OUR STORY

Founding Director, Lucy Powell, launched Outside Lives in 2018 after taking a sabbatical from her long career as a social worker. Lucy packed up her motorbike and headed off to Spain, following her need for inspiration and a passion for change…

I travelled to Spain, alone, in search of a more meaningful way to live. As part of this journey, I was introduced to the concept of Permaculture - an ecological approach to providing for our needs; including food, shelter and social structures and based on co-operating with nature and caring for the Earth and its people. The creative way in which it was taught demonstrated clearly that permaculture had so much more to offer than just an interesting way of gardening. I realised the link between what I was learning and my background as a social worker. I could see that the principles and values that nature demonstrates can also be reflected in our society and communities and the way that relationships work and interact is integral to sustainability and resilience. This common-sense approach became the north star. Visiting the centre in Spain I saw the beauty, complexity, productivity, abundance, growth, health, and vibrancy that a permaculture way of life supported. I came to understand however, that this just didn’t happen into existence, it involved the use of certain principles and design and so I began to imagine how I could create these qualities in myself, my home, my work, and crucially, in my community. The realisation that people’s habitats and lifestyles were often the barrier to sustainability, teamed with my enthusiasm for permaculture led me to start thinking of how something could be created locally, by the people, for the people – and that is how Outside Lives came about. We started small to begin with, but it soon became clear that this new way of thinking had many roots in society and in nature, and from there the idea and the motivation grew. It may seem like a complicated notion, but in reality, it’s very simple, it comes down to a focus on three key things: Earth Care – People Care – Future Care as the basis for creating harmony and resilience for all living things.