Zoönomic Annual Cycle

With a Speaker for the Living as part of the organisation, your Zoöp starts to follow the Zoönomic Annual Cycle (the ZAC). This is a learning proces to first help you understand how your organisation participates in local and remote ecocystems. Based on this understanding, you work out how your organisation can become a supportive body in these ecosystems.

The Zoönomic Znnual Cycle comes down to answering five questions every year. We are designing handy work sheets to help Zoöps to go through these questions with their Speaker for the Living.


Question 1  Identifying

Which bodies form the Zoöp? What other-than-human life lives in or visits the Zoöp? Trees? Birds? Ground life? Insects? What human artefacts form the structure of the Zoöp? Fences? Buildings? Roads? Underground infrastructure? Soil layers?What legal entities make up the Zoöp?  Contracts and contracting parties? Owners/landlords? Tenants? Laws and municipal regulations? Fire regulations? What organisational bodies play a role? Governance? Production teams? Management? Communications team? What other human social clusters are relevant? 

 It is important to note that it is impossible to answer this question completely.  But it is quite possible to see where to start : to see which bodies are important in the shape of your Zoöp. By following the annual cycle, the knowledge of a Zoöp deepens and refines each year. 

Question 2 - Sensing & listening

What are the lifeworlds of these bodies? How do the bodies that make up the Zoöp perceive their world? What is their living world or Umwelt? What are their sensory capacities and what are the main signals they respond to and base their choices (if any) on? In other words, what do the bodies that form the Zoöp note about their worlds, and how do they interact with it?  By working with this question the human Zoöp participants learn to see their Zoöp from a whole range of other perspectives. 


Question 3 - Characterising

Do these bodies form degenerative, regenerative or neutral relations? Do these bodies form (mildly or strongly) degenerative relations, in which systematically some bodies benefit, and other bodies are harmed? Or do they form (mildly or strongly) regenerative relationships, in which all bodies involved thrive? How do the different bodies act towards each other? Do they support, obstruct or ignore each other? This question involves aspects such as emissions, waste flows, light pollution, noise pollution, retaining or allowing water to flow through. For living bodies, it also involves questions related to housing/habitat, safety, food, the possibility of forming relationships and reproduction, and freedom of choice in this regard. 

Answering this question reveals the ecological pain points of your organisation and its operational sphere, and gives a range of possibilities for interventions in order to improve your ecological integrity.


Question 4 - Focusing

Which of the (clusters of) degenerative relationships should we work on this year (and possibly longer) to transform them into regenerative relationships and what should be our goals for this year?  Which ones can we work on within our own organisational capacities? For which goals do we need to collaborate? With what other parties? This will often involve research. 

Question 5 - Intervening

Where, when and how should we intervene in this degenerative relationship to change it into a regenerative one? To achieve the goals, specific interventions are planned in the doings of the Zoöp. Intervention is the process of actually making changes in the Zoöp’s spatial planning, management practices or relational fabric. Each year, a Zoöp will make several interventions to transform degenerative relationships into regenerative ones. By having mapped out which bodies have which types of relationships with each other, the range of possible choices for interventions becomes clear. 



Every winter a Zoöp evaluates what it has done and what is has learned. How have the ecosystems we are part of been changed by our work as Zoöp?  How have we contributed to the life-sustaining capacity of the places we work and the planet as a whole?

The Speaker for the Living helps the Zoöp go through these steps and assists the Zoöp with needed knowledge and expertise. A Zoöp works on multiple annual interventions, and is also committed to strive for greater ecological integrity in everything it does.  All Zoöps publish their regenerative goals, their (planned )interventions and - very importantly - what they have learned from their interventions. What worked? What didn't work? Why?

The knowledge it develops on transforming its operation into a regenerative participant in ecosystems  is shared through the zoönomic knowledge platform (in development) that is part of this website.