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North American Permaculture Convergence August 29-31 , 2014  RSS feed

 
wayne stephen
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North American Permaculture Convergence:
An epic opportunity!

August 29, 30, 31, 2014
Harmony Park, Clark’s Grove, Minnesota

EVERY PERMACULTURIST IN NORTH AMERICA IS INVITED!
Old and young, Experienced and novice.

The NAPC is a historic moment.
It marks the cusp of a new era, the turning of the wheel, the passing of the guard.
Be a part of this historic event.

This is a meeting of the minds. This is a gathering of the experts.

This very first North American Permaculture Convergence offers a special opportunity to meet up to 1,000 permaculture movers and shakers from across North America to share our successes and strategize how to create a permaculture future. Permaculture pioneers, authors, teachers, organizers, consultants, visionaries and farmers getting together to talk story and build symbiotic relationships. The NAPC offers the permaculture movement an opportunity to build a more cohesive movement. It offers us a chance to discuss curriculum, certification, organizations, mentoring, etc. Vast amounts of information will be exchanged via workshops, presentations, hands-on activities, roundtables, exposition and many other modalities.
There are a number of levels of participation:

The core group currently comprises 8 people. Michael Pilarski, Montana; Monica Ibacache, New York; Koreen Brennan, Florida; Bill Busse, Minnesota; Adam Brock, Colorado; Rashid Gilanpour, California; Mario Yanez, Florida; and Sarah Ashley Baxendell, Pennsylvania.

Paid staff/coordinators. These are people who take on major responsibilities for specific facets of the event. There are 22 positions at this time, some of which will be co-managed by two people. Unfilled positions will be advertised within the next month.

Action Teams. There are currently 13 Action Teams listed on the NAPC website which people can now join. More teams will be created as we go along. There is no limit on how many people can be involved in the Action Teams. All of the Action Teams will be facilitated by a staff person or core group member.

Bioregional reps and advisors. We would like one or more people from each bioregion to do outreach in their bioregion and give us feedback.

Work Trade. NAPC is offering 25 full work trades and 50 half worktrades to people who need financial help to attend. There is now a place on the website where people can apply for work trade.

NAPC Sponsorships. There are varying levels of sponsorships and corresponding benefits.

Permaculture Exposition. The NAPC Exposition will feature a wide array of permaculture organizations, businesses, services and products. Exposition participants can sell books, T-shirts and products. Organizations and companies can promote their causes and services.

NAPC Advisors. We haven’t set up a formal way for people to be in an advisory capacity to the NAPC core group yet. We do want to particularly invite permaculture elders, youth and those from culturally diverse groups to give us advice. If you would like to serve in an advisory capacity you can email Michael Pilarski directly at friendsofthetrees@yahoo.com

Convergence participants. We are anticipating 1,000 permaculturists from around North America to attend. We are keeping admission costs low to enable wide participation. $133 is the early bird price till June 1. Some scholarships will be available. There will be tours, field trips and special trainings both before and after the NAPC.

Please visit the NAPC website for more information. Some areas of the website are not functional yet and some need tweaking. Please bear with us as we move forward. There is lots to do and we didn’t want to wait any longer to get the show on the road.

PLEASE JOIN US! northamericanpermaculture.org


{ I am not affiliated with this group . Skeeter Pilarski asked that I post this on permies.com . - W.S. }
 
paul wheaton
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This is difficult to write. I would rather write about hugelkultur, rocket mass heaters, wofati .... bricks for building a better world. But once in a while there is some internal housekeeping to do. And I've been asked so many times about this ... and I've had so many people filling me in .... I thought this would be a good time to to get this discussion going.

As Martin Luther King Jr. once said:

Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with an its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.


I elected to not attend this event. I felt that we already had an excellent event to bring people together on this scale: permaculture voices. Plus, as pointed out in my voices keynote, there were people that refused to attend voices because they claimed that voices was sexist - having only one female keynote speaker. And those people seemed to universally support the NAPC - which had zero female keynote speakers. I think that the false accusation of sexism was a flimsy excuse. I feel that the real reason was that voices was a conference about permaculture that did not include holding hands and singing songs. And there are people that think that having a permaculture event without holding hands and singing songs is "not permaculture".

