[permaculture] "certified permaculture designers"

Scott at permaculture.org Scott at permaculture.org
Fri Jul 27 12:12:24 EDT 2007



-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Cereghino [mailto:paul.cereghino at comcast.net] 
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2007 12:10 AM
To: permaculture
Subject: Re: [permaculture] "certified permaculture designers"



Paul writes:

This thread always captivates me, since my professional investment is 

not in permaculture, and I am periferal to the 'make a living doing 

permaculture' scene, but as someone fully engaged in professional 

'resource management' take very seriously the need to penetrate the core 

of society with sound ecological design theory and education.


Many professional certificates have exams... you are put on the spot, 

instructed to perform, and your output is judged by a panel of experts.  

Is this kind of meritocracy not acceptable -- or do we hand out 'status' 

based on good intentions?


Scott Writes:

The Permaculture Diploma has always been based on demonstrated ability
through projects, graphics, photos, and other proofs that are presented to 

Permaculture Diplomats.  This, to my mind, is meritocracy.  I'm not sure 

where you come up with the idea of "good intentions" unless your intentions

are less than good.


Paul Writes:



Otherwise we have a system of lineage.  Apprenticeship systems would be 

stronger if the indentured apprentice was adding value to the master's 

business model.  Thus the master would be strengthened by accumulating 

apprentices rather than plagued. However many permaculture business 

models are not based on labor-limited returns... It seems like there are 

more permaculture institutes than permaculture farms, and institutes can 

only support so many 'hangers-on'.  However, at this point it really 

does appear like a lineage system... kind of like Kung Fu or something 

(imagine a dubbed fight scene.. "my taproot permaculture will crush your 

shallow bird-roost permaculture"..).


Scott writes:

Seems to me that you haven't been around the permaculture scene long enough
to make accurate observations.  There are hundreds of permaculture farms,
gardens, and businesses and less than twenty active institutes in the U.S.  


If by lineage system you mean that those with knowledge and experience in
permaculture are teaching it and conferring diplomas and certificates I
would have to agree and would further state that it is uncannily like your
vaunted meritocracy system.  I find your Kung Fu imagery displays a shallow 

understanding of the discipline.


Paul Wrote:

In my particular version of society the period of time that folks are 

willing to financially spend in a 'internship' is limited, particularly 

when the financial reward of completing the service is minimal... unless 

of course you really are planning on 'dropping out'.  (I can imagine a 

kind of idealist/realist split not unlike the German Green Party.)


There could well be a breakthrough whereby the permaculture brand adds 

value to a business... it sounds like this is happening in Australia to 

some extent... I suspect that in America other brands will dominate the 

'ecological design' market.  There isn't that 'homegrown' mystique that 

Pc can ride on downunder.  I'd anticipate in America that Pc as a 

professional thing will be subsumed by architects, engineers, designers, 

and educators that have their credentials from a source other than Pc 

but are strongly influenced/


Scott writes:

For someone on the periphery you certainly have a lot to say in a
denigrating way about permaculture.  


Permaculture design professionals are increasing worldwide, and that
includes the U.S. of A.  People are asking for permaculture by name because
it has developed a good reputation and because the mainstream design
professionals and educators have consistently been part of the problem that
permaculture designers are called upon to fix.  



Paul Wrote:

The other factor is that Permaculture alone is insufficient to provide 

professional services... if you are designing land development then you 

need additional skills and experiences related to land development... if 

you are a permaculture banker you need to understand banking... so 

permaculture is like a garnish on whatever set of professional 

credentials you have built already.


Scott Writes:

In the design work that I do I seek permaculture professionals in the fields
that I need.

If I need someone with auto cad skills I can find a permaculture
practitioner who is a professional graphic designer.  Or a Permaculture
engineer. Permaculture is more a way of relating to the world than it is
limiting ones professional life.  It is also a language of design that
addresses all aspects of human endeavor.  Perhaps architecture is a garnish
on the full plate of permaculture.


It is clear to me that it is your very limited understanding of permaculture
that causes you to believe that the discipline is as limited as your
knowledge of the same.  If you would take the time to flip through the
"Designer's Manual" it might amaze you as to the scope of permaculture.



Paul wrote:

Assuming of course that professionalization is the goal.


Scott Writes:

Since this whole conversation has to do with professionalism then I must
assume that your final comment is an exercise in sarcasm which leads me to
believe that all of you comments have little to do with constructive
criticism but more to do with talking to hear your head rattle.


Scott Pittman


Permaculture Institute







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