Her current main project is to ponder over holistic adult education, as an individual self created/self responsible life long learning journey that is well supported in community, as describe here:
Sarah Smuts Kennedy, an inspiring social artist, introduced me at a breathtaking pace to the ‘For The Love of Bees’, a bee social sculptural project that is animating bee life in Auckland. We went to the Bee School at the historic Campbell Free kindergarten at Victoria Park. This is a carbon reducing, biological and community art project to strengthen inner city living conditions for humans and our long suffering bee population.
Sarah Smuts Kennedy and Taarati Taiaroa
For The Love Of Bees is a living social sculpture that imagines Auckland as the safest city in the world for bees. Our project offers opportunities for businesses, students, individuals, schools, community gardens, brand partners and beekeepers to collaborate and produce a vision that will live on through the city of Auckland for years to come. By working in collaboration with Auckland Council Parks and Activate Auckland we are creating an ecosystem that supports thriving beehive colonies by introducing hives and focusing on the quality and quantity of flowers throughout our city. Sarah animated a wide-ranging conversation, inviting a young teenage beekeeper along to teach children about bees, talking about the developing OMG partnership with CRL over leasing a ‘waste’ lot for a bee garden, education and organic pocket park, explaining the biodynamic peppering approach to deterring slugs and snails-and more included . Questions explored the scarcity of organic and biodynamic produce in NZ, how NZ communal land needed re-imagining, ‘some land is never owned’.;land access for gardening, allotments and community gardens and Maori views of the very notion of ‘ownership’ being problematic..guardian, or custodianship better?How to introduce more profound biological knowledge? How to rebuild models of collaborative action, and support others initiatives, but in a linked up way.
George Monbiot’s article, Dont let the Rich get even Richer on the assets we all share is a welcome article introducing the Commons- a resource such as land, water , air or minerals, research, software; secondly a community of people who have shared or equal rights to this resource, and organise themselves to manage it; third the rules, systems and agreements they develop to sustain and allocate the benefits.
What a privilege to be invited on a learning, research and lecture trip to New Zealand by Carolyn Hughes and friends. I am looking forward to learning exchanges and conversations with people and projects, as my impression of New Zealand is that there are very many positive things going on, like Lumio and coopocracy to start with! Here is the itinerary FYI.:
Auckland: Monday 2nd October: 7.30pm- 9pm.
“Great Oaks from Little Acorns Grow: How the UK Biodynamic Land Trust provides affordable farmland access to young farmers.” Venue: Rudolf Steiner House, 104 Michaels Avenue, Ellerslie, Auckland
Tuesday 3rd October: 7.30-9pm. “Co-creating the Social Future: working towards Common Wealth.” Rudolf Steiner House, 104 Michaels Avenue, Ellerslie, Auckland
Otane, Hawkes Bay: Wednesday 4th October: 6pm shared dinner (bring a plate). 7.30-9.00pm: “Farming for Life”: Regenerative farming and making farmland accessible for new entrant farmers.
Greg Hart, Mangarara Station owner/farmer and Carolyn will be co-speakers.
Venue: The Eco-Lodge, Mangarara Station- The Family Farm. 298 Mangarara Rd, RD2, Otane, Hawkes Bay. For map: www.mangarara.co.nz
Hastings: Friday 6th and Sunday 8th October: Both days 8.45am to 10.30 am. Martin Large is the NZ Anthroposophical Conference’s keynote speaker and panel member on the theme “Echoes from the Future: what is our response?” For more information and online bookings see www.anthroposophy.org.nz
Wellington: Monday 9th October. 5.30pm – 8pm. Talk and conversation on “Co-creating a Common Wealth Society.” At Enspiral Dev Academy, 275 Cuba St, Te Aro, Wellington. Silvia Zuur is part of https://enspiral.com/
Tuesday 10th October: 12.30-1.30pm. Talk and conversation on “Shock Capitalism or Common Wealth? Free, Equal, Earthcaring and Mutual: Rebalancing Society.”
Venue: St Andrews on the Terrace, 30 The Terrace, Wellington. Details will be on
Nelson: Wednesday 11th October 7.30-9pm. Talk and conversation “Shock Capitalism or Common wealth? Creating the Future we want.”
Motueka: 12th – 13th October:
Lyttelton: Monday 16th October: Full day visit to Lyttelton hosted by Margaret Jefferies and Project Lyttelton (PL) www.lyttelton.net.nz/
Study visit to learn about PL’s projects eg the Time Bank, Farmers Market, Community Garden etc and how the early work they did to build the cohesion and resilience of the local community which was so important after the big earthquake.
6pm- 8pm: Talk and conversation followed by supper. “The Social Future is Breaking out Everywhere: Co-creating our Commonwealth society.”
