Frequently asked questions

So holistic thinking and action is the new way. Have we been doing it wrong all these years, and do we need to throw out everything we've learned?

No. Many people, when they hear about the benefits of managing wholes, sense a criticism of the tools of thought and decision making that they have been trained in or have absorbed. And it is certainly true that the technology and economic prosperity that has been created for much of the world by "mechanical" thinking has enabled growing numbers of people to see the ecosystem and human life in a more holistic way.

Setting good goals

Summary: Two methods for setting goals you're likely to achieve, and will like once you attain them.

Imagine you were shopping for a house, and told the realtor only this: "I do not want my house to have six rooms. It should not have a spiral staircase. And I hate stucco, so it shouldn't have that." What are the chances you'd get shown houses you wanted?

Paradigms and decision-making frameworks

When we are dealing with paradigms and beliefs, there is no opportunity to choose without awareness. The following is an attempt at revealing what is usually hidden.

Some people may find it more useful to learn from specific situations in which people are applying these concepts. There are numerous specific examples in the topic areas at left.

Monoculture, risk, and change

Beyond partial management

From the Holistic Resource Management Quarterly, Winter 1994, number 42. (Now called Holistic Management In Practice; see the Allan Savory Center for Holistic Management website at

Collision: nature as domain vs. nature as process

The crisis of sustainability is the central drama of our time. Are humans part of nature, or somehow separate?

There are two views or perspectives on nature, and as a result there is little listening/communication between people who hold differing views. What follows is an attempt at description, parody, or stereotyping of these two belief systems. Corrections and amplifications would be welcome.

1.   The view of what I will call "mainstream environmentalism" or "modernism"

An evolution, not an event: how the WSU/Kellogg project started and where it's going

Don Nelson is the principal architect and project director of the WSU/Kellogg holistic management training project. The following are excerpts from a recent conversation.

Links on sustainable and regenerative agriculture

Index of links

These are our favorite web sites that feature useful information related to holistic management, sustainable agriculture, and regenerative land management

  • The Quivira Coalition is a New Mexico nonprofit and educational organization that helps ranches become ecologically and economically sound. The newsletter archives contain many good articles on herding and land stewardship.

Testing technology: what will work for you

Summary: Even technology that seems like it should work may harbor hidden problems. Here's how to find them before you get bitten.

Washington Holistic Management groups report progress

In January 1997, the Washington State University/Kellogg project held a statewide meeting in Yakima, Washington, U.S.A. Allan Savory keynoted the two-day meeting. Speakers who shared their experiences included

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