Growth of Pc

David de Vries warning at
Sat Jan 10 06:20:29 EST 1998


Anecdotaly, I understand Bill Mollison designed the geometric growth of Pc
worldwide based on the itinerant teacher in front of small groups.  After
21 years, the growth is not to be sneezed at e.g. 120,000 PDC graduates.
However, is the growth fast enough?  How long before 0.1% of the world's
pop are permies?

In several continents there are say 50 teachers training 30+ people each
per year. If each teacher generates one teacher p.a. we have simple
geometric growth and 1 mil of each continent can get trained in the next 10
years (50 x 30, 100 x 30, 200 x 30,....25,600 x 30).

Geometric growth is a beautiful thing - paticularly if it is the species
you wish to encourage.  Note, it is not the number of students p.a. per
teacher which is fostering the growth so much as the number of new teachers

Pc  teachers have been at work in Australia, North America etc for 15+ yrs
but those identifying as permies only number in the thousands.  What
happened to the geometric growth rate?  Arithmetic growth just won't get us

1)  Energies were diverted into growth into other continents.  This has
happened, but I suggest most teachers have kept up their teaching
activities at home.
2)  Teachers are not bringing on new teachers succesfully.
3)  New trainees with an interest in teaching cannot find a
niche/livelihood and move on to other pursuits.

I would like to collate information to answer the question. Why is Pc not
growing at a rate of doubling or greater per year?

>From experienced teachers:
What is your success rate in bringing on new teachers expressed in active
teachers/PDC graduates? e.g. 0/50, 10/300.
Do you think there is sufficient demand?
Do you know of examples where many teachers working in proximity has worked
or failed?

>From new trainees:
Do you feel encouraged to teach?
What are the barriers? expertise/livelihood/support

_An Interesting Case_

Last year, Bill Mollison taught a PDC in California with several hundred

>From Bill's perspective:
It was one of the best courses he ever taught with dynamic group
discussions between his presentations.

>From some NA teacher's perspective:
It was a drastic siphoning off of potential students from their bread and
butter market.

>From a growth perspective:
IF the students were inspired, Pc has gained several hundred active members
including 5-10 potential teachers.  The snowball effect gains momentum and
everyone benefits.

>From the participants perspective:

Is large group teaching a productive way forward?

I would like to hear from others (on the list or personally) on the above
questions so I can accumulate some ideas and evidence to report back to the


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