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New Society Publishers Spring 2020

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Human Permaculture
Life Design for Resilient Living
By (author): Bernard Alonso By (author): Cécile Guiochon Translated by: Scott Irving Illustrated by: Marie Quilvin
9780865719316 Paperback, Trade, Sewn English, Translated from: French General Trade SELF-HELP / Green Lifestyle Sep 01, 2020 Print Run: 5000
$29.99 CAD
Active 8.5 x 8.5 x 0.52 in | 1.04 lb 240 pages B&W illustrations throughout (approx 150) 100% recycled content FSC certified – recycled C016245 New Society Publishers

Harness the power of permaculture to change yourself and become a regenerative force for the planet.



As climate change, ecological decline, and social breakdown start to bite, people expect that governments will solve our problems. Yet this belief has proven to be false. Rather than looking to others, changes must come from the inside out: transforming the "I" to "we," changing the world by changing ourselves, and re-establishing our deep connection to nature.

Human Permaculture is a powerful, forward-thinking guide that uses permaculture principles of ecological design rooted in people care, Earth care, and fair share for redesigning your life and community to align with the resources available on the planet.

Richly illustrated and inspiring, Human Permaculture offers specific actions and tools for adopting an ethical, regenerative way of life. Coverage includes:

  • Human permaculture principles
  • A nine-step ecological and social life design process
  • Discovering your personal niche
  • Stimulating the permaculture "edge effect" to work with others in efficient teams
  • Rediscovering our deep connections to water, soil, forests, and caring for nature.

This guide is for everyone who wants to find their own meaning in life, put their talents at the service of the environment, live ethically, and navigate the great transition we face in a future of climate change and energy decline.

Bernard Alonso is co-founder of the Collaborative International University of Transition and a human permaculture facilitator, speaker, coach, and project designer. He lives in Quebec, Canada. www.permacultureinternationale.org

Cécile Guiochon is a French journalist and holder of a Permaculture Design Certificate. She co-founded KerWatt, which develops citizen projects renewable energy in Brittany, France. www.e-ker.org


  • Alonso is the co-founder of the l'Université Collaborative Internationale de la Transition (Collaborative International University of Transition)
  • A leading permaculture instructor, he has been developing the concept of Human Permaculture since 1999
  • Applies the concepts of permaculture to human societies
  • This unique permaculture approach has not been previously published
  • The "missing piece" of classical permaculture design
  • Helps the reader identify their specific life purpose or niche
  • Inspires readers to take action to transform their lives
  • Explains how humans are genetically programmed to work in teams, clans, and groups
  • Specific actions for transforming relationships in groups
  • Simple tools for creating personal change, designing a meaningful life, working in teams, and building community
  • Includes information on economy, housing, food, and relationships
  • Incorporates left- and right-brain thinking
  • Tips for building solid work teams
  • Games and exercises for working in groups
  • Easy-to-follow, step-by-step tools and exercises, no prior knowledge required
  • Illustrated with hundreds of fun, beautiful line drawings and easy-to-read charts
  • Show how to examine your life through the three ethics of Permaculture - earth care, people care, and fair shares - and how to apply the twelve Permaculture principles to whole life redesign.
  • Accessible to every reader
  • New Society Publishers are committed to the highest environmental practices in the industry, including: printing all their books in North America, on 100% post-consumer recycled FSC-certified paper, using vegetable-based, low-VOC inks; and offsetting their emissions to make all of their business operations carbon neutral and is proudly B Corp certified. Their books are so Green you could eat them!

Audience: Millennials searching for a meaningful and fulfilling future, 30-somethings looking for a lifestyle change, associations working in teams, human resource managers, educators

Canada: Alonso's farm in Frelighsburg, QC, is well-known as the first to produce edible insects in Quebec.

Bernard Alonso has been a permaculture practitioner since 1993, and he is the co-founder of the Collaborative International University of Transition (UCIT). Increasingly in demand as a facilitator, speaker, coach/project designer, Alonso makes himself available around the world to promote the application of his effective human permaculture tools. His reputation as a coach attracts businesses, associations, schools, and groups in search of change who wish to make sense of their actions to rebuild or build their own life design. He currently resides in Quebec, Canada. www.permacultureinternationale.org

Cécile Guiochon is a French journalist and works on topics related to the ecological transition. Holder of a Permaculture Design Certificate, she co-created in Brittany, France, the association E-Kêr, Where We Live – in the Breton language, which is raising awareness on climate issues. She is co-founder of the company KerWatt, which develops citizen renewable energy projects in Brittany, France. www.e-ker.org