I think that false accusations of sexism are just as awful as actual acts of sexism. But setting that aside: I think it is fair to have a permaculture event loaded with holding hands and singing songs *AND* have another event that is about permaculture without holding hands and singing songs. If people don't want to go to permaculture voices, I think it is fair to say that they prefer an event with holding hands and singing songs, like NAPC. False accusations just reflects poorly on the accuser.

I have to confess that I have been personally divided about this event. On the one hand, I wish to encourage lots and lots of events about permaculture to infect more brains. Including the events where folks hold hands and sing songs. I even think that NAPC could be an excellent compliment to voices. On the other hand I supported voices and I feel NAPC was founded on the idea of having an event that was NOT voices. Which seems, to me, at the very least, rather nasty. And I think that "nasty" is not one of the permaculture ethics. Rather than respond in kind, I elected to remain quiet about the event. I allowed posts (like the above) on permies. I did not point out the comedy with their own sexism (by their standards).

There have been several people that shared bits of information with me, and I wish to convey them here.

My understanding is that permaculture voices was attended by over 600 people and NAPC was "about 300".

NAPC did include a lot of holding hands and singing songs. Voices did not.

I was told that a lot of people were enjoying pot outside the classrooms at NAPC. Which is great for folks that enjoy pot. But some feedback I had was that some folks that would rather avoid pot smoke were thinking it would be nice if they could have had a little more fresh air.

I heard there were some really excellent speakers there. And .... I heard about some of the people that I would think of as "haters" -- their presentations were poorly attended and people called them out on their shit. Sounds like healthy progress to me.

Here is the only video I could find on youtube about NAPC:




I also heard that YOUTH stole the show for the whole conference. Over and over again, younger folks stood up and carried the group forward. My impression is that the youth of permaculture have a powerful intellect matched with passion and joy. The ick of the past will be drowned by an ocean of good work.
 
Amedean Messan
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Paul wrote:...there were people that refused to attend voices because they claimed that voices was sexist.


Oh yes that was a spectacle....

It was hard for me to take the accusations seriously for more reasons then I care to delve into. The engineer in me found it interesting that some accounts of these people making the noise about sexism against women in the Voices conference had also previously expressed strong support for "women only" permaculture events. Interesting consistency of perspective........

Well Wayne, I hope the event goes well. Looks like a good opportunity for an east coast convergence of permaculture enthusiasts. There is a vast space between the west and east coasts of North America so it is welcome in my mind to have an east centralized conference. Paul described a crowd that likes to avoid the "pot smoke" environments and I consider myself one of them. I might not be the first to admit it, but I don't particularly appreciate rolling in the mud, banging drums and calling the activity permaculture. Because of the nature of the subject, I hold high esteem for such events and I tend to bend towards a conservative academic, but engaged environments. I hope this conference has a similar ambiance as the Permaculture Voices conference.
 
Bill Busse
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While creeping around the dark corners of Permies today I found Paul's reply to this old NAPC announcement. I wish I had seen it sooner as I would have loved to reply while his response was still fresh. I will respond now because I need to say a few things.

First, let me say that I really appreciate all that Paul does for permaculture. I find his down-to-earth take on permaculture refreshing and much needed.

I apologize in advance for the crazy red/
black way that I responded to Paul's comments but it seemed to be the most logical, straight-forward way to do this.

Paul's words in black
My words in red

Paul: I elected to not attend this event. I felt that we already had an excellent event to bring people together on this scale: permaculture voices.

Permaculture Voices looks like an excellent event. An event that I would love to attend but do not because the cost is prohibitive. (Tickets, travel, lodging)

Paul: Plus, as pointed out in my voices keynote, there were people that refused to attend voices because they claimed that voices was sexist - having only one female keynote speaker. And those people seemed to universally support the NAPC - which had zero female keynote speakers. I think that the false accusation of sexism was a flimsy excuse.

