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This is a method for using the cafe method with financial permaculture. It can be used to plan a start up sustainable community or to develop a more resilient local business.

It has one major element: The object worksheet

For the first use, start by asking participants in an open space setting, to identify which objects they think would be included in their sustainable community. Each object then gets one large paper with the worksheet printed on it, and participants group up to work on the object of their choice.

(examples of objects: housing, boiler rooms, community farms, ponds, greenhouses, shops)

For each object, they need to identify its function and output. Then they need to estimate inputs and outputs as well as costs. One way to do this is to ask yourself
  1. What is the lowest it could be?
  2. What is the highest it could be?

    This gives you an estimating range. The next question

  3. Is it most likely to be in the lower, middle or higher end of my range?
Provides the answer to where to estimate costs. This of course works better as group discussion.

They then need to think about where income and capital can come from, how to reward output and where to find capital.

Before all of this is given over to a group to collate to create a summary budget, groups need to put together each sheet so input and output match. One "waste" might be another's input!

Finally, with all the sheets up and connected you need to regroup to go through the permaculture questions for the whole system:

•Can you use more renewable energy in the steps?
•What waste is produced. Can one object’s waste be another’s raw materials?
•Where nature can do the job, can we let it?
•Can we make solutions smaller and slower?
•Can we produce a wider variety  of solutions/products for resilience
• How can we ensure the network of objects survives scenarios we expect like financial stress, higher energy prices, impact of new technology?

Feedback appreciated!

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