What is a Zoöp?

Zoöp is an organisational model, a learning process and a basis for collaboration.

Organizational model

An organization becomes a Zoöp by adding a person with a special function: a Speaker for the Living. First of all, the Speaker is a person with a good ear and eye for the interests of other-than-human life in the operational sphere of the Zoöp. The Speaker helps translate these into the doings of the organization. The Speaker is an advisor, teacher and board observer. In practice, the Speaker helps the Zoöp to follow the learning process of the zoönomic annual cycle.

To guarantee her independence, the Speaker receives her assignment from the Zoönomic Foundation. The latter - according to its statutes - has the specific and only task of furthering the interests of other- than-human life in operational sphere of the Zoöps. The Zoöp together with the Zoönomic Foundation, decides who will assume the role of Speaker for the Living.

The Speaker's work is supported by a network of people with different expertise who can help answer specific questions.


Learning process

By following the Zoönomic Znnual Cycle, a Zoöp discovers step by step how it might function symbiotically in the ecosystems in which it participates.
Using the questions of the annual cycle, the Zoöp first learns how it participates in the ecosystems of its operational sphere. On the basis of this reading, it can identify the degenerative and regenerative relations it is engaging in, and so learn where it can intervene to improve its ecological integrity.

The annual cycle asks basic ecological questions, but specific to Zoöp is that these not only engage with plants, animals, air and water, but also with buildings, vehicles, infrastructure, the parts of the organization et cetera.

The first time a Zoöp answers these questions constitutes a baseline measurement. With this as reference frame, the Zoöp sets regenerative goals for the coming year to improve its ecological integrity, and plans the actions to realise these goals.

Zoöps communicate to the outside world what their goals are, what they are doing or not doing to achieve them, and what they are learning from their interventions. The Zoönomic Znnual Cycle is evaluated around midwinter, (Dec. 21) the end of the zoönomic year. Then a new zoönomic plan is made for the next zoönomic year.


Image: Patricia de Ruijter, mediakaal.nl