Sydney Woodward: Overgrow The System


Marc Angelo and Sydney discuss what it takes to overgrow the system, to create systems that really get people out of their ordinary mindsets and connected to the systems that produce their goods and food. They explore the strengths and weaknesses of social outreach in both large and small scales, and what it would take to really turn the tides of society to use crowd-sourcing
and global solutions to nurture the planet.

Key Points Made by Marc Angelo and Sydney Woodward

• Over Grow the System sprang out of White Crow Farm and was originally just a Facebook page the existed to support and share content for other farms and communities, and eventually it expanded to a full website with an international following. [2:00]

• They’re currently working to produce a documentary through a series of demonstrations and concerts on a variety of islands, about the resilience of these island ecosystems and cultures. [5:00]

• There’s a tremendous power in understanding media and marketing. At the end of the day, marketing is using a story to help someone connect to a topic or movement. [9:00]

• People think that humans need to just disappear in order for us to fix the planet’s problems, but there are solutions that don’t require such drastic measures. If humanity can connect to nature and respect it, we can thrive alongside the world. [12:00]

• The issue is that the best solutions don’t come easy. Quality farming takes a lot of work, a lot of education, and a lot of determination. [16:00]

• A lot of people ask if Valhalla thinks it can avoid disaster, and it’s very likely that we’re going to have to hit a meltdown, or a collapse, before we can really turn the tide on these events. [20:00]

• Learning skills ‘from the past’ such as building a home, creating iron works, planting a tree- they may not be essential to daily life, but the understanding of what it takes to accomplish those can open doors and creates a sort of safety for the future, no matter which direction society goes. [26:00]

• As incredible it is to connect to thousands, or millions of people around the world, it can be just as powerful an event to have forty people sitting in a room together talking in depth. It’s essential to balance the spread and depth of a message as it is shared. [28:15]

• Because of the reverse-concentration of fame that social media has induced, the strength of crowdsourcing has expanded. In the future, it should be much more reasonable to allow people to crowd-source through more tangible effects, beyond just financial help. [33:30]

• By participating in the processes of nature and environmental change, your perspective and your culture can begin to shift around you. [38:00]

• It can be easy to compete with people who are really working to the same aims as you. Instead of constantly comparing yourself or trying to beat out other groups, look for opportunities for more collaboration and unity. [41:00]

• We need to get people involved in the food cycle, in their health and their environment. The solutions, if approached by everyone, would not be impossible to achieve. But so many people are disconnected from the processes that it takes to produce the goods they consume or the food they eat, that it’s easy to be oblivious or unaware. [47:00]

Powerful Quotes

• “The fact is, to make a farm fully functional and make a lot of money at the end of the day… it requires an enormous amount of labor.” – Marc Angelo Coppola [16:00]

• “I think we have to face that there are going to be really unsteady times ahead.” – Sydney Woodward [18:35]

• “If we don’t have that collapse, we are just going to continue on this destruction of the natural world.” – Sydney Woodward [19:30]

• “Go and connect with a farmer… get your hands in the dirt and your hands in the soil.” – Sydney Woodward [35:00]

• “What can we do to green our cities?” – Marc Angelo Coppola [43:25]

Links Mentioned

Contact Information for Sydney Woodward from Overgrow the System





Daniel Arsenault

Content Manager and Editor for Superhero Academy and Valhalla. I keep the content pretty.