The PROUT Institute finds similarity and complementary of approach in Permaculture and in applied PROUT. Both start from remarkably similar ethical principles. Both emphasize use of design principles in developing practical projects. And both take into consideration zones and sectors in applying design principles.
The difference between the two approaches is in the respective realms of application of their design principles. Permaculture design principles were originally developed to guide sustainable resource management — though their use has been expanded into the design of community level social and economic structures.
PROUT’s realm of concern is the socio-economic sphere. At the most local level, PROUT’s focus is the creation of “integrated development schemes” — projects which expand Permaculture ecovillages into self-sufficient development projects. At this level, there is a marked overlap between PROUT and traditional Permaculture. And as Permaculturists proceed to scale up their projects, reaching into the design of social and economic spaces (the “invisible structures” of Permaculture), they move into realms in which the PROUT paradigm specializes.
So there is much that PROUTists and Permaculturists may learn from mutual interaction. An initial effort as exploring the intersection of the two paradigms is presented in the paper, “Principles and Guidelines for Designing a Permaculture Economy,” authored jointly by PROUTist Charles Paprocki and Permaculturist Wayne Weiseman.
The PROUT Institute has initiated collaboration around PROUT and Permaculture. Some past and projected undertakings include:
- use of the PROUT Institute’s Dharmalaya headquarters site for regional Permaculture gatherings
- a global webinar on “Designing a Permaculture Socioeconomy,” given in early 2015, by Paprocki and Weiseman
- active PROUT Institute participation in the 2015 Northwest Regional Permaculture Convergence
- PROUT Institute sponsorship of a Permaculture Food Forest Design course
- participation by PROUT Institute staff in neighborhood permaculture initiatives
- instruction participation by Institute staff in a training for Langeland, Denmark farmers and municipality staff on “Decentralized Development and Permaculture Design”
- a PROUT Institute paper that offers an in-depth theoretical comparison between PROUT and Permaculture
- development of a demonstration Permaculture food forest on the PROUT Institute president’s property and use of Permaculture practices on the Institute’s Vistara project