The key to complexity is systems thinking, and the key to systems thinking is patterns. The key to patterns is using them as a language – an idea I borrowed from architect and mathematician Christopher Alexander’s book ‘Notes on the Synthesis of Form’.”
– Tim Winton

PatternDynamics (TM) –  a tool developed by Permaculture pioneer Tim Winton, which takes the common patterns found in all natural systems, recognizing these patterns in human systems, and learning how to balance the ones that are skewed, and to integrate in the ones that might add a greater level of enduring health.

Living systems have a very refined capacity of awareness. An awareness that can sense a wide range of subtle signaling between the parts to coordinate into some kind of dynamic system. This shared awareness is the system’s consciousness of its identity and purpose. This identity and purpose is what we call the Source pattern. Source is the original and central unifying force of a system.

A system is any set of parts that come together to form a whole.

Dynamics is any process that integrates and coordinates the complex functions that occur within and between systems.

Patterns are patterns of organization observed in nature and in all living systems. Each pattern has its own “felt quality of experience,” with that felt quality being different every time dependent on context, circumstance and what other patterns are being co-presenced in the moment.

Much more info (including the PD workbook) can be found at the PatternDynamics website here:


This is a good place to start, an article I wrote for this blog (reposted at
PatternDynamics: Following the Way Nature Organizes Itself to Deal With Complexity

See also: Introduction to PatternDynamics, by Tim Winton.

More Detail about PD and the PD Workshop:

Tim Winton’s PatternDynamics (posted at Integral Leadership Review 4/01/14) by Alia Aurami, Laurel Johnson, Amanda Suutari – very insightful comments, probably better than the article I co-wrote below.

Tim Winton’s PatternDynamics Workshops in USA and Canada (also posted at Integral Leadership Review, 3/14/2013) by David MacLeod, Alia Aurami, Trevor Malkinson, and Marilyn Hamilton.

Foundations of PatternDynamics – Tim Winton: This post features an audio recorded in 2006 of Tim Winton answering a question about grounding mind in body. He touches on Permaculture, Integral theory, PatternDynamics, and  –  the importance of building a capacity to understand dynamics in integrated whole systems and the capacity to develop awareness.

For a deeper dive – The Intersection of PatternDynamics and Integral Post-Metaphysical Spirituality: What Brings Us Together?
Read the transcript, or listen to the recorded conversation between myself , David MacLeod, and PD founder Tim Winton, published by Integral Review (recorded Aug. 2018, published Jan. 2019). We have tracked down some of the allied philosophical and theoretical antecedents to PD, discussed the relationship to spiritual practice, addressed the issue of “what brings us together?” and talked about four points of applied practice.

Links to the audio files:
Part One: Context and the New Positioning of PatternDynamics (45 min)
Part Two: PatternDynamics and its Relationship to Spiritual Practice (51 min)
Part Three: A Deeper Dive into the Four Points of Applied PatternDynamics (51 min)

Read the transcript here.


Here is a video slide presentation of the Keynote presentation Tim Winton gave as the introduction to the  PD One Day Workshop given on Jan. 9, 2012.

And here is a presentation of Tim’s 2013 Integral Theory Conference paper on “The Meaning of Planetary Civilization,” via a subsequent online Integral Theory Conference Downunder organised by Trish Nowland of Sydney Integral.

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