Our Theory Of Change

In these times of great upheaval, we need collective strategies for stepping up our efforts in the permaculture and environmental justice spheres.

That is why the NorCal Community Resilience Network is mobilizing to create a multi-racial, multi-sector coalition that builds capacity and mutual solidarity at the grassroots level. We are stronger together. Just as a forest can only thrive with abundant sun, soil, and water, collaborators in our Network each have unique perspectives necessary to bring about the transformation vital at all levels of society.The NorCal Network focuses on seeding and cultivating solutions that are people-powered, community-based and nature-inspired. From grassroots, nonprofit and government organizations to sustainable businesses, healers, and activists, we come together to cross-pollinate and develop practical, scalable, and replicable strategies rooted in the principles and ethics of permaculture.  This is a crucial moment to support people who are newly awakening to the need for engagement in their local communities.

Activating the Power of the Grassroots

Multinational corporations might have the power of money, but we’ve got people power! Northern California is a mecca for visionary home, neighborhood and community projects, from food forests and urban community gardens to Time Banks and holistic health collectives. Together, these initiatives help to conserve resources, enhance food security, and strengthen communities in the face of intense opposition.


"If we wait for our governments, it’ll be too little, too late; if we act as individuals, it’ll be too little; but if we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time.”            – Rob Hopkins

We see the tenacity and power of citizens doing extraordinary work. Yet many community organizing efforts face daunting barriers, from a lack of funding to volunteer burnout. The Network is developing new initiatives to aid groups in overcoming these barriers, including peer-to-peer mentoring, fundraising workshops and community organizing cafes.

Broadening Our Movement

We recognize that the health of the planet and the health of the people are not mutually exclusive. As part of an intricate and interconnected ecosystem, we need each other to thrive. The Network promotes local member events and encourages participants to show up and support a diversity of communities and projects through our work with our founding Circle of Collaborators. We build solidarity by establishing trust through lasting relationships that strengthen our movement as a whole. Central to our work at the NorCal Network is the use of courageous conversations as a tool for healing community wounds and strengthening connections across difference.

Building Solidarity

A fundamental principle of permaculture is that growth happens at the edges.

Growing new political and cultural coalitions entails creative collaborations that require all parties involved to stretch outside their comfort zones in service of a common goal. The NorCal Network seeks to engage individuals and groups from every sector of society, including those who have not previously engaged in social and environmental justice activism.
Anyone can get involved in the effort to build resilience in our communities! Whether you are a Girl Scout troop wanting a community service project or a recent graduate of a permaculture design course, we want to make it easy for anyone to roll up their sleeves and get to work! Read about volunteer efforts or try your hand at organizing your own work party at a hub.