[permaculture] Democratic solutions to Permacultures conflicts?

kevin s k.skvorak at verizon.net
Sat Jul 28 15:44:34 EDT 2007

Hi folks,

I am wondering about the ongoing issues of certification standards, 
professionalization, protocols, etc., and have a simple question that 
i hope that those folks out there that have strong opinions will 
respond seriously to.

Scott, do you have any comments about this?:

Are there not possible democratic solutions that resolve these open 
questions, and do so in a way that does not further divide us all, or 
place people in turf battles, or cause any of the other internal 
problems that seem to plague the 'movement'?

For instance, why cannot a US national (apologies for those fortunate 
enough to reside outside of the evil empire) membership organization 
deal with these issues?

It is simple enough to set up a 5013c as a membership organization, 
and then this organization can collect dues from every PDC grad that 
wants to be involved, and then these members will direct the 
organization thru an elected board- just like virtually every other 
membership organization in the country.

  If there is a needs for some written standards or another, the board 
of directors can empower a working group of members to draft some 
proposals to get voted on at the annual meeting. There are plenty of 
examples of this like all the local organic certification standards 
that were hammered out by local farmers membership organizations back 
in the day (before they were naive enough to hand it over to the 

Anyway, this all seems simple enough it is a wonder that it hasn't 
happened already....?

Is it because there is a lack of trust in democratic process and 
organization in Permaculture circles? Are the individualistic trends 
just too entrenched? (this is a serious question)

Personally, I tend to trust and follow a democratic process much more 
than i follow any doctrine handed down from above, and i suspect many 
other folks are like me.

  While i would be likely to follow and support any guidelines agreed 
upon in an open democratic way, in an organization that i have input 
into, i am am pretty unlikely to care much about any "protocols" 
handed down from the self-appointed presidents of the various private 
permaculture institutes, notwithstanding their wisdom, experience, 
etc. (no offense meant here to anyone in particular, this is a 
statement about my own feelings about process, about community, and 
about the deeper needs of a healthy sustainable society- so again, it 
is not! an attack on any particular personalities)

As the NE region, that i am a part of, continues to grow and mature 
as a community, i am hoping this is something that we will consider 
seriously at some point, as we have some of the same needs regionally 
that might be well met by a regional membership organization like 

Kevin Skvorak
Regeneration CSA
High Falls NY

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