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What is Cultural Emergence?

"Permaculture" as a vision of Bill Mollison and David Holmgren started as PERMAnent agriCULTURE.
However, since the principles can be applied to anything in life, it is now more thought of as PERMAnent CULTURE.

What is Cultural Emergence?

Cultural Emergence is personal and social permaculture on a new level. Where permaculture looks at patterns in nature, Cultural Emergence looks at patterns in behavior and thinking. Regenerative agriculture becomes regenerative culture. How do we accept personal leadership and create a shared responsibility for a regenerative culture in which everything and everyone thrives?

With permaculture you do your best to make powerful combinations between a plant and the soil and between plants themselves. In this process, we humans are like a conductor of an orchestra: we help the whole by creating a balanced system.
Cultural Emergence is about personal leadership based on permaculture ethics and systems thinking. Conductor of your own life, with yourself as the orchestra.

How do you make effective connections between people or even groups? How do you learn from nature and connect with it to strengthen your own foundation? How do you become aware of a culture and what can you do to positively influence it?

Culture has a visible part (in music, stories, celebrations, symbols, rewards, how long can you have your fingernails...) and a less visible part. Our values, ethics and morals for example, status and the definition of success, what brings shame, what should you do when you are old...

Cultural Emergence: a toolbox for permanent regenerative culture

What if permaculture ideas were universally applied in all cultures? What if systems thinking and design thinking were the standard and people made their decisions based on principles and permaculture ethics (care for the earth, for people and for the future)? What if we nurtured relationships like gardens, and connections grew like companion plants or tree guilds or even an entire food forest?

Ten years ago, Looby Macnamara brought us a permaculture design system with which you can also design non-land-based projects (book People and Permaculture).
This idea grew further and wider, into a toolbox for social and personal permaculture, called “Cultural Emergence”.

In May 2023 I will facilitate a Cultural Emergence and Permaculture - design for change course here at Bogata Šuma. Click the link if you are interested.

Barbara Scheltus

More about Cultural Emergence (and a free taster course to get to know some of the tools) >

Order the book from Looby Macnamara >

Help manifesting a Cultural Emergence card deck >


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Bogata Šuma

about us
you're welcome
the name Bogata Suma
"eco" for us
self sufficienct living

Barbara Scheltus
Peter Scheltus

digital nomads welcome!

artist in residence

eco venue Croatia
venue with organic food
venue pictures

picture gallery
pictures forest garden
pictures natural home
pictures ecological garden


Permaculture farm in Croatia

permaculture @ Bogata Suma
permaculture principles 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
our permaculture designs
natural resources
compost and fertilizers

goat stable
rabbit palace
chicken garden design
permaculture greenhouse
forest gardens
food forest
food savannah
net and pan orchard
tree guillds
garden projects
- terraced garden beds
- keyhole gardens
- edible fence
natural playground
natural playground design
the house
strawbale insulation
compost toilet
summer kitchen
natural swim pond


What we do

calender of workshops & courses
permaculture workshops
Cultural Emergence
permaculture teacher Barbara Scheltus

Country Life Academy

micro restaurant The Table

volunteering with us
volunteers about us
pictures with volunteers

Camping in nature

in Google maps

Camping in nature
Our permaculture camp site

"eco" for us
Welcome at our table
Our ideas about food

venue in nature in Croatia
venue with catering
venue pictures


Bogata Šuma,   Call +385-95-5555677,   mail