Down To Earth is one part of a year of activity co-creating the Neighbourhood Doughnut, inspired by Kate Raworth, the team at Doughnut Economics Action Lab, and communities around the world reimagining regenerative economic systems to be distributive by design.

Building on from our Co-creation Week #1 in July, through Down To Earth we are proud to join with people and other living creatures all over the city and across the UK organising as part of Great Big Green Week, the biggest event for climate and nature ever in the UK.

Beneath Our Feet
 
"Essentially, all life depends upon the soil."

Charles Kellogg
 
Soil is the natural element that connects and could help to heal all nine planetary boundaries identified by climate scientists, and no other single variable that plays such a significant role across all of life's earth supporting systems. It is a home for worms and fungi, provides nutrients for healthy plants for us to eat and make use of, and even builds microbial health benefits in the air we breathe. Yet how much thought do we give to the substance of the land beneath us?

Restoring Relationship
 
"Restoring land without restoring relationship is an empty exercise. It is relationship that will endure and relationship that will sustain the restored land."

Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
 
The soil that is the foundation of almost all of our ecosystems is not inert, but full of life, made up of tiny superhero organisms which make vital environmental processes happen. Similarly the social foundations of our neighbourhoods create the fertile conditions from which our ideas, dreams and the changes we want to see can really take root; grounded in place, and only possible through relationships. How do we connect to one another in order to organise in our places? How can we reconnect with the land and the many other organisms that we share it with?
 
Another World Is Possible

"Throwaway culture in Portuguese was translated back as 'the culture of the discarded'. We can find ourselves discarded. On one level, compost as a practice doesn't make waste, but at a deeper level it's a parable; a sign of everything that has been made.
When you take things that the world says are not valuable, whether they're people or things, and you put them in certain relationships then you're saying no to the throwaway culture. You somehow interrupt this narrative and say another world is possible."

— Samuel Ewell

Did you know that we can make soil from so many of the things that we discard as waste? This means there is so much to learn about how to generate the life-giving substances we need to power circular, 21st Century, regenerative neighbourhoods from practising, understanding and valuing these processes. Not only might another world actually be possible, but perhaps we already have everything we need to create it and are just looking in the wrong way, in the wrong places, and using the wrong means. It will be this (re)imagination of what is already here that will get us to more regenerative, just, caring futures together.
 
Join us in South Loop Park, Rotton Park Street, Birmingham, B16 0AE, from Saturday 18th - Sunday 26th September 2021 for a range of activities for us to come together around soil, seeds, stories and superheroes, from sketching walks to retrofit learning sessions.

For the full schedule for all ages to participate in, please visit bit.ly/DownToEarth21



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