Can networks help communities become more sustainable, equitable and just? Properly designed, they can support informed decision making and self-organization, a key principle of resilient systems and permaculture design, and critical to sustainability. Some have suggested there are benefits to be gained in “weaving together indigenous culture, permaculture, and digital culture” integrating natural resources, social relationships and culture into a single system. Homegrown tools like these lists, the Green Resource Hub, Swidjit and the Tompkins County Time Bank are beginning to leverage these opportunities locally, providing new and innovative ways for us to collaborate our way to a better future.
Of course in an increasingly networked world, such opportunities also come with complications, bringing our differences and disagreements more clearly into focus. And now that everyone has a podium to spout their beliefs from, the basis of facts, knowing, believing and acting are becoming increasingly tangled (and in some cases disconnected).