What’s a regenerative approach to ending sexual harassment?

Permaculture and a regenerative approach to ending sexual harassment

Permaculture and a regenerative approach to ending sexual harassment

By Karryn Olson


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This is a conversation I’ve been wanting to have since I wrote this article calling for widespread action to adopt anti-harassment policies in permaculture.

Policies are sorely necessary, but not sufficient!

They belong to the “compliance” and “do less harm” mindsets that also render sustainability efforts impotent… because they don’t release the creativity, nor build the capacity of individuals and communities to think regeneratively, and design regenerative culture.


If you work in the field of permaculture, you probably consider yourself a systems thinker and designer.

Systems thinkers and designers know that there is great power in boldly identifying regenerative visions of what we want to create.

For example, Looby Macnamara is asking questions that explore how we can design for a world that is safe for women and children here.

Let’s move beyond compliance and instead, vision and manifest communities that nurture each human into their fullest contribution towards co-creating our regenerative future!


But in the mean time, we also need to deploy short-term solutions to protect folks from being sexually harassed in permaculture.

Because sexual harassment in workplaces and organizations is real, and it affects women disproportionately in our lives and livelihoods, and this means that the wider community suffers when women burn out or retreat back into women-only spaces to feel safe.

We need to enact these types of solutions efficiently, with resolve, at local, regional, national, and international levels.

After I wrote the article about the need for Anti-Harassment policy, people asked for resources. I’ve been working with a few folks to document a bunch of them.

EDIT on 4/13/20: But knowing this is not the endpoint, I share this link to a working draft google doc that lists some policy-based approaches and best patterns, but it is titled Regenerative Approaches to Ending Sexual Harassment: Topics & Resources because I also ask some questions aiming to help us have a conversation around how we can actually be “regenerative” in our approach to this hot-potato topic.

If you’d like to contribute, you could either comment on the google doc, or comment below.

After you read through the google doc, you are invited to share:

What questions might you contribute to help frame the dialog regarding regenerative approaches to ending sexual harassment?

What would characterize short-term interventions that are more regenerative — enabling us to heal current damage done and also create new positive possibilities?

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