[permaculture] NAPC: Scarcity?

Toby Hemenway toby at patternliteracy.com
Mon Aug 11 15:04:30 EDT 2014

On Aug 9, 2014, at 5:02 PM, Koreen Brennan via permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org> wrote:

> I'd like to interject that it sounds like there is an assumption that there is a problem with this event. None of the organizers is complaining about not being paid. We plan to put on a fantastic, blow your socks off event. So what problem are we trying to solve, exactly?   

This thread got started--and I know it's hard to remember with all that's been said--by my reply to Skeeter's post in which he asked us to imagine how much tickets would cost if they paid people for their work (and my frustration at how little it would actually be!). One of the other organizers had made a similar remark to me privately. I took that as an indication that more than one presenter was not happy about not being paid for working at their profession.  

There were also statements about the organizers feeling overwhelmed and not having time or help to do things that could have added to the event. So we were working on how to develop more resources for them, and not necessarily money.

It sounds like the organizers would like more sign-ups, so that's part of it. (BTW, many of my Canadian friends tell me they heard nothing about this event). 

Also, I have heard from some permies who live more middle-class lives that they are not going because they were put off by the camping and the probability that they would be asked to hold hands in a circle and sing. 

(relevant story: When I was doing a workshop in Minnesota years ago (where NAPC will be held), I joked to the class that if we were in Northern California, I would now ask them to hold hands, but instead would just ask that they stand near their group-mates. Someone said, "Here in Minnesota, we don't even like to stand near other people." When in Rome . . . let's remember local culture.) 

So those seemed like "problems" worth solving. And then there were the whole "scarcity in permaculture" and "free is not sustainable" pieces as larger issues triggering all this that go beyond NAPC. Those REALLY seem like problems worth solving, because they are huge limitations.

That we are tackling both site-specific and larger issues that are now constantly cropping up for us is, I think, why this has been such a great thread.

For a first-time event, I think the organizers have done a very good job. And there is always room for improvement, and room for gleaning knowledge from the collective mind, especially from other people who have (also) put on lots of events.

Given the resources made available (especially in the form of talented people), I am sure that NAPC will be a terrific event--or else I wouldn't be going.

And now, having fired off a spate of quick emails, I will return to my first real vacation in ages, at awe-inspiring Yosemite.


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