I don't know who has been running abound talking shit about Permaculture Voices. I sat in on much of the organizing for the NAPC and really never witnessed any negative discussion about PV. I would be curious to see if any of the people that refused to attend PV actually had anything to do with the NAPC whatsoever. Did they even attend?

Paul: I feel that the real reason was that voices was a conference about permaculture that did not include holding hands and singing songs. And there are people that think that having a permaculture event without holding hands and singing songs is "not permaculture".

Many of us were sorry to see that Paul did not attend the NAPC. We had hoped to see his style of healthy permaculture attitudes better represented. Maybe the emcee who took it upon himself to inject the huge dose of "holding hands and singing songs" would not have felt that was so important if more people like Paul attended and promoted the event.

Just so that you know the "holding hands and singing songs" was primarily the work of one person who did so continually against the wishes of the organizers.


Paul: I think that false accusations of sexism are just as awful as actual acts of sexism. But setting that aside: I think it is fair to have a permaculture event loaded with holding hands and singing songs *AND* have another event that is about permaculture without holding hands and singing songs. If people don't want to go to permaculture voices, I think it is fair to say that they prefer an event with holding hands and singing songs, like NAPC. False accusations just reflects poorly on the accuser.

I would rather that we just left the "holding hands and singing songs" out of every permaculture event. I think that hippie-dippie hand holding and pseudoscience are chasing many great doers away.

Paul: I have to confess that I have been personally divided about this event. On the one hand, I wish to encourage lots and lots of events about permaculture to infect more brains. Including the events where folks hold hands and sing songs. I even think that NAPC could be an excellent compliment to voices. On the other hand I supported voices and I feel NAPC was founded on the idea of having an event that was NOT voices.

Paul's feeling in this regard is not correct. The folks who initiated the idea of the NAPC were hoping to create an event which mimicked the event we attended in Cuba in December of 2013, the International Permaculture Convergence. An event with a focus on building the global networks to continue to move permaculture forward. More of an event created by the community rather than for the community.

Paul: Which seems, to me, at the very least, rather nasty. And I think that "nasty" is not one of the permaculture ethics. Rather than respond in kind, I elected to remain quiet about the event. I allowed posts (like the above) on permies. I did not point out the comedy with their own sexism (by their standards).

The NAPC could have really used Paul's and Permies' enthusiastic support. I was really hoping that he would step up and help us make the event more open and welcoming to down-to-earth permies. I accept some of the responsibility for that not happening. I don't know you but I should have picked up the phone and asked for Paul's help.

Paul: There have been several people that shared bits of information with me, and I wish to convey them here.

My understanding is that permaculture voices was attended by over 600 people and NAPC was "about 300".

Paul: NAPC did include a lot of holding hands and singing songs. Voices did not. The "holding hands and singing songs" was mainly the work of one man. He took this upon himself to the dismay of most of the organizers.

Paul: I was told that a lot of people were enjoying pot outside the classrooms at NAPC. Which is great for folks that enjoy pot. But some feedback I had was that some folks that would rather avoid pot smoke were thinking it would be nice if they could have had a little more fresh air. I was onsite for the entire event. I can honestly say that I didn't find the event smokey at all. (It should be said that I am VERY aware of cannabis use around me. I am a non-smoker who has a vested interest in there being no use of elicit substances at the site of the NAPC). Granted I was working my ass of and did not find the opportunity to attend workshops. I regret that no one stepped up and called out the disrespectful behavior. One would think that on a 50 acre outdoor site it would be easy to find a more discreet place to meet one's recreational needs.

Paul: I heard there were some really excellent speakers there. And .... I heard about some of the people that I would think of as "haters" -- their presentations were poorly attended and people called them out on their shit. Sounds like healthy progress to me.

