Hope you and yours all had splendid festivities during Yule and beyond.
It’s now time to reflect on our learning activities from last term and plan for this coming term; alas we had an unexpected hiatus to our scheduled Emergent Learning session in mid-December.
However, we are reconvening on Saturday 12th January 2019 at 10:00hrs until 12:00hrs within the Mansions of the Future building on St Mary’s Street, Lincoln, and envisage having a lively, engaging and collective gathering on Emergent Learning.
Please can you kindly indicate by return of email whether you will be able to attend this Saturday.
Look forward to hearing from you!
All the best
The next SSC Scholar event incorporating the usual monthly planning meeting, a mini-workshop on envisioning Emergent Learning evaluations, and a small SSC community celebration with regard to studies completed, the impending arrival of winter et al is scheduled to take place on Saturday 15 December 2018 at The Mansions of the Future commencing at 10am for a 12 noon completion.
(Oh my giddy Aunt, how terribly corporate and academically tedious the above all sounds – apologies!)
In essence: Hello everyone, just to let you know that we are getting together on the 15th to have a warm, collective conversation on how can we supportively and pragmatically share our learning journey with each other and the wider community. Please note we will be meeting in the first floor Boardroom, and access is via the former NFU building doorway.
A number of scholars felt that a session dedicated to Emergent Learning (EL) was crucial, and that additionally, the New Year EL session will be of particular interest to those former/lapsed/new scholars who have indicated they wish to become more involved next year, and perhaps offer to facilitate some future learning sessions. Further detailed information on the EL session and also the requirement for an AGM will become available to the SSC Community before the New Year. Dates for your new 2019 diaries are: January 12th and 26th
As a recap for all scholars in relation to the EL session, the SSC Autumn 2018 learning schedule “Communities of the Future: Imagining an alternative and more just society” included:
|29th Sept 2018
|13th Oct 2018
|History of Co-operative Lincoln||David|
|27th Oct 2018
|Permaculture||Lucy and Laura S|
|10th Nov 2018
|24th Nov 2018
|Women’s Struggles||Laura S and Sarah|
If you were unable to attend during the 2018 Autumn term, some individual scholars have kindly provided their own insights and/or interpretations of the above sessions, and these are available on the SSC website: https://socialsciencecentre.
As well as preparing for the Emergent Learning session, and after our customary monthly planning discussions, we will be indulging in a social nibble and natter – as you do at the end of term. For those who also wish to use the opportunity to celebrate the advent of winter (but, not necessarily in the sense of the all-foreboding “Winter is Coming”) and/or communally observe your personal belief at this time of the year, there is also a proposal to dress as festive as you feel, although this is entirely optional!
Nevertheless, if you are able to join us of the 15th, in the spirit of sharing, please could you kindly let us know you will be attending and bring something edible for yourself and one or more other persons to nibble upon. Now, to be perfectly frank (or indeed, betty), I like hummus as much as the next veggie bod, and do not wish to be all ‘Victorian Dad’ about it (see Viz for further details), but we did have a bit of trouble consuming the vast myriad of pots of Hummi(?) and innumerable breaded items at the AGM in May.
In acknowledgement of the massive environmental impact of food waste in this country alone, and the heart breaking global crises of food poverty, it may seem so petty to ask, but, if you are willing to ‘Bring and Share’, please would you let us know what your edible contribution is likely to be by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward to seeing you on the 15th of December (whether you are wearing a festive jumper or not!)
All the best
SSC Learning Session: Permaculture
Presented by Laura S and Lucy on Saturday 27 October 2018
10am – Mansions of the Future, Lincoln
So you thought Duplo® bricks were merely innocuous kid’s toys, huh?
Take a look-see below:
See those seemingly innocent stacks of bright and friendly looking bricks; they actually had the ability to cause not only a fully-fledged, and at times, heated debate, but also a personal reminder of what matters in life…
The stacks of bricks were a visual representation of average addition to climate change per capita in the UK alone. However, not necessarily accounted for, were also:
Further brick stacks illustrated the cost to the earth of using air travel…
But, what has this got to do with Permaculture?
