Paul starts off by talking about an expression he think applies to the non-violent communication discussion. Someone once told him that “church is not a showcase for saints, but a hospital for sinners” and he compares this to school of non violent communication because people who are coming to it are definitely not good at communication.
Diana makes the point that it is always better that we try to get better at it than to not try. She compares it to learning permaculture. It is better to try and stumble through it, even if you mess it up sometimes, at least you are learning.
Paul talks about how he wants to facilitate 20 different visionaries, he wants to have across pollination of brilliance, he wants to see permaculture move forward. These are the reasons why he cares about communication. Diana discusses the differences in the way Paul is choosing to do his community with shared resources and shared infrastructure and she talks about certain methods of governance that work best for this. Basically, she uses design principles of permaculture and applies them to communities.
They go on to speak about consensus based methods and processes in communities. Diana talks about a few of the struggles of her community has had with blocking and the ways they use super majority now. She then talks about a thing she calls structural conflict which is when founders didn’t put in fundamental structures or processes. It is a problem when nothing was established about their mission at the beginning of its creation.
Paul talks about reading a book Ecotopia and how influential it has been on him without him even realizing it. He then moves into talking about their kitchen problems and how Paul has to hear everyone out about their problems because that is the way his community design works. He talks about the kitchen commander or level 9 mom that he sort of assumed their community would have by now. He feels like he has accomplished less because they assumed they would have that person here and they don’t.
Next Diana elaborates on what she calls nomadic youth. These are simply young people who visit multiple communities and after being there for a while they leave because they go off to other adventures and you can’t be mad at them so she proposes work exchange programs. You provide their food and housing and they provide you with labor. This leads them into talking about Paul’s gappers and all sorts of stories with them.
Diana speaks to the importance of having some sort of rigorous application process and then sign a contract with clear expectations of both the community and the work exchanger. Diana notes that people don’t realize it but implementing permaculture design is hard, heavy, dirty work and so they need to be told that up front. They finish up this podcast by talking about the Bullock brothers farm, a kitchen manager work exchanger, and why Paul doesn’t like contracts.
Credit: Cassie Langstraat