Measure and Learn
We use resilience science, systems biomimicry and traditional ecological knowledge to develop metrics of the focal social-ecological system (SES) as it has and is changing over diverse scales of time, place and pace. An example is the concept of ecological performance standards (EPS), essentially utilizing a robust, healthy historical SES to analyze the current system and develop metrics aimed at enhancing adaptive capacity. EPS formed the basis of Biomimicry 3.8's work in "cities as forests" and related ecosystem scale biomimicry. Deliverables take form as a report summarizing the focal system (i.e., city, site or building) as immersed and embedded within diverse scales of time, place and pace. These metrics are then applied at a project or city scale to inform decision making regarding city scale infrastructure, land use/zoning frameworks, etc.
We integrate adaptation strategies based on resilience science, local and TEK, biomimicry and related sources into comprehensive plan and resilience based planning processes for building, neighborhood and city scale initiatives. Two examples of our past work here are implementing a city scale deconstruction planning process based on resilience science and utilizing a nature based process for the revitalization of one of the most culturally diverse and impoverished neighborhoods in the US (using the USGBC LEED for Neighborhood Development and HOMES rating systems).
Communicate and Engage
Here, we utilize TEK, resilience science processes and best practices (e.g., the Wayfinder framework, RAPTA and the RA Practitioner's and Scientist's workbooks) to communicate and engage with diverse stakeholders, aiming to find unity in our diversity or what the Haundensaunee Confederacy refers to the "power of the good minds," i.e., collective action. Past deliverables here are managing complex community initiatives and stakeholder outreach for a city deconstruction initiative and forming a nonprofit to educate the "doers" who construct our physical infrastructure in adaptive health and resilient construction strategies, systems, materials and technologies. Build Physical Infrastructure. We are a construction manager focusing on building homes that enhance adaptive health and resilience (for occupants as well as the surrounding community). We also are consultants and verifiers of passive, zero energy/carbon and sustainable multifamily residential and mixed use projects.
Shift Management Practices
Here we gratefully follow the findings and vision of the UN Group of Spiritual and Parliamentarian Leaders and related sources such as Donella Meadows, in advocating for "Value Change for Survival" and identifying the key leverage points in systems. We humbly believe that developing an awareness of our values (whether individual, governmental or institutional) and underlying paradigm which (at times) unconsciously drives decision making is the most pragmatic means to encourage adaptation activities. Here, we frequently give lectures and trainings using our constructed projects to advocate for adaptive change and enhancing adaptive capacity and health.
Changing Policy and Law
Here, our work utilizes a discipline within resilience science, adaptive law, which focuses on reworking legal processes and frameworks to become adaptive and iterative, and to embrace complexity, diversity and uncertainty. Deliverables here include analyses of existing legal frameworks, particularly within New York State, in land use, sustainability planning and related areas, to shift the fundamental processes to accommodate change and enhance adaptive capacity.