4 d’ag. 2011

El pes que portem a l'esquena (i VII)

The socioecological transformations experienced in places like Olzinelles and Matadepera may be considered local outcomes of a global change promoted by an unsustainable economic growth rooted in an anti-adaptive culture. According to the philosopher Augusto Ángel Maya 'all cultures in their twilight dream of becoming sustainable'. But there is no exit within our existing worldview. In Olzinelles and Matadepera, although these changes have lead to an increased social well-being overall, inherited social and ecological costs and problems are enormous. In Matadepera, our town, we are engaged in a self-organizing process of adaptive action-research that draws on various knowledge systems and experiences to lead the social-ecological system to a desired and resilient stability domain. This is a process of learning-by-doing in which new socioecological relations and institutional arrangements are to be build across multiple spatial and temporal scales. Knowledge is no more a building that has to be constructed upon the solid basis of normal science, but rather to emerge from a network woven without hierarchies in a radical and happy commitment to create a new existential territory and an alternative, smaller economy, suitable to the physical needs of humans and ecosystems . 'Swarms of worlds are tingling', felt the poet Verdaguer more than a century ago, when he longed for death to arrive and bring him to the absolute glory that was already making his skin tingle.

Before the 1930s no one in town could imagine the dramatic change it was about to come in Matadepera. Small actions may have large and unexpected effects on the whole system. Surprises may lead Matadepera to unimaginable states. This may sound funny in a suburb with high standards of living, high consumption of resources, and expensive cars with posh drivers. But the view of rustic shepherd Paco leading his flock to the pastures across the streets of the housing developments, and the sheep excreting naturally in the pavements of the luxurious mansions, fills me with hope.

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