Social subsystems are extremely important elements of permaculture design. These soft-technologies, as opposed to physically manifest hardware-biological hard technology elements, are left in the bottom of the tool chest.
Some of you who are following the UNFCCC climate negotiations may know that there is currently an impasse between "developed" (i.e. US & EU) and "developing" (i.e. China and India) over intellectual property rights and the transfer of technologies for climate change mitigation and adaptation. I put quotes around develop* because it begs the question of who is "developing" and what we're "developing" towards.