Rakesh (Rootsman Rak)

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Rakesh2The name of your business: Ecological Designs

Web page link: http://www.ecologicaldesigns.co.uk/

Contact: through webpage



What is your Livelihood? Your role?
My main focus has been as a designer, facilitator and teacher. I facilitate Permaculture design and ecology, getting more and more involved in the social Permaculture to enhance my own capacity in this area. I’m very good at understanding complex systems and simplifying them, which comes from my background in IT consultancy. I was working with fault tolerant UNIX systems: designing computers that never ever crash. By designing in redundancy and ensuring no single points of failure I can guarantee when components die, the system keeps on running.

Through this in combination with being in love with nature, I’ve been able to understand ecology. I tend to see things as patterns, perhaps due to dyslexia. In this way I can hold very complex patterns in my mind and work with them, whereas trying to memorize a list of ten things is impossible!

How does your work align with the PC ethics?
Right from early age, Permaculture ethics aligned with my life, from what my family taught me and from my spiritual background (Ananda Marga).

How does your work align with the principles of PC?
I use principles in the decision making processes, so that I can see problems and solutions from different perspectives, avoiding loosing energy. I’ve always worked with these principles, to me it’s a very logical thing to do. When I took my PDC I realized that I had already used all the principles throughout my life. I work with Holmgren’s 12 principles, Mollison’s attitudinal as well as a set of ecological principles. In addition to these sets I also have my own set of principles which help to compliment the rest. They are all used at the same time: multiple functions, multiple elements, maximizing edge, redundancy, etc … I can’t prioritize any. The principles help me to look at a problem, to be able to see the possibilities from as many angles as possible. For example if I have two elements placed next to each other because they have a strong connection, then I go through the principles to see if there are more connections and to avoid a single point of failure: creating resilient systems.

What percentage of your income do you earn from PC?
I live more or less exclusively from Permaculture. I have simplified my life to decrease the expenses. My daily income comes from facilitating Permaculture, Sociocracy, making photovoltaic panels, rocket stoves, Appropriate Technologies. I’ve “kicked off” about 9 Transition Town Initiatives in Europe and got involved in teaching on many .

What’s your best advice for someone entering a PC-based livelihood?
To recognize you’re not going to become rich by teaching Permaculture! Simplify your life, so that most of your needs are met. Whatever you are going to earn from Permaculture, money wise, will be topping up/additional income. You can also explore Gift Economy, which gives me about 30% of my total income. If you want to open up for more people to come to workshops, be more flexible in how they contribute, what they can give.

Other thoughts?
Permaculture must be FUN! It’s serious, but it must be fun. We’re trying to get the world back on track, taking care of each other and of the Earth. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, then you’re on the wrong track. Permaculture is so logical that in the future people will look back and say “People had to teach this?!”. One day Permaculture will be common sense in a world where today, we don’t follow common sense any more. The world has been brainwashed into ignoring what is common sense and making the right decisions. Permaculture can get us back to the point where we can start following common sense again, and that process to get us there is what I’m facilitating!