Last November we were invited to assist to Conama 2018 (National Environmental Congress), held in the beautiful Madrid, a city that promises a sustainable future.
This congress has been growing and maturing in Spain since 1992. And since 2005, formed a sinergy with EIMA (Ibero-American Encounter of Sustainable Development).
Associations, projects and institutions of Latin America are linked, with the fundamental purpose of exchanging and working together, united by the Atlantic with the old continent.
Why did we assist to the Conama in Spain?
First, to honor the generous invitation. And to expand our vision and relationships on sustainability between Ibero America and Europe. We were, to our surprise, the only ones representing Argentina.
The funds to attend were mainly from the NGO, and the support and contribution of those individuals, who, with a generous and proactive soul, support and promote our actions. We will be eternally grateful for their trust and dedication.
But beyond that, we believe that Spain (within the European community) is one of the most representative countries to transpose a European model, to a country like Argentina.
Their culture, forms and habits, with the Italian culture, can be found from side to side along our beautiful country.
Spain has similar forms, figures and social and political challenges (in a different scale, severity and depth), and within the European community, it is the one that moves slower, without pause but without haste, towards sustainability.
Therefore, the experiences and actions from Spain can be very useful, showing us a possible reflection, that contributes Argentina in a growing perspective, to the will and desire of transformation
Decodifying the congress ...
In the last 10 years we have visited, worked and known many projects, institutions, activities and actions of change. We have seen different proposals of disruptive, innovative and avant-garde character around the world.
And beyond the purpose of each project, be it educational, productive, technological, scientific or altruistic, all are inspired, configured and designed in their core following similar principles:
• Intervene the environment or context with intelligence, since the "no" intervention allows the development of nature, and that is a free force and energy.
• Design in an efficient, regenerative and sustainable way, since sooner or later it generates higher yields, less need of external energy, lower costs, new resources or substrates that come from the discards of the same system, and more time to continue other projects.
• Make a profitable use of the forces, processes and ways of proceeding that natural systems have, since they are available, and they are "harvestable".
Nature is guided by principles and behavioral patterns, mainly from the environment, the context or the membrane. Be it micro-cellular-molecular-atomic, or macro-ecosystem-planetary-cosmic.
When the context is the guide, leading the game rules and the tools for necessary for the creation of that life system, the result is an organism, material, process or mechanism, efficient, capable and adequate for its purpose. And as a consequence, that design will be resilient, sustainable, flexible, adaptable, circular, diverse, accessible, and autonomous in itself, but contributing its part or role to a greater or larger autonomous whole.
Following that music and energetic flow with which biology designs, we realize that nothing ever stops, everything is in continuos progress. And that, does not always mean growth, since to mature, decrease and decompose is necessary to allow another system to develop.
The only thing that exists "is the force of life", with what she can, as she can and when she can. An impermanent and uncertain flow, transformed adapting to the changes from the environment or context.
Closing the circle…
The institutions, companies or countries that are the guide in these times of rapid "changes", find solutions, answers and alternatives to their challenges or problems when they adapt and change their shape (trans-forming). And this new form arises from the design system and the way of thinkining that have the particularity of being integrated into the procedures, forces and principles of natural systems.
Conama 2018, was another example, that "solutions based on nature" are no longer an inspiration, nor the exception. But the map and guide where we will find the answers and appropriate actions to this "change of form" that is happening on the planet.
The Mayor of Madrid opened the conference with a real, noble, concise, clear and inspiring communication. She spoke about maturing instead of growing, of integrating, of doing and contributing without waiting for awards or payroll, of cultivating empathy and biologizing ourselves to the core.
The "CIRCLE", with its form and sense of reciprocity, regeneration, self-perpetuation, sustainability and integrativity, was the ideological driver. Not only as a symbol, but as a concept and route of all the presentations during the congress.
These are some of the fundamental and pyramidal words and concepts to understand the need to trigger this change:
Cooperation and integration
From the cell to the organism.
As Bill Mollison (father of Permaculture) said, "... even though the problems increase in complexity, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple ..."
Be sincere and accept
As in any process of change, challenge or illness that appears in our life, the solution begins with the sincere, noble and powerful action of acceptance.
In the conference "The transition to a more sustainable agriculture", the talk began with forgiveness. Agronomists, representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, and others, from other sectors of agroecological transition, accepted that the intensivist, monocultivist and toxic agroindustry is inefficient, degenerative, unhealthy, short-term minded and does not cooperate with the contextual need of the adequate use of resources to meet the purpose of feeding the population.