Christchurch: 17th October: 11am a talk and conversation with ohu http://www.ohu.nz/
Depart NZ: Wednesday 18th
Check out Barton Kunstler’s moving article on Nation of Change, for both Louis’ Armstrong’s life message, compared with what’s happening now in Trump’s America and the world…. https://www.nationofchange.org/2017/05/23/what-a-wonderful-world/
In 1967 Louis Armstrong sang “What a Wonderful World”, written for him by Bob Thiele and George Weiss, who had in mind the tumultuous backdrop of the Vietnam War and the ongoing struggle for civil rights, which amplified the song’s power. Armstrong himself addresses this in his spoken introduction to his performance:
Some of you young folks been sayin’ to me, “Hey Pops, what do you mean ‘what a wonderful world? How about all them wars all over the place? You call them wonderful? And how about hunger and pollution? That ain’t so wonderful either.’ But how about listenin’ to old Pops for a minute. Seems to me it ain’t the world that’s so bad but what we are doing to it. And all I am saying is see what a wonderful world it would be if only we’d give it a chance.
Today’s political context is as relevant to the song as it was 50 years ago. Yet it is unsullied by that ugliness. So I thought I’d present the lyrics as a commentary on today’s political scene because I believe the song, much like a magical incantation, possesses its own mysterious healing powers.
Sung towards the end of his life, “What a Wonderful World” captures what Armstrong himself brought to the world:
I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom, for me and for you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world.
These lines possess a perfect simplicity, as if polished by thousands of years of experience. They emerge as if we were seeing green trees and red roses for the first time, or perhaps in old age for the last time. The second line is the magical one, though: there are trees and roses and someone sees them bloom and through the generosity of the heart, he at once wants to share this miracle “for me and for you”. Only then can he think, “What a wonderful world.” It’s not just the trees, roses, color, or bloom – the “for me and for you” is the core of the wonder.
Then cut to Trump threatening to savage the National Parks through development and fracking. Witness the oil pimps lining up for new pipelines…the Koch brothers appointing the head of the CIA…the Secretary of Education closing schools and cutting school lunch programs while her brother, head of his own mercenary force, advises Trump on foreign policy from behind a dark curtain. We see environmental regulations tossed overboard by beady-eyed men doing their masters’ bidding, congratulating one another because they managed to raise the price on their souls another 10 or 50 thousand bucks.
I wonder at those seeking to undermine the Endangered Species Act so they can kill grizzlies and wolves and mountain lions as trophies of their pitifully perverse sense of manhood. They can’t wait to reverse the progress made in cleaning up our waterways, gut regulations aimed at keeping our food fresh and uninfected with lethal bacteria, and abolish limits on all forms of pollution. Where Thiele, Weiss, and Armstrong see the possibility of beauty and connection, our politicians see only profit in destroying and despoiling. And the profits they reap? That economy they so devoutly claim requires this destruction? They hide most of the profits to avoid taxes, robbing society even of the collateral social goods that their spoliation is supposed to produce.
I see skies of blue, clouds of white
Bright blessed days. dark sacred nights
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world
‘On commoning and the commons
Commoning is a social practice within a framework set by the commons as a structure and common arrangement. The commons can be seen as the foundation of a convivialist society, commoning as its living expression. Hence commons are not goods even though they are often described as such. And goods are not commons because of their “natural” properties but because we treat them as such. Therefore we can essentially describe the commons as an institutionalised, legal, and infrastructural arrangement for a practice – commoning – in which we collaboratively organise and take responsibility for the use, maintenance and production of diverse resources. The rules of commoning are (ideally) set by equal peers whose needs are at the focus of a shared process. Opportunities for individual growth and self-development are combined with the search for shared solutions, meaningful activities with extended and deepened relationships, and the creation of material abundance with the care for others and for nature. Living together like this was and still is practised to various degrees all over the world. In the process, commoning has to be repeatedly scrutinised, updated and rehearsed in order to remain embedded in every day life. This can never be taken for granted, and needs a suitable framework which currently we can rarely find.
The results of commoning traditionally consist of the sustainable use of natural resources such as forests, water or soil. For example this is the case with irrigation systems for which the people affected (commoners) give themselves rules for the shared use that enable a long-term fulfilment of needs (irrigation of fields, protection of water quality etc.). At the same time commoning can serve as the basis for the creation of something new: knowledge, hardware, software, food or a roof over the head. Basically there is nothing that cannot be thought of and designed as a commons. In the end our perspective may be to even view human society itself as the shared good – as our Common Wealth – which we have to make our own in practise and shape together according to our needs. In the end our perspective may be to even view human society itself as the shared good – as our Common Wealth – which we have to make our own in practise and shape together according to our needs. However, at present, humanity seems to be very distant from this perspective.’