A new model

Refugees working together towards places of hope and transformation

This table maps and contrasts current negative scenarios that face refugees, *IDPs and concerned governments with a new approach that invests in and facilitates positive connections between people and place.

It shows that holding refugees as aliens and halting all social, educational, community and land development only perpetuates uncertainty, desperation and violence and costs to the earth; whereas an approach that recognizes and values people as essentially resourceful, cooperative and enterprising, and seeks to empower them through teaching/building sustainable community and land skills, can have huge social and environmental benefit and solve problems on all levels.

*IDPs = Internally Displaced People.

Current scenariosNew model: investment in people and placeExpected outcomes Expected benefits
Refugee internment camps, closed settlementsSettlements that allow for purposeful transitions. The culture of migration is supported by new models and strategies; new ways of being, learning, and livelihoods. People participate in building their own communities in relation to host communities.Opportunities for refugees to regroup, rethink their futures, and form self-sufficient communities. Host communities adjust to refugees through positive connections.New connections create cultural richness, and expanded sense of community.
Unclear policy/plan for resettlementPolicies and plans for staged migration that provide sanctuary, new community connections and opportunities for retraining. The new model embraces permaculture design integrated with renewable energy systems.


Crime minimization. People become engaged in community enterprises that stimulate and strengthen local economies, and give refugees hope and direction.Growth of localism, abundance, land and community regeneration for enduring futures.
Border walls / 'fortress' systemsStaged migration, entry varies depending on country. More productive transition/processing centres that allow for ongoing education and workskills training.Border security and management that allows for self governance, consensus by the community and food production. Accredited competencies/qualifications for easier transitions into Europe.Human dignity and mental health maintained through activities that respect both people and land, and promote community engagement.
Current scenariosNew model: investment in people and placeExpected outcomesExpected benefits
Poor integration into host communities, illegal squats/ housing issues, homelessness, joblessnessEco-cities and villages in strategic locations, that are self-governing and integrate with existing host communities of diverse age groups, capacities and cultures.Positive connection with place of arrival and host communities. Building positive relationships through mutual exchanges.Migration flows are anchored in a purposeful way, and seen as having positive benefits such as revitalizing waning communities in host countries.
Conflict zonesPeace-building programs and workshopsPeace-building communities. Re-education, conflict resolution. Trauma and torture are addressed. Healing.Building community and inter-community relationships through common projects and exchanges.
Impoverished host economies Incorporate traditional designs, new and old technologies, permaculture strategies to reduce wasteThriving self-sufficient communities. New town designs that maximise assets and existing resources.Empowering families and communities through self-sufficiency
Current scenariosNew model: investment in people and placeExpected outcomesExpected benefits
Degraded landAnti-desertification programs, networks of compact eco-friendly cities and towns, anti-desertification programsClimate adaptive communities that co-evolve with extreme weatherWomen involved in work-based programs,in food production, hydroponics, food domes etc. Paid workforce to stop desertification and species loss. Enhanced biodiversity
Climate change, rising seas, water shortages, droughts, extreme weather eventsEco-villages, eco-learning demonstration centres, partnering with local communitiesOpportunities for settlement in new sustainable communities, skills and labour exchange, development of eco-technologies, wind and water capture and storageCarbon sequestration, renewable energies, slowing of damage, repair of land, increased biodiversity, greater abundance, shared knowledge and understanding of whole earth systems
Current scenariosNew model: investment in people and placeExpected outcomesExpected benefits

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