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Permaculture Keynote

Everyone Enabling Wellbeing Everywhere Now: Permaculture Opportunities (Keynote) – Mar 2015 – Tasmania – Permaculture Convergence

Permaculture is one of many positive, emergent initiatives (particularly from the 1960s, but also throughout history), aiming to understand the past and present more comprehensively (more holistically), and to more clearly identify priorities and approaches to enable more effective progressive action. It has emphasised system design theory and practice, sustainable energy systems, bio-ecological processes, and an ethical foundation for all progressive developments. Initially, Permaculture tended to neglect collaboration and integration with most other concurrent progressive developments (particularly those relating to food, energy, and social and personal wellbeing), and also neglect the co-requisite need for personal healing and redesign. It also, perhaps, overemphasised the training and certification of teachers, and garden-scale classical permaculture initiatives, rather than the enablement of progressive, effective Permaculture-informed action, by anyone, anywhere and everywhere. Partly because of the attractiveness of its name, and the effectiveness of its promotion, initially particularly by its co-creator Bill Mollison, Permaculture is now globally known, with many impressive examples of its potential and effectiveness. For many, however, it is still regarded as having a ‘boutique’ quality, and this is continuing to prevent it from realising its potential. This is being fuelled by forces both within the Permaculture community and outside of it.

If we reflect on this and other critical evaluations, while resisting denial and explanation (often the commonest unproductive response to such evaluations), and proactively consider the opportunities for progress, I suspect that you will agree that the possibilities for positive future Permaculture developments are unlimited; acknowledging that these will also require contextual prioritisation. This is, I consider, the challenge that faces us here and now.

In my presentation, based partly on deep listening to what happens at this Convergence, I will ask some strategic questions, offer some challenging provocations, share some foundational frameworks, and suggest some priorities and initiatives for effective future action.

Talk Outline
• My background – importance of Mentors & Mentoring
• Known & Unknown – Cleverness & Wisdom
• 10 Principles of Benign Design – Integrator Indicators
• Social Ecology – as a holistic framework
• Need to broaden & deepen considerations - & include Inside-Outside-Inside relationships
• Permaculture Strengths
• Global to Personal considerations – the real Triple Bottom Line
• Psychology, & need to recover from (usually) denied wounding & its consequences
• Peckham Experiment: Evidence of our potential as a species
• Our Psychosocial Evolution: from Socialising (control from outside) to Enabling (from inside)
• Permaculture Challenges
• Strategic Questions – Lewin’s Force Field Analysis – Limiting Factors – W5
• Ecological Fundamentals: Population Numbers/Distribution/Activities – re Sustainability
• Maintenance (its importance & enablement)
• Life in soil - & its system-maintenance role
• Yeomans’ Keyline – Design for System Maintenance
• My Efficiency/Substitution/Redesign model re Problem Solving/Prevention
• 3 Stages of Perception: Deceptive Simplicity/Confusing Complexity/Profound Simplicity
• Change Processes – Stages – Heron’s model – Whole Person Engagement – Framework
• Political Action: Supports/Rewards/Penalties
• Testing Questions: Personal/Social/Environmental/General – vs. just $
• Needed Focus
• Our Cultural Evolution & Psychosocial Evolution
• Foundational Strategies for Genuine Progress
• Aids to Effective Action
• Closing Statements


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Emeritus Professor Stuart B. Hill, Foundation Chair of Social Ecology,stu mirror 
School of Education (includes previous School of Social Ecology & Lifelong Learning),


Western Sydney University (Kingswood Campus)
Locked Bag 1797, PENRITH, NSW 2751, AUSTRALIA   
Location: Building KI, Room K-2-19A, Kingswood Campus 
P: +61 (0)2 4736-0799 | Ext: 2799 (Kingswood staff only) | Fax: -0400
Email: Web:

Founding Co-Editor: Journal of Organic Systems: 
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