First Agroecology Europe Forum : 25-27 October 2017, Lyon, France

Fostering synergies between movement, science and practice

Agroecology Europe is an association which aims to promote agroecology in the farming and food sector and in the wider society. To move forward agroecology, the association will together with other NGOs, organise the first Agroecology Europe Forum, to take place 25-27 October at ISARA, in Lyon (France).

The Forum is open to all kinds of actors and intends to foster interactions between various stakeholders such as scientists, practitioners, social movements, civil society and policy makers, by facilitating knowledge sharing and common action

Duration and Location : 2.5 days (half day on Friday afternoon for farm visits). Location: ISARA, Lyon (France).

Aardwerk werd uigenodigd een bijdrage te leveren aan de discussie:
Permaculture Design vs. Design in Agroecology. Same, same but different?

Agroecology Europe Forum:

  1. In your experience, what elements of design in permaculture are functional in terms of sustainable or regenerative agriculture (or else)?

  2. What elements fulfil both, an aesthetic and a productive function – what elements are mostly aesthetic?

  3. In what respect would ‘the whole’ be more than ‘its elements’?

  4. With regards to the previous questions, what farms would you propose as of “lighthouse character”.


  1. Asking about differences and similarities between Agroecology and Permaculture may be less productive then you may think.
    Instead I’d like to contribute a third option into the mix of this forum: Permaculture: beyond agroecology.Applying permaculture design philosophy consistently to the challenges of our human society leads inevitable to only one outcome: mobile lifestyles in a common public space. Where food is concerned this means that we design edible elements in public space that are maintenance free with the understanding that humans harvest and return nutrients as they travel through the common foodscape.
    This is nothing new, but still a disruptive concept in our world. It proposes to undo the almost fatal mistakes of the “invention” of agriculture and resuming our evolution as an egalitarian omnivore and convivial social species that thrives on discovery, sharing and caring for our inner and outer cosmos.
  2. All of the permaculture design philosophy, ethics and principles come into play here. In traditional design “form follows function” is accepted as a fundamental touchstone. From physics and chemistry we know that form leads function. What is formed well will function well. Which brings us to the aesthetics of design: our sensory experience of things that work well are pleasant (harmony) and things that don’t work well are unpleasant (dissonant).
  3. The behavior of the whole emerges from the behavior of its elements – basic systems thinking. However not all collections of elements constitute a whole. The elements need connection, their inputs and outputs need to feed each other in meaningful ways. The emergent behavior cannot be reduced to the sum of the constituent behaviors, but consists of a new level of complex behaviors in relation to other systems. etc.
  4. Lighthouse examples of the concept of productive commons are… amazingly every thriving ecosystem, not designed by modern industry, terrestrial, aquatic, marine.