Without diversity there is no self-control, because there is no prey and predator in equilibrium, without self-control there is predominance, and when there is predominance, there is plague, there is disease.
Impact on health
They openly talked about the endrocrinal disruptors of inks, preservatives and other chemicals. About the sound pollution and the silent damage generated by the cities. About all type of waste and secondary metabolites such as Radon, and other derivatives of the industry, which need standards and disclosure.
The damage, the complexity, the costs and the suffering generated by the current productive and industrial system, such as the new subclinical chronic toxemia pandemics, which the medical platform has just begun to glimpse.
Re-order, evaluate and regulate nano-technology, and those nano elements that begin to interact with our ecosystem and organism.
The need to relieve the "impact on health", added to the environment, on old industries and new projects. There is so much that we do not know, nor do we contemplate on the toxic synergy of everything synthetic, artificial and non-biological, that surrounds us.
And beyond the lack or presence of quick solutions, putting these issues on the table, is the first firm step to find suitable and fertile solutions.
Be nature and biologize
Biomimicry as a source of inspiration, full of solutions and unimaginable alternatives, and as a matrix of a new industrial design system. Already acting in our present, and with an imminent growth in the immediate future.
Change is the only constant. However, for several reasons, this verb generates paradoxical emotions. Changing feels risky, uncertain, uncomfortable and uncontrollable. And it is true.
But, the best way to flow in the uncertain dance of change and result unharmed, or better, to harvest the energy of that unstoppable force, is to understand and use the principles, mechanisms and processes that guide and order it.
These principles embrace, hold and contain all the systems of this globe. The physical, chemical and biological principles that regulate, lead and allow the gestation, development and evolution of all life systems. You can see them, or not, but they are present in all sectors, segments and parts of the life system that we have. As they are the ones that guide and condition us, we can not continue to disaggregate them.
The inhabitants of this world, can´t wait for the time it takes the "comfortable" ones to get out of their confort zone, they can not wait for the blindness that causes the veil of interest to fall, there is no time for blame, for fear, disinformation and lack of updating and knowledge that surrounds all sectors, disintegrating them to survive in ignorance and scarcity.
It is a great paradox, but solutions or answers won´t come from following our antopocentric way of thinking. Today, in this world that is united in a platform of communication and global social interrelation, where we share at the same moment, in the same place, our set of diverse beliefs, paradigms, knowledge, intentions and interests; so it is unlikely to wait for solutions to arise from one man, company, ideology, knowledge, movement or a country, adequate for everyone.
But what it does unites us, is our context: the air, water, earth and fire that give us the environment and the vitality of life.
Therefore, the guide, knowledge, inspiration and the set of tools and solutions are in nature. The brain is the membrane, the one who thinks is the environment.
In any challenge or problem (not resolved), a review of the logic and perspective with which that intrigue is observed is needed. With this article we seek to make that revision.
That is why we trascend talking about a single a presentation, seminar, company project, state or specific individual. Since the "key point" is letting go the ego and euphoria that generates "success or winning the game." Accepting that things like this are no longer useful, nor efficient. Learn to receive the change and make use of that available energy.
It is crucial to focus and practice on the renewal and implementation of systemic, integrative and biomimetic thinking, so, through the regenerative and efficient design, we can achieve the appropriate forms to the function needed in this times of change. So we can re-balance this life system gestated and conceived in another time, in another context, and with another way of thinking.
The dance of change
In LA'PAI we think, live and sweat "permaculture". And our trip to Spain was no exception. We design it applying several permacultural principles: obtain a yield, stocking functions, from the relationship to the details, integrate more than segregate, etc.
Therefore, on our way to attend the congress, we filmed a "teaser", which captured, in a short story , people, projects, educational institutions and companies, which are being an active and fundamental part in this transition towards integration, transformation and regeneration of the system, in Barcelona and Madrid.
They apply the systemic way of thinking and biomimicry, to design, plan, learn and interact with their activity, project or development, sometimes not even being aware they were doing it that way. We want to show these real, tangible and prosperous stories to see that a different perspective is possible.
The transformation happen, because someone builds that new path ....
We are very grateful to have shared with each of them. They opened us their doors, were permeable for exchange and dialogue, and showed us their contribution and purpose. These experiences fill us with gratitude, bring us closer to wonderful people and re-affirm that accepting the change is a good path.
Click here to see the video