Spring Beekeeping Workshop

Spring Beekeeping Workshop
Demonstration Hive

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Valuable Insights from Dr. John Todd

I have recently returned from England where I visited family mainly in Leeds, a huge urban center in the North. I discovered that the British National Permaculture Center is located in Leeds. That was a surprise since I don't think of Leeds as particularly progressive on the environmental front. Although, Leeds does have lots of nice green space throughout the city and many community gardens, known as allotments, which date from WW2 when growing food was a life line for a wartime population on a severe food rationing system.

Too bad for me that the UK pretty much closes down between Christmas and New Year so the Permaculture Center was shut too. I will have to make sure to visit again at a better time and then I'll be able to report to you on what's going on there.

Today, I want to share with you all some ideas put forward by Dr. John Todd. Dr. Todd won the Buckminster Fuller Challenge in 2008. He is a biologist specializing in the field of ecological design. He may be most well-known for his work in designing ecologically engineered technologies particularly for handling industrial and household waste the way nature would do it. His design has become known as a living-machine and it seems to me that we should have adopted this technology right away when it became available in (I believe) the 1970's. Here, then, are some of his comments:

1. the living world is the matrix for all design.
2. design should follow, not oppose, the laws of life.
3. biological equity must determine design
4. design must reflect bioregionality.
5. projects should be based on renewable energy sources.
6. design should be sustainable through the integration of living systems.
7. design should be coevolutionary with the natural world.
8. building and design should help heal the planet.
9. design should follow a sacred ecology.

Some websites for reading more about Dr. Todd's life and work are:


I'm sure there are many more resources on this remarkable man and his work. Enjoy.