In providing a detailed, well researched referenced background, Laura S informed us of the principles, purpose and ethics of Permaculture:
Earth care, People Care, Fair Share
Permaculture: as a definition
“Permaculture combines three key aspects:
- An ethical framework
- Understandings of how nature works
- A design approach
This unique combination provides an ethical framework that is used to design regenerative systems at all scales – from home and garden to community, farm and bioregions.
The word ‘permaculture’ comes originally from ‘permanent agriculture‘ and ‘permanent culture‘ – it is about living lightly on the planet, and making sure that we can sustain human activities for many generations to come, in harmony with nature.
Permanence is not about everything staying the same. It is about stability, about deepening soils and cleaner water, thriving communities in self-reliant regions, biodiverse agriculture, and social justice, peace and abundance”.
(Permaculture Association: retrieved November 2018 from https://www.permaculture.org.uk/knowledge-base/basics)
A learning resource in the form of handwritten statements citing the two of the main Permaculture protagonists (Frost and Stevens?) were passed between scholars. Laura explained that although at first the authors were in agreement on the fundamentals of permaculture, eventually their philosophy diverged as they separately considered what ultimate outcome was required and proposed how to achieve it:
A picture illustrating example of the written statements
Based on the learning resources provided, scholars discussed and debated the local, national and global impact of our lifestyles on the earth’s resources. Arguably, the passionate exchanges in relation to Carbon Offsetting caused the most intense and divided opinion, but as an observation, also expertly illustrated the depth and breadth of knowledge and all consuming interest in the subject matter by the scholars present, regardless of their own political persuasion.
It was stated that: “Capitalism is eating itself” i.e. by disrespecting and abusing the very resources it actually needs to survive…
The counter argument contended that: “Yes, but we are ALL buying in to it”
Scholars offered suggestions for alternatives, but on observation, did we ultimately blame others and shrugged off our responsibility by using Capitalism and its fanatical proponents as scapegoats? Are we as individuals, daily buying into and knowledgeably using the exact same system, whether we ‘buy’ green products or not, just as guilty of ‘Greenwash’ as those businesses who claim to be mitigating the decimation of nature through utilising technological advancements that rely on as wind, solar, water power instead?
A video on ‘Carbon Offsetting’ is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vM0RrobKcrk
Lucy then brought Permaculture as an alternative lifestyle into vivid focus through deftly sharing her own experience of recently spending several months living and working ‘off grid’ at The Grange near Thetford Forest in Norfolk. In relating how permaculture principles were enacted at The Grange, Lucy illustrated how self-sufficiency not only created a much-needed haven for nature, but also provided a refuge for refugees through weekly work details (Workday Wednesdays) that professed to deliver physical, mental, emotional and spiritual support. A large team of support agencies/partner organisations aimed to assist those attending The Grange to build their own personal resilience, and in the wider and longer term, advocates of The Grange, (and of such places of a similar ilk around the UK), aim to create a network of places of sanctuary equally for the benefit of all animal and human kind…
A link to The Grange website is available, but please do take time to find a guest post on the website from a young Egyptian Refugee here: https://www.thegrangenorfolk.org.uk/index.php/blog/34-salah-s-article (Lucy kindly provided a printed copy of the post to each of the SSC scholars present at the Permaculture learning session).
Laura S and Lucy also spoke of newly-establishing permaculture principle-type projects and protagonists that were beginning to emerge in and around Lincoln/Lincolnshire and elsewhere such as Transition Towns, City of Sanctuaries, etc.
As a personal observation, I felt this learning session enabled scholars to consider how the SSC could be involved and/or support local projects considering permaculture as a way forward in terms of providing breathing spaces for, and of hope, as well offering an attempt to explore an alternative solution i.e. Communities of the Future