Living Systems

Living Systems



What does it mean to participate in the living web of a place?

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Inspired by the research on living systems by thinkers like James Lovelock, Lynn Margulis, Humberto Maturana, and Francisco Varela, I embarked on a personal research project to deepen my connection with the living world around me. I believe learning is a lifelong, self-directed process of inquiry, so I aligned this research with the Open Master's unschooling framework.

Living systems is an inherently multi-perspectival field as it investigates the nature of life in its entangled interactions. I sought to create a curriculum that drew from many disciplines: ecology, physics, contemplative studies, phenomenology, and indigeneity. I also sought to bridge objective study with subjective experience and applied practice. The result was a combination of online courses, in-person workshops, books, group study, ecosystem immersions, gardening, forestry, beekeeping, construction, volunteering, medicine work, and writing.

I have been particularly moved by the lineage of bioregionalism and have used this study as an opportunity to understand where I'm at, both at home in the Santa Cruz Mountains (Awaswas territory) and wherever I go.

My curriculum is available open-source here.

I have been publishing some reflections as I go, including a guide to climate tipping points, lessons on resilience from algae, climate solutions from speculative fiction, and a guide to investing in the regenerative economy.