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 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 annual cycle comes down to answering five questions every year. We have designed handy work sheets to help Speakers for the Living and their Zoöps to go through these questions. 

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 play important roles 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 give form to the Zoöp perceive their world? What are their sensory capacities and what are the main signals they respond to and base their choices (if any) on? What roles do they play for other bodies?  By working with this question the human Zoöp participants learn to see their Zoöp from a range of other perspectives. 

Question 3 - Characterising

Do these bodies form degenerative, regenerative or neutral relations? In degenerative relations, certain bodies benefit at the expense of other bodies. In regenerative relationships, all bodies involved are thriving.  This question involves both qualitative and quantitative aspects. Numbers about emissions, waste flows, light pollution, noise pollution and retaining or allowing water to flow through can provide key indicators for the qualities of certian relations. For living bodies, assessing the qualities of relations also involves aspects like  housing/habitat, safety, food, the possibility of forming relationships and reproduction, and the possibilities to choose. 

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 precisly should we intervene in this degenerative relationship to change it into a regenerative one? Or where when and how precisly should we intervene in regenerative relations to enhance them and involve more bodies?

By having mapped out which bodies have which types of relationships with each other, the range of possible choices for interventions becomes clear. To achieve the regenerative 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, or to epxand regenerative relations. 

 

Evaluating

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.