show that there are barriers to involvement with the CoLab, and other tensions within it. This is a good time to practice the core Permaculture Principle of “Accept Feedback & Apply Self-Regulation” in the CoLab ecosystem.
Building on their investment in understanding the CoLab, Jillian Hovey and Philipp Grunewald are proposing to lead a Permaculture Design Process to support the CoLab to collaboratively develop the next iteration of a design for itself. This will be a learning journey of applying permaculture ethics, principles, and design methodologies to the needs and yields, elements and functions of the CoLab. This process will hold space for what wants to emerge, and support permaculture thinking, tools and skills to become more of a fundamental literacy & practice in the Permaculture CoLab. The intention is to “Accelerate Succession” and co-create more conscious, healthy and regenerative patterns and pathways for the Permaculture CoLab, which will support the CoLab in becoming more effective at delivering its Vision, Mission, and Aims (VMAs).


An integral aspect of healthy systems is to have feedback loops so that the system can learn and grow in increasingly regenerative ways. To practice permaculture and regeneration, it is important to co-create environments where we can learn to collaboratively accept and apply feedback and self-regulate, and support the CoLab to evolve and become more effective. In doing this, we can co-create the next stages of understanding of the ecosystem that will support the value flows that will support Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share.

Similar to the retrospectives that have been becoming regular practices in the agile-informed work environments of the CoLab Circles, it would also be beneficial to hold space for learning from feedback for the CoLab as a whole. A Permaculture Design process for the CoLab can hold space for these learning loops in a permaculture framework where we can learn together in a collaborative design process. This can stimulate and include existing and potential CoLab members to bring more of their intelligences, passions, and possibilities, to a mutually-designed and regenerative Permaculture CoLab.

A Permaculture Design process will include the following:
On-Going Sensemaking Phase:

  • Our team anchor, Jillian Hovey, has been in a sense-making process since joining the CoLab in May of 2020, and which deepened starting in early October when she initiated extensive conversations with her co-lead, Philipp Grunewald, as well as many other current and past CoLab members.
  • We will deepen our review of the two recent CoLab reports: Survey of the Permaculture CoLab memberbase, which was undertaken by Naomi Joy Smith and Aimee Fenech during June-July 2020, and the Governance Listening Space Survey produced by John Schinnerer, Erin Young and Andy Goldring in November 2020.
  • We will develop materials to communicate to the Permaculture CoLab community that we will be initiating a Permaculture Design Process for the CoLab
  • The materials will include and build on the map of the Permaculture CoLab, and other relevant diagrammatic materials
  • We will join meetings of all existing circles to initiate the permaculture design process, which will include the solicitation of their reflections on the reports from 2020
  • We will have one-on-one and small group meetings to share feedback and co-sensemake 
  • We will condense all the findings and reflections into a central sensemaking space (on miro) to identify key patterns to be addressed in the re-design.
  • Outcome mapping process - A facilitated outcome mapping process will be delivered. It will identify boundary partners, contributions and behavioural changes of the CoLab and start to set out the monitoring and evaluation of these.
  • Deliver training on outcome mapping and theory of change. This training will increase the literacy of goal directed social systems design within the CoLab. 

Permaculture Education & Design phase:

  • We will hold a series of education & design workshops for CoLab participants to share and learn about the Permaculture Design process, and explore and practice applying permaculture to the CoLab landscape, with the goal of co-creating a design for the next iteration of the CoLab
  • We will work with: existing and emerging Circles to include them in this process; the Platform Design Toolkit Process; the development of the CoLab Communications Strategy
  • We will work with the Welcoming Circle to further develop the onboarding processes and materials.
  • We will continue to develop the map of the Permaculture CoLab ecosystem, which will evolve throughout this process. A final output will be an illustration of the aspirational CoLab structure (that can feasibly be implemented within the next 18 months)
  • We will bring information which pertains to policy creation, to the General Circle and the Stewards, that is based on the results from the Sensemaking and Design phases, that address issues identified in the reports.
  • We will support the implementation process for the General Circle to help to address and integrate feedback from the 2020 reports, and about the Sociocratic Circle Method (SCM), and contextualize the General Circle in the whole systems design that this process develops
  • We will have finalised an overarching Theory of Change for the CoLab. This will be a diagram that illustrates how the activities and outputs of the CoLab contribute to intended outcomes and ultimate impact of our work. As part of this workshop participants will identify and develop indicators they like to use to monitor the progress they are making towards intended outcomes and ultimate impact of their work.

Implementation phase:

  • We will support all existing circles (and emerging circles, as required) to understand the value of designed changes and work with the implications for their respective domains
  • We will be developing communications content for internal and external audiences that expresses the holistic re-design of the CoLab
  • Work with the Stewards, General Circle, and potentially individual Circles to develop policies and strategies with the valuable information and stimulation that will come out of this process.