Dear Member of the Worldwide Permaculture Network
Hello – it is Craig Mackintosh here, and I’m genuinely excited! Let me explain why.
When I first felt inspired to build the Worldwide Permaculture Network website, it was with a deep desire to help Permaculturists the world over find each other, so they can network, share, learn from and support one another in a myriad possible ways. This desire came from an acute recognition that while, to quote Bill Mollison, “the solutions remain embarrassingly simple”, too few in the world understood those simple solutions, and even fewer saw the urgency for their widespread implementation. But by levering each other’s efforts through networking and collaboration, we can achieve far more than we can in singular isolation – and we can thus have a greater impact on those around us.
Since getting this network off the ground, world events have taken, for me, a very predictable turn for the worst. I predicted many years ago in a blog post that the word ‘Revolution’ would become very popular, and indeed, we are seeing nation after nation teetering on the edge of implosion, with some having already gone over the edge…. But, most of you do not need to hear about all the problems in the world. You are signed up to the Worldwide Permaculture Network because you have some idea of the massive changes we need to bring about if we’re to secure a peaceful transition into a world that must, by necessity, look quite different to the runaway train of a world we are ashamed to call ‘civilisation’ today.
Now, the PRI, who have funded this network, are working expansively on a key need – that of educating the concerned masses with the goal of reaching a critical ‘tipping point’ in Permaculture knowledge and practical action. If even a small percentage of lucid souls around the world would embrace the collective knowledge of the worldwide Permaculture community, and run with it, we can yet see a positive wave of change spread wider and faster around the globe. It is clear that if we are to achieve a state of peaceful and sustainable interdependence with the people around us, and thus develop healthier, more localised communities, Permaculture cannot remain merely a ‘fringe interest’, or merely a ‘lifestyle choice’ or ‘hobby’ held by a small proportion of the world’s citizenry…. We need more and more people involved. Permaculture concepts and practices must thus infiltrate into the minds, hearts and hands of people at every level of society, in all nations, and the holistic knowledge it’s based on must become the foundation for overhauling the invisible structures that shape our society and its trajectory. At a time where the IPCC has just released their latest depressing report on global warming (where people are resigning themselves to discussions on ‘adaptation’, rather than reversal), we have the solutions at hand – but time of of the essence. We can’t wait two hundred years for a gradual spread of critical knowledge…. We must work together now!
Last year we launched Geoff Lawton’s first online Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course, with the hope of exponentially increasing our educational reach. It was a ‘scary’ undertaking, in that, being the first course, we were not sure what to expect. But we are proud to share that the course brought an overwhelmingly positive response. I’ve been looking around the inner ‘halls’ of the course system and reading comment after positive comment, and I’ve seen many of the amazing designs the students submitted at the end of their training. The best news is that this course is reaching people who would otherwise never get to take a PDC course, due to remote locations, family and work commitments, health constraints, cost, etc. Doctors, lawyers, housewives, politicians, activists, nurses, rural farmers, urbanites, pilots, industrialists, even experienced Permaculture teachers – the list goes on – all are coming together in the same system to learn, share, network and cause ripples of influence we may never be able to measure.
This last weekend Geoff’s second online PDC was opened for registrations – for the new and even more expansive 2014 course (we keep adding material!). This course is run only once per year, and the door for registrations closes this Sunday, April 6th, 2014. If you want to get onto this course, or if you know someone who should, there’s only three days left before the door shuts until next year, and the course begins.
If you’re unsure of the value of this life-altering course, please take a few minutes to scan the many comments below this post:
Last year I was personally way too busy to get involved in the 2013 online course, but this year I’ve taken some time to have a good look around within the system. I can say that I have never seen such a wealth of meaningful knowledge in one place, let alone presented in such a logical and engaging way, and the course hasn’t even begun yet! The material is simply awesome. And, another major bonus of this online course is that it is like joining an instant community of mutually beneficial relationships – between yourself, your fellow students and the instructor. This is social networking with an extreme difference – it’s short on time-wasting, meaningless drivel (sorry Facebook!), but loaded instead with inspirational information you can actually use to improve your life and prospects, and best of all, it’s fun!
This year, Geoff has also invited all of last year’s students back, as ‘Veterans’, so they can re-watch all the materials, plus the new additions, and so they can also develop their teaching abilities by assisting new students with answers to their questions. The Veterans won’t be able to ask questions themselves – since priority must necessarily be given to the new students – but they’re already sharing and the course hasn’t even started yet!
Here are a couple of comments from Veterans in the system, from today:
“Welcome everyone. I know you’re going to enjoy this course as much as I did. Time and money well spent. You will learn so much that it will change your life and you’ll see possibilities and opportunities everywhere.”
“Hi Everyone, I wish you all the best and hope you enjoy this wonderful course as much as I did. Thanks Geoff for inviting us back. Cheers!”
“Hello everyone, just started raining outside, so gave me a chance to write a few lines, also a great feeling to know that while I sit here the rain is not just running away down the slope but getting caught in the swales that we installed after doing this course last year with Geoff and his team. It is a great feeling to know what to do now… Really liberating and an awesome feeling to stand in a food forest that we have now planted, the feeling is incredible!”
Running courses like this, with a far larger reach, seems the only logical conclusion we can come to given the many converging issues we face and the urgency we feel to actually, truly, do something tangible about them. Again, a few scattered Permaculturists are not going to be enough. To bring widespread social change, we need to foster an army of holistically minded Permaculture practitioners, teachers and activists. I am planning to take the time to enjoy this course this time around. I hope to meet many of you in there!
P.S. As well as other bonuses, the 2014 online PDC includes a full new Earthworks course for free, and a shiny new Reading the Landscape course. You even get a 30-day money back guarantee.
With kind regards,
The Worldwide Permaculture Network team