Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Bio-regional Organisations, Economics, People Systems, Society, Village Development.

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In our efforts for positive change, while we should be open minded and receptive to opportunities to work with our governments, we cannot leave all responsibilities to the government alone. Rather, the public should take action and represent themselves when their appointed officials do not.

Self-reliance and true sustainability are extremely difficult as an individual or single family. Local permaculture groups have been a very effective tool in local communities for positive change, including influencing local government.

How to start a local permaculture group:

  • Gather a group of people
  • Name the group with the word Permaculture + name of your local government (example: Permaculture Noosa)
  • Establish a Local Non Profit Group Inc.
  • Appoint President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Members
  • Create a Mission Statement
  • Open a bank account
  • Get public liability insurance. Tip: Often you can become an affiliate member of another group to receive group insurance benefits
  • In Australia a good one is the Gardening Association of Australia

Group themes:

  • The newsletter should not take over the group. Keep it simple
  • Monthly meetings
  • Education, all levels of courses, workshops and other
  • On ground work, stay active
  • Let the group evolve
  • Give birth to new groups with growth in neighboring regions
  • Guest speakers
  • Plant of the month
  • Action of the month, lesson on an activity appropriate to the season

Eventual expansion of the groups activities:

  • Cooking workshops. Share recipes for in-season foods from local gardens
  • Permaculture Energy Transfer (P.E.T.) events are home based, work bee, potluck, hands on learning experiences. These are great opportunities to invite a spouse or a friend
  • Pre-meeting market: an exchange of surplus and goods
  • Part time PDC courses taught on weekends for locals

It is important to research how non-profit groups are established in your area. If possible, include people of expertise in non-profit organizations within your permaculture administration.

If there is no permaculture group in your area, start one. Not only is there power in numbers, there is also the added value in surrounding yourself with like minded people, sharing resources and sharing ideas.

Further Reading:

4 Responses to “Permaculture Groups and Government Influence”

  1. J Peter Maughan

    Hi,

    Help! Could somebody please tell Bill Gates about Permaculture? Here is a successful businessman who is putting his wealth and influence into promoting food production by the hungry. However, it seems that he has been recruited by big agribusiness to promote “new” seeds and “chemical” fertilizers. Here is video of an interview with him:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/world_news_america/8638780.stm

    Bill Gates is an expert in computer technology, where he made his millions, but he is not an expert in other fields, as he readily admits. It needs somebody with knowledge and influence in the permaculture world to introduce him to the concepts of sustainable agriculture, which is not dependant on buying in more seeds and fertilizer. It won’t be easy to get the ear of Bill Gates and I expect that agribusiness will put forward counter arguements.

    Incidentally, don’t you think Bill Gates is looking very old in the video? When he was working with computers he seemed to have eternal youth. Now he has taken on the cares of the world and he is showing his age. Whoever can talk to him, be kind.

    Peter

    Reply
  2. Øyvind Holmstad

    I think a better idea is to talk first with Alan Cooper, the boss of Microsoft now, because both Alan Cooper and Permaculture LOVE Christopher Alexander. It’s always smart to talk with somebody first who share your values and interests. And then, maybe, Alan can talk with Bill and make him understand how much Permaculture and soft-ware-design have in common. And then he would maybe bocome a very importand Permaculture-fan? See the link:

    http://www.slideshare.net/maximolly/loving-hating-christopher-alexander

    Reply
  3. Sonya

    Transition Sunshine Coast (created and driven by permaculture people) has delivered Australia’s first Energy Descent Action Plan (400+ permaculture inspired actions across; food, water, waste, energy etc etc) to local government and it has been integrated into their Energy Transition and Peak Oil Action Plans. We’ve been invited to speak to councils across Australia about this, it is a great way to get permaculture principles into policy. Sonya Wallace Transition Sunshine Coast.

    Reply

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