The potential of eco-facturing to re-generate rural-urban balance through eco-villages and city hubs: promoting social and environmental justice through vocational education and training hubs
Keywords:design principles, vocational education and training, eco-villages and hubs, cyclical economy, cycles in nature, food webs, water flows
The paper proposes an alternative cyclical economy based on eco-villages supporting urban hubs to re-generate rural-urban balance based on eco-facturing, to use Gunter Pauli’s concept. Africa and Asia are two of the fastest urbanising areas globally.
The development of eco-villages supporting the ‘one village many enterprises’ concept currently applied in Indonesia relies on responsive design.
The development of eco-facturing using local products such as cassava for bioplastics, bamboo for biochar and fair trade, free range luwark coffee are discussed as three examples of ecofacturing that are currently being developed in Indonesia. The potential for eco-facturing to be applied in Southern Africa and Ghana is currently being explored using bamboo and cassava in appropriate areas and exploring a suitable cash crop. Coffee is one option, but many others such as red bush tea, aloes as well as a host of local herbs could be explored with Indigenous holders of wisdom. Some core design principles are suggested outlined by Christakis and members of Global Agoras community of practice and affiliates. Salience, trust and engagement to protect living systems and the people who are affected need to be involved in the decision-making process
These principles are discussed in the paper together with the importance of ‘being the change’ through expanding pragmatism to consider the social, economic and environmental implications of choices. Systemic Ethical decisions honour ‘freedom and diversity’ to the extent that freedom and diversity are not undermined by power imbalances. The paper reflects on the content of two forthcoming volumes, namely:
- Mixed Methods and Cross Disciplinary Research: Towards Cultivating Ecosystemic Living. Springer, New York.
- Democracy and Governance for Resourcing the Commons: Theory and Practice on Rural-Urban Balance. Springer, New York.
The policy approach could be said to be informed by the principle of subsidiarity and Ashby’s rule , namely that policy decisions need to be made at the lowest level possible and the complexity of design decisions need to match the complexity of the local residents. The papers in the two volumes make the case for residents to act as caretakers for local living systems. The paper maps out design principles and makes the case that all living systems are in constant motion and design needs to respond in ways that generate energy, rather than extracting energy at the expense of this generation and the next.
- Profit is nothing less than energy extracted at the expense of people and the planet. Alternative forms of organisation are possible to support ‘wellbeing stocks’ to cite Joseph Stiglitz.