Organisational structures and patterns in nature
Organisational strutures and patterns in permaculture
Our strongest organisational pattern to date has been the grass-roots diffusion of knowledge that has been at the core of permaculture since its beginnings in the 1970s. This has led to an estimated 3 million permaculture practitioners worldwide in over 125 countries. However, apart from biennial international permaculture convergences (IPCs), there is currently no systematic operational process for permaculture practitioners to collaborate globally.
IPC 2011 in Jordan saw these issues hotly debated. IPC 2013 in Cuba led to an agreement that a team would be formed to investigate how we might enhance our international collaborations. That team, the Next Big Step, has spent the last two years gaining a better understanding of the needs of practitioners and organisations through workshops, interviews, surveys, and conversations.
- Build communities and develop networks around common thematic and geographic areas of interest such as Education or the European permaculture network.
- Improve access to key knowledge. Ensure that knowledge is robust (through research), and reaches those who would benefit (through education and translation to local languages).
- Embed resilience and sustainability of practice; developing the capacity of organisations and networks in areas like fundraising, developing enterprise, building capacity, and inspiring leadership.
- Change the world (beyond our own boundaries); be able to influence policy and decision-makers, and advocate permaculture more widely.
There are clear areas where we could make more efficient use of our limited resources to be more effective within permaculture. There are also opportunities to link with allied organisations and groups to further enhance our activities more widely. But how should we do this in a way that is consistent with the ethics and principles of permaculture, and honours the amazing creation and spread of this diverse and passionate network?
More on this in the next post:
Creating starry skies in the permaculture ecosystem - to be published summer 2016.