How do we live a life in concert with our values? • How do we make sure we are considering what we value most deeply. • What about when we feel we are having trouble moving toward what we desire in our life.
Consuming With A Conscience Phil Metzger USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service Norwich, NY
What drives the purchasing decisions you make?
How do people commonly make decisions? • Decisions are made towards a singular objective or goal. • They are based on one or more of the following factors: • advice, research, expert opinion, tradition, gut instinct, etc.
How many decisions do you make from when you get up in the morning to going to bed at night?
Holistic Management - An Alternative Decision-Making Process A process that simultaneously considers the financial, environmental, and social impacts of decisions prior to their implementation.
Managing holistically, using this different decision makingprocess, can have the following impacts: • Increased financial value with purchases. • Improved environmental impacts, better functioning of the ecosystem processes. • Positive social impacts. • Improved quality of life for all.
Managing our lives holistically can improve our ability to: • Support beneficial enterprises and economic opportunities. • Avoid expending resources on “symptoms” of problems instead of addressing root causes. • Monitor decisions to ensure that we are on the right track. • Screen advice and recommendations from others, reflect our own values and the ethics of our families and consider our desired quality of life, supporting economic, ecological and societal factors.
Holistic Management Based on an alternate world view: The World Functions as Wholes
Holistic Management Begins with defining our lives in terms of: Decision Makers Resource Base Money
The “J” Family • Decision Makers • John, Jane, son Jeff, daughter Jerri • Money • Savings Account • Checking Account • Investments • Resource Base • Parents, Relatives • Friends, Neighbors, Community • Clubs, Professional Organizations, Therapist (Julie) • Land, House, Shed, Garden • Cars, Lawn Tractor & Implements, Boat
Holistic Goal The Holistic Goal is the cornerstone of the Holistic Management decision making process. It is used to guide all decisions and therefore actions. Decisions are made based on: What we value most deeply What must be produced Future surroundings must be like?
Holistic Goal First, decision makers define the quality of life they desire. This is an expression of the wishes and aspirations of all the decision makers - it is a reflection of their shared values. Next, describe what must be produced to achieve the quality of life described. The key to this step is to define whatmust be produced not howit will be produced. (How you do things are actions, and actions are tested to see if they will move you in the direction you wish.) This account of what must be produced is called forms of production. Third, describe what the land and surrounding community must be like in the future to sustain the lives. You must also describe how they must be perceived by others to sustain their desired quality of life into the future. This portrayal of the future is called future resource base.
Holistic Goal Your Holistic Goal: • Is a reflection of what motivates you. • It is your collective sense of what is important and why. • Like magnetic north it guides, without being seen or reached. • It ensures objectives, goals and actions move you to what you want.
Generic Example: Quality of life:We desire to be financially secure, have happy fulfilling relationships, community harmony, security, time for family and friends, good health... Forms of production:profit from meaningful work, tolerant work environment, leisure time, clean water & clear running streams, diverse landscapes... Future resource base:Landscape -Effective water and mineral cycling, high biodiversity and energy flow on the surrounding land. Abundant wildlife and ... People -We are seen as friendly, caring, prompt, reliable, honest, open-minded, responsive… Community- Contains excellent health care, education and human resource services, local govt is responsive...
Personal Holistic Goal: Quality of Life:Be financially comfortable to allow for security, adventure and the ability to help others.Have a loving and fulfilling relationship with Tami; a loving, close and involved relationship with Matthew & Alexander; a close relationship and regular contact with my brothers & sisters; many close, regular contact relationships with friends and distant relatives and those I am involved with through work and other organizations. Be physically fit, spiritually enriched and intellectually challenged. Experience physical challenge and adventure.Contribute to the enrichment of our planet’s health to create a sustainable and healthy environment for future generations. Contribute to the well being of human kind. Forms of Production:Receive an acceptable salary from work I enjoy and that has meaning. Find adventure through travel and exploration of the arts. Spend time enjoying each other and growing together; stay in close contact with my sons and spend time together regularly; stay in touch with & visit on a regular basis extended family, friends and associates.Exercise regularly by participating in outdoor activities in a variety of settings & places. Read and study spiritually & intellectually enriching material. Actively participate in outdoor activities that I enjoy.Live gently, consuming less than I desire and work & volunteer in areas where I can effectively impact people and their knowledge, attitude toward a healthy planet. Participate in political and social activities.
