What a dream it would be if the classified section of our newspapers were littered with such headlines! As permaculture gains popularity and credibility, it is essential that those who choose the path of teaching strive to improve this craft alongside their knowledge of permaculture itself.
Even though everyone and anyone is capable of teaching permaculture effectively to others, running a successful course still requires a high level of competence and wisdom to be able to communicate it effectively.
In the same way that a doctor needs a good memory and a builder needs to be able to lift heavy things, there is a set of skills (not necessarily credentials) that fit into the “Permaculture Teacher Job Description.”
The generational patterns of Permaculture’s evolution is becoming more and more evident through what I perceive as a collapse in standards. How do I arrive at this thinking? As Jan Fischer says: “I was a lucky one of the first generation of students and activists.” I had the privilege of working alongside the founders and walking the pathway of the high standards that were set. I also supported these standards in recognising they were critical in evolving the world of Permaculture into higher levels of academia and professionalism. As an Ecology Architect working in professional offices this attitude was reinforced through all aspects of my professional daily life.
I was curious of what permaculture education opportunities there are other than the PDC, and have spent some time researching and compiling lists of education providers and perma projects offering interesting internships worldwide. As far as I know, this is the most thorough overview that currently exist. The lists are focusing on possible paths for permies who have already completed the PDC. PDC providers are generally therefore not listed, but some of the places listed also provides the PDC. As there aren’t really that many permaculture education providers out there, I eventually also ended up compiling lists of particularly interesting places with less structured internships / volunteering etc. (including a detailed list of such opportunities in the Middle and South America due to personal interest).
For about 6 years now, we are having 4 main networking and action learning meetings a year: one in each season. The first in the year happens in February, the “winter meeting”. This is really a networking meeting with project presentations, open space time, discussions, games,… In spring, the meeting happens around Ascension Day (I guess the reason for that is because that is a holiday in Germany and this creates a prolonged weekend), this is long-standing.
In summer, we meet for the “summer academy”, which is often 10 – 14 days of camping, hands-on activities, project & diploma presentations, peer learning, bonfires and joy.
And last but not least in the year, usually on the 3rd weekend in September we meet for the “Annual Convention”, at which the annual assembly of the german PC association takes place.
By: Arturs Polis, Co-founder of the Latvian Permaculture Association
Despite the fact that the European Permaculture Teachers Partnership never got accepted by the Latvian National agency, thus leaving Latvia (and Italy) out of the project, Latvian permaculturists have been working since then and are ready to share the common journey now.
There were only 4 PDC holders in Latvia who hardly knew each other in 2011. Arturs Polis was busy with organizing some permaculture related workshops in Ikskile Transition Initiative which he had co-founded, Gundega Jekabsone was working hard in her organic farm, Guntra Aistara together with Gundega and other active organic farmers organized a series of permaculture workshops on organic farms, and published an academic book chapter on the experience, and Ilze Mezniece was trying hard to bring the ideas of permaculture to subsistence farmers in a very remote country-side region through activities in her farm…
Arturs and Gundega had just returned from their 10 day long PDC course in Sieben Linden, when an invitation came to participate in the prospective EPT project. This was a strong motivator for these people to come together with a clear commitment to work, and this is how the Latvian Permaculture Association was born. Many weeks were invested to prepare and hand in the project application. Of course, it was a big disappointment to learn that Latvia was among the only 2 countries rejected to participate later on… However, the group stayed together, and despite the fact that members were scattered around and discussions happened mainly virtually, there are some good outcomes since then…
Francis, R. Permaculture Design Course Handbook. Permaculture Education (AU).
APT™ Cert III & IV.
File (PDF): PDC Handbook
Pitman, S. PDC-Outline. Permaculture Institute (US). With literature and resource listings. File (PDF): PDC-Outline
Solomon, V. Accredited Permaculture Training Reaccreditation document. Permaculture International Limited (AU). With detailed descriptions of compentencies at Cert. Horticulture Levels I to V.
File (PDF): APT Re-accreditation
Fact Sheet Number 8: Empowered Fundraising: Radical Generosity – the Power of Philanthropy to Change the World, By John Croft and Dot Green
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
Introduction to Demystifying Money
Empowered Fundraising is about transforming people’s relationship with money. Empowered fundraising is a means of creating opportunities for people to engage with their own greatness. Currently this is far from our current attitude to money or to fundraising.
Fact Sheet Number 16by John Croft (provided by Kipper)
The Problem with Existing Organisations
How do we build organisations that truly work in the 21st Century towards the Great Turning? What kinds of organisation can take on and run truly successful projects, which empower their members, build community and work in service to the Earth? What organisational structures can be so inspiring that it stimulates thousands of new initiatives at all levels of the community? This is the ultimate goal of Dragon Dreaming, as given the social, economic, political and environmental difficulties we are currently facing, only a liberation and unleashing of this creative human potential is strong enough to make the kind of difference we need.
In Dragon Dreaming, it is important to recognise the role existing organisations play in the context of our contemporary problems. Without this context we will make mistakes, blame people inappropriately, and create structures that will not only just not work, but may actually make matters worse, contributing to the problem rather than the solution.