Here is another video from the NAPC:




More video is forthcoming. In order to keep ticket prices low, video was done by volunteers (Thanks Wil!)and work traders. If we had paid for professional video I bet we would have it by now.

Paul: I also heard that YOUTH stole the show for the whole conference. Over and over again, younger folks stood up and carried the group forward. My impression is that the youth of permaculture have a powerful intellect matched with passion and joy. The ick of the past will be drowned by an ocean of good work. (I think that it is great that so many young folks were able to step in and make this event a success when very few of the permaculture elders would get involved and help out.)
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Hi Bill! Thanks for the reply.


I don't know who has been running abound talking shit about Permaculture Voices.


I heard comments from about 20 people that were along the lines of "talking shit". And many more second hand. A bit of comedy: After voices, geoff lawton contributed to a PDC. A regional permaculture leader (a name I recognized) also came to the same PDC to be a guest instructor. Since a lot of the students had attended voices, they heard my keynote. And this guest instructor then, as part of "teaching permaculture" told the students that she refused to attend because of the obvious sexism. But, she would be attending NAPC.


Maybe the emcee who took it upon himself to inject the huge dose of "holding hands and singing songs" would not have felt that was so important if more people like Paul attended and promoted the event.


I don't know who the MC was, but if it was who I suspect: no. That person once promised me something like that, and it was a miserable failure. I managed to get a lot of good speakers to come who were then really pissed at me.


Just so that you know the "holding hands and singing songs" was primarily the work of one person who did so continually against the wishes of the organizers.


I had heard that that might be the case. It is good to hear that it is just one person.


I would rather that we just left the "holding hands and singing songs" out of every permaculture event. I think that hippie-dippie hand holding and pseudoscience are chasing many great doers away.


I attended one convergence and elected to stand outside while one of the dozen "holding hands and singing songs" events was happening. There was a good sized crowd that was standing outside. One woman said to me: "It's like a church service. But a pagan church. I came to learn about permaculture, but now I feel like I am required to participate in a religious ritual in order to be able to hear about the events of the day. By standing outside, I feel I am disrespecting somebody else's religion, but standing outside seems more appropriate than actually taking part of a religious ceremony that I don't believe in." She then told me that if she knew it would be like this, she wouldn't have come.

I could see a lot of people enjoying the holding hands and singing songs. Just as I know a lot of people really enjoy going to church.

So then the problem is: how do you tell ahead of time which sort of event you might be showing up to?


On the other hand I supported voices and I feel NAPC was founded on the idea of having an event that was NOT voices.


Paul's feeling in this regard is not correct.


Really? I just tried to do a quick search to find artifacts to support this, and since I couldn't find anything, maybe I should just chalk this up to being old and crazy. My memory says that NAPC was originally planned to be in san diego in the days immediately following voices. The theory being would be to have a lot of the same speakers, but without paying them - as they would be paid for voices. Then that got scrapped, and then NAPC was going to be in Tennessee at the same time as voices. Then that got scrapped, the date moved back and the venue was minnesota.

Granted, I suspect that a lot of the people that helped with the minnesota event were unaware of the previous venues.

But, most importantly, I wish to express that my feelings are correct and nobody can know my feelings but me. I think what you are suggesting is that you hold a position that is different from mine?

I think that the discussion we are having right now is a very healthy discussion. Two people that are equally frustrated by a few folks who are doing more harm than good in the name of permaculture. And we are trying to mend things as best we can and move things forward into a very wholesome space.


The NAPC could have really used Paul's and Permies' enthusiastic support.


Perhaps we can have a healthy relationship for the next event?


The "holding hands and singing songs" was mainly the work of one man. He took this upon himself to the dismay of most of the organizers.


Will your next event include that one man?


Here is another video from the NAPC:


I've heard Peter bane speak before. He is always very good.




 
We don't have time for this. We've gotta save the moon! Or check this out:
Permaculture Chickens Film
https://permies.com/t/51492/critters/Permaculture-Chickens-Film
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