Personal Holistic Goal (continued): Future Resource Base: People: I will have a loving close family and circle of friends. I will be seen as compassionate, honest and dignified to my family, friends and co-workers. My loved ones will value spending time with me and feel comfortable seeking me out for assistance. Those I work with will be fully aware that they are part of the effort to enrich the planet and improve the quality of life of all living things. The masses will be aware of biodiversity and the value of improving the functioning of the 4 ecosystem processes (water & mineral cycle, energy flow & community dynamics) resulting in a healthy planet. Land: The planet will be healthy and thriving a source of life due to efficient & effective water & mineral cycles, maximum energy flow and healthy community dynamics resulting in rich biodiversity throughout a diverse landscape.Community: Will include people who care about each other and their physical surroundings and understand the value of covering the soil and improving the water & mineral cycles, maximizing energy flow and encouraging biodiversity around them and where they live. Services that will improve the health, education and welfare of people will be abundant.
Testing Guidelines Holistic Management practitioners use all the common means of making decisions. In addition, you use seven testing guidelines. The testing guidelines are used to help determine whether a potential action will lead towards or away from your Holistic Goal. The testing guidelines seek to ensure that a potential action or decision: • Truly addresses the root cause of a problem • Does not adversely affect people whose support you need (create a social weak link)
Testing Guidelines Continued... • Takes into account the weakest stage of an organism’s lifecycle (biological weak link) • Addresses the most pressing element relative to your financial plan (financial weak link) • Is the best choice in terms of time and money given more than one option to choose from • Is well understood in terms of the gross profit it will generate, when considering two options • Matches up with a family’s value system for issues involving money and energy resources • Will not degrade the future resource base described in the Holistic Goal • Feels right after a “gut” check is done
Testing Guidelines Continued... Not all of the testing guidelines apply in all situations. Those that do not apply are not used. Use of the testing guidelines does not insure a perfect decision, it simply ensures that decisions are analyzed for their economic, environmental, and social impacts before being implemented.
Feedback Loop Plan Monitor Replan Control
Conventional ------- ------- ------- Objectives, Goals Tools: human creativity, money & labor, technology... Advice, research, expert opinion... ------- ------- Holistic Whole Under Management Holistic Goal Ecosystem Functioning Objectives, Goals, Tools: human creativity, money & labor, technology... Advice, research, expert opinion... Seven Testing Questions Feedback Loop Holistic Decision Making Framework Compared to Conventional Decision Making Framework
Impacts of Holistic Management? The following examples were taken from: • The Allan Savory Center for Holistic Management’s web site (http://www.holisticmanagement.org/) • Individuals I am working with • My personal / family experiences
Impact of Holistic Management on Farms and Families - Anecdotes Sandy Matheson (Washington State) - “We were in debt and getting deeper. There didn’t seem to be a way out. Our farm which traditionally lost a great deal of money, is now profitable. Pasture productivity has also increased. The plants are healthier and so are the cattle. We’re spending less money on supplemental feed. We’re proud of what we have accomplished.”
Anecdotes (continued) • CJ and Vic Vidler(Sherburne, NY) - Managing holistically has allowed us to start our business while keeping things in balance. We were very successful in our first year because we made good decisions. • Robert Pasztor (Albuquerque, NM) -”With Holistic Management, you find out what your kids think and feel and where they want to go and how you can incorporate that into the family structure. It really helps to get people to a different level of conversation no matter what relationship they have.”
My Personal Experiences • People who are part of my learning community - feel empowered to make a difference in their own lives. They are able to shake off many of the frustrations of our modern world. Some have family members expressing feelings and opinions that they have never heard before. • My personal experiences - Practicing Holistic Management has strengthened my resolve to accomplish what I truly want. It has impacted my family and allowed us to better define the life we want to live. This not only impacts our family life, but impacts our careers, community and extended family & friends.
Self-Test • How do you make decisions? • What do you consider when making a major decision? When making minor decisions? • Do you consider impacts on your family, your friends, your neighbors, the environment and your check book before moving forward with an action? If not, what is the cost in terms of the quality of your life?
PRESENTED BY: Phil Metzger, RC&D Coordinator USDA NRCS / CNY RC&D 607-334-3231 x4 firstname.lastname@example.org John Thurgood, Extension Educator Cornell University 607-865-7090 email@example.com Seth Wilner, Extension Educator University of New Hampshire 603-863-9200 firstname.lastname@example.org Northeast SARE Whole Farm Planning & Holistic Management Certified Educator Training Program. Supported by NESARE, Cabbage Hill Farm Foundation Central NY RC&D Project, Inc. USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service. Training conducted by the Allan Savory Center for Holistic Management, Albuquerque, NM