"In the times of rapid and deep transition that we find ourselves in, we need the right tools at our disposal. We need to be imaginative, playful, effective, resourceful, and we need to roll our sleeves up and do stuff. But at the same time, we need templates, principles, and a lens through which to see the possibilities before us. Human Permaculture provides that — a distilled crash course in how to think in a way the future needs us to think. Vital reading."
— Rob Hopkins, author, From What Is to What If, founder, Transition movement

"I am encouraged that so many permaculture practitioners, designers, teachers and activists are finding their voices in writing about permaculture and I am sure your book will make a contribution in that process and I personally wish you well with the book."
— Dr. David Holmgren, Permaculture co-originator

"By closely examining the second directive of permaculture — people care — this beautifully illustrated book applies design science to one of the oldest questions ever asked: what makes a good life? The younger you are, the sooner you need to read this."
— Albert Bates, author, The Biochar Solution and Burn

"This is an outstanding book bringing together the theory and the practice of the most enlightened way of growing food, harvesting energy, and living in harmony with our precious planet Earth. It is an inspirational, as well as a practical, book. It celebrates the soil, nourishes the soul, and sustains the human spirit."
— Satish Kumar, author, Elegant Simplicity, founder, Schumacher College

"This book could not have arrived at a more crucial time. The coronavirus pandemic has upended our food system, requiring us to rethink it quickly and in broad strokes. The principles for doing so, to the benefit of people and planet, are all contained herein. Accessible, well-grounded, and profound."
— Richard Heinberg, author, The End of Growth, Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute

"We know how to bring massive change for the better to the whole world and its environments. It is the human element that blocks that progress. This book helps unlock that block so we can bring meaningful change for the good of this planet."
—Stefan Sobkowiak, MSc, MLA, teacher, presenter, and orchardist at Miracle Farms, featured in the film The Permaculture Orchard: Beyond Organic

"Human Permaculture expands the goal of creating self-sustaining agricultural systems towards the vision of creating regenerative human ecosystems. This book serves as a guide for anyone wanting to create a more sustainable lifestyle for their family, business, or community. Rather than working alone on self-sufficient homesteads, Human Permaculture outlines tools to bring people together towards collaborative solutions for all."
— Thomas J. Elpel, author, Botany in a Day and Green Prosperity

"Human Permaculture invites each of us to deliberately design our lives so we can more fully realize our own potential, while also contributing to greater collective abundance, and working with all other life forms to co-create regenerative ecosystems. People who understand the importance of the "human angle" and have been thirsting for more works along the lines of Looby Macnamara's People & Permaculture, will find Human Permaculture a welcome addition to their bookshelves."
— Jenny Nazak, author, Deep Green, blogger, www.jennynazak.com

"Human Permaculture opens up our minds — with humour, well researched facts, fascinating examples of real-life permaculture projects, and interesting graphics — to the idea that designing an environmentally respectful life is within our reach. We find out that permaculture is not just practised in agriculture, but that it is a set of life-principles we can learn to use, in order to become "artisans of change," for the recovery of the planet. I highly recommend this book."
— Elizabeth Serreau, head librarian, French American International School

"Human Permaculture is the book that so many have been waiting for. It widens the territory of permaculture to more fully include the need to not just redesign what we manage in the environment but, more foundationally, ourselves and our ways of understanding and living in the world. This is an essential resource for all who want to make a meaningful, equitable, nurturing, and ecologically sustainable contributions to our shared future."
— Stuart B Hill, Emeritus Professor, Western Sydney University, NSW, Australia

"At last! This book establishes the design of the individual and collective human "system" firmly as a priority in permaculture! It also shows us many examples of how humans can learn and have learned from nature's elegant solutions to systemic problems."
— Jessie Darlington, permaculture trainer and designer

"A must read for anyone exploring permaculture, looking to reconnect with their deep relationship with Mother Nature, and how we can transform ourselves and society with Her benevolence."
— Krishna McKenzie, Solitude Farm, www.krishnamckenzie.com

"I loved the part on diet, especially the summary of the many adaptations that other species have made, as guidance for our own dietary choices. This is vital information for our species, we now have such choice of what to eat that we seem to be lost at best, or worse still, engaged in our own destruction, via soil loss biodiversity loss and pollution of air, land, and sea."
— Andrew Darlington, permaculture trainer and designer

"This is the book for people who want to apply permaculture in their personal lives. It will join the canon of social permaculture together with Looby MacNamara's People & Permaculture."
— Rosemary Morrow, Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute, author, Earth User's Guide to Permaculture

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