[permaculture] Advance notes on Permaculture Standards and Principals for NAPC

Jono Neiger neiger at csld.edu
Sat Aug 23 13:23:48 EDT 2014


Just some clarifications on your note.

Did any PINE members join working groups at PI-USA or on PINA? Not to my
knowledge. They were invited. ​
As the PINE Board President, I was on working group with PI-USA and then as
it moved to PINA. I stepped off the organizing committee as I had other
commitments. But I have remained in touch with the process and have given
feedback as I can.

...a response of "we have concerns" and "it's moving too fast" one week
before NAPC, after 4 years of knowing about it, seems, well, less than
You may note the letter we sent was from May of this year as part of the
feedback process on the PINA documents. There were no discussions (that I
was aware of) about reviewing certification at NAPC at that point as the
deadline PINA set for review was March 1st. Our concern was that that
deadline didn't leave time for more people to be involved and give
feedback. Its great that the national convergence can be a forum for
discussions. Its good timing.

Many of my concerns still stand as we embark on creating large
organizational structures which take intense energy to maintain. In the age
of open-source and dispersed information availability, there are many
options for reaching the goals that have been set. Much of my focus has
been at the regional level; keeping a regional organization going takes a
lot of work.

Ill be at NAPC and am interested in what can come of meeting in person. As
far as "having decision-making power to forward their interests", We don't
really work that way. My interest would be to get the ideas/proposals being
generated back out to the network and permaculture teachers in our region
to get their feedback.

Jono Neiger
Regenerative Design Group

Conway School
Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning & Design

PINE; Permaculture Institute of the Northeast

On Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 11:23 AM, Toby Hemenway <toby at patternliteracy.com>

> Jono, PINE members, and all--
> These are all very valid concerns. I'd like to bring in a little history
> here, to show that there have been efforts made over the last 4 years to
> address virtually all these concerns.
> In July of 2010 (4 years ago!), Jude Hobbs sent out a letter to roughly 35
> established permaculture teachers, asking for their help in building an
> organization for supporting permaculture teachers and developing a set of
> standards for PDCs, among other things. It also asked for help including
> other established permaculture teachers in the process. Jono and several
> other PINE members were among the first-round recipients. The effort was
> going to be made under the umbrella of the Permaculture Institute.
> Jono sent a reply a day or two later expressing almost exactly the same
> list of concerns as he wrote below, four years later: outdated curriculum,
> need for more inclusiveness, transparency, etc. There was a good deal of
> back-and-forth on these concerns and on others that other people had raised.
> Two years later, although some working groups had been formed, nothing
> material had come of this work. In late 2011 and early 2012, Jude abandoned
> this effort, and she and a group of others decided to form another
> organization, PINA, in an effort to have more transparency and
> participation than the previous format had allowed, and to re-group with
> the core of people who were actually contributing, as most of the others
> had dropped out. This effort was broadcast very widely via a large number
> of channels, including face to face conversations at many permaculture
> gatherings. Several PINE members were made aware of it. PINA has been
> working at it ever since.
> When the word of NAPC began circulating many months ago, the organizers
> made it clear, as did PINA members, that NAPC was going to work on
> standards and curriculum. News of NAPC has been circulated via a very wide
> array of channels, virtual and real, in the US.
> My point is, people at PINE have been aware of these efforts toward
> standards and a national organization for 4 years, and have been in the
> loop on every major development. At some point, it becomes incumbent on
> people to take action about activities that they know will affect them, and
> a response of "we have concerns" and "it's moving too fast" one week before
> NAPC, after 4 years of knowing about it, seems, well, less than proactive.
> Did any PINE members join working groups at PI-USA or on PINA? Not to my
> knowledge. They were invited.
> Is PINE sending representatives who have decision-making power to NAPC to
> forward their interests? I hope so. At some point in an entity's maturity,
> it needs to move from "everyone must be involved in every single decision,"
> (a paralyzing stance) to "I trust my representatives and my colleagues
> enough to make good decisions." (I personally trust PINA to make good
> decisions, even though I don't know all the board members, and will be
> happy to wait for the comment period that I know will follow).
> I think the efforts made by PINA and NAPC to be inclusive have been as
> good as is humanly possible. I don't see how the PINA board can be expected
> to have face to face meetings or make phone calls to all 243 people on
> Skeeter's list of teachers, or to all the many, many other people who are
> going to suddenly realize that these decisions might concern them. At some
> point, people have to look after their own interests themselves, especially
> when they know about relevant efforts, and get actively involved.
> Toby
> http://patternliteracy.com
> On Aug 20, 2014, at 4:05 PM, Jono Neiger <neiger at csld.edu> wrote:
> > Below is a letter carefully crafted by the PINE (permaculture Institute
> of
> > the Northeast) Board to the PINA Board outlining some concerns with the
> > process, concept, and strategies employed around certification and
> > diplomas. There was a wide spread in our groups feelings around the
> effort.
> > As designers, I think we can come up with strategies that are inclusive
> but
> > also ensure integrity in permaculture courses. Also, I think a major goal
> > should be to support and foster the creativity and innovation that is
> > underway in permaculture education. Any structure that looks to fall back
> > on an education system and curriculum outlined decades ago misses the
> boat,
> > IMHO. We need to move forward.
> >
> > Scott:
> > I very much respect your work and perseverance over the many years before
> > permaculture was even "on the radar". That said, as I was participating
> in
> > the early PINA discussions, and we looked to collaborate with you and
> > Pi-usa, I felt (and still feel), that it is confusing that you project a
> > public- non-profit agenda of giving diplomas and certification from a
> > personal organization and website. The pi-usa website (and i believe the
> > organization) is your personal vehicle for offering courses, tours etc.
> > There is no indication of who pi-usa is, how you make decisions, and if
> > people can be involved or if leadership changes over time.
> >
> >
> > I think a huge part of this stage in the permaculture movement is about
> > innovation and mentoring the next generations. Leadership should be very
> > clear about how organizations operate, how are  decisions made, and what
> > feedback and group process in involved, if any. Elders need to be honored
> > for their work, just as youngers need room for exploration and
> innovation.
> > There are some superb facilitators in this network. They should be
> engaged
> > to help us through discussions and finding consensus or at least
> alignment.
> > Values such as transparency, inclusion, openness to new voices and new
> > leadership, and accepting feedback are really critical.
> >
> > blessings
> >
> > Jono
> > Western Massachusetts
> > ******************
> >
> >
> > *​Letter from PINE- Permaculture Institute of the Northeast to PINA
> Board​*
> >
> >
> > *Permaculture Institute of North
> > America
> >          Friday, May 16, 2014*
> >
> > *Board of Directors*
> >
> > *℅ Jude Hobbs *
> >
> > *cascadia at wildblue.net <cascadia at wildblue.net>*
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >

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