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  • Long Time no News!? As usual, the busier we get, the less time we have to write and organise the outreach for newsletters ...But there's been lots of exciting stuff going on behind ...
    Posted Mar 30, 2018, 6:33 AM by PermIntegral
  • A May Full of Initiatives En Español: Email Newsletter to share and forward: with links to Facebook threads:A) Mothers of Invention B) The Fierce ...
    Posted May 13, 2016, 4:32 PM by PermIntegral
  • DeColonizing PermaCulture En Español: Newsletter to share and forward: Stella & Jose of the Integral PermaCulture Academy contributed to the latest Permaculture ...
    Posted May 7, 2016, 11:47 AM by Stella Ne
  • Some Design Presentations En Español: Newsletter to share and forward: We've been trying out the new EcoEscuelas Network project since November ...
    Posted Sep 24, 2015, 12:48 PM by Jose Lorenzo Zamora
  • Horizontal Hostility Conference Link to this page: En Español: Join the Facebook Group   and share your comments, questions ...
    Posted Sep 14, 2015, 8:39 AM by Jose Lorenzo Zamora
  • New Economy Week
    Posted Oct 31, 2014, 1:37 PM by Jose Lorenzo Zamora
  • The New iPDC Network Integral Permacultureoffers radical & doable solutions for a Planet in Crisisand now there is a growing network where you will be able to study the basic certificate course locally ...
    Posted Oct 2, 2014, 12:36 PM by Jose Lorenzo Zamora
  • New Free MiniCourses Direct mini-link to this page: to newsletter, to share & forward it: Mission of the Academy is to offer high ...
    Posted Aug 27, 2014, 5:41 AM by PermIntegral
  • EPT Partnership Workshop direct mini-link >> were delighted to have an opportunity, at the end of May 2014, to be invited to participate in one of the European ...
    Posted Jun 4, 2014, 3:34 PM by PermIntegral
  • International PermaCulture Day 2014 We celebrated International PermaCulture Dayagain, with a bilingual talk (in English & Spanish)that takes an integral perspective on this year's topic:Food Freedom - now available as one of ...
    Posted Apr 26, 2015, 12:10 PM by Stella Ne
  • From Caterpillar to Butterfly We focus this first newsletter of the year on our students, who are constantly delighting us with their exciting evolutionary steps & with their beautiful artistic creations. Here are 5 articles ...
    Posted Sep 24, 2014, 2:24 PM by PermIntegral
  • International Permaculture Day 2013 We're collaborating again this year with International Permaculture Day!& as NodoEspiral we have been asked to be their Media Partners, because they were very impressed with how we organized ...
    Posted Apr 26, 2015, 12:10 PM by Stella Ne
  • The EcoNova Conferences In May we start a very innovative EcoEconomics coursewww.EcoEconomy.NodoEspiral.netuntil September:an Incubator for the New EcoEconomists*& to clarify why it is so critical now for ...
    Posted Mar 26, 2013, 9:11 AM by Jose Lorenzo Zamora
  • Online Festival: ReDesigning Eros ReDesigning Eros  11-23 Feb 2013 * on-line * Two weeks to explore Conscious Evolution in 3D: Me, Us & All of Life The Integral PermaCulture Academy invites you to a free ...
    Posted Jun 17, 2014, 4:31 PM by Stella Ne
  • A Very Special New Year We start another year full of wonderful work in the service of the Seeds of Change Direct mini-link >> Link to share the e-Newsletter >> http ...
    Posted Feb 7, 2013, 12:23 PM by Jose Lorenzo Zamora
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Long Time no News!?

posted Mar 19, 2018, 1:55 PM by Stella Ne   [ updated Mar 30, 2018, 6:33 AM by PermIntegral ]

As usual, the busier we get, the less time we have to write and organise the outreach for newsletters ...

But there's been lots of exciting stuff going on behind the scenes!  
So here is a summary of what we've been up to lately, and what our plans are for the near future.

iPDC Courses in the Canary Islands

We are starting an exciting and unique new series of action-learning iPDCs (integral Permaculture Design Certificate courses) which will take place in the 8thLife EcoVillage project in the Canary Islands, or tandem online.   

It is a great opportunity for a full-immersion,  life-changing experience into the science and art of permaculture design, whilst experiencing living and working on a farm and in an intentional community.   You can even get to practice your Spanish ...  see more in the leaflet,

If you are unable to make the journey, you can take the course online and partner with one of the onsite students.  These basic courses now are the gateway to the longer Advanced Internships (up to Diploma level​), which are also our Teacher Training courses​.   More in the leaflet,

New Learning Platforms

Since the beginning of this year we have been working hard to set up our new learning platforms. None of us have ever worked in this kind of website before, so it was a true action-learning journey, with an on-going support of wordpress specialist who demonstrated great patience!

We hope that new platforms will make your learning experience to be more enjoyable and more than anything - that they will help us to facilitate the creation of the community that we envisage for all involved in the Academy.

Here you can see how the homepage looks at the moment:

We are almost done! Be sure to continue checking your email for the Gran Opening!

Advanced Level Internships

A May Full of Initiatives

posted Apr 21, 2016, 3:10 PM by Jose Lorenzo Zamora   [ updated May 13, 2016, 4:32 PM by PermIntegral ]

Email Newsletter to share and forward:

Conferences with links to Facebook threads:
B) The Fierce Feminine
C) The Importance of Male Allies
D) Action Learning

International PermaCulture Day
We celebrate International PermaCulture Day this year by launching a month-long conference to honor the contribution of women to Permaculture, to human evolution and to the nurturing & fierce protection of all Life.

Because in addition to being International PC Day...
  1. Mothers' Day falls in May in most countries that celebrate it
  2. Earth Day has been allocated to the 22nd of April but we think the Mother of all of us deserves at least a month-long celebration
  3. Maia is one of the names of the Great Mother Goddess (In ancient Roman religion and myth, Maia embodied the concept of growth)
  4. May Day is a traditional spring/summer celebration in Europe, often featuring the May Queen which is one personification of the Life Force
  5. And because it's high time that we CELEBRATE the contribution of women in Permaculture, Great Mothers of Invention!

We will show-case the work of some of our Permaculture Diploma students throughout May, and also launch some conferences on women & Permaculture - traditionally, International PC day is celebrated with strolls through Permaculture gardens everywhere, so we thought we'd invite you for strolls through the lives of some Permaculture designers, and also through some of the lesser known territories we explore in Integral PermaCulture.

To join us,
you can simply see each stroll or conference
in th
the Integral PermaCulture Facebook group
and join our Mailing List to receive times & dates of the live events

And the rest of this newsletter is about some of the work we're doing in developing the Social and Abstract components essential for good holistic design that are often not so well designed in 'conventional' permaculture, because of the 'traditional' absence of widely recognized women pioneers in Permaculture -  as we argue in the article on "What is Integral Permaculture"

Designing Invisible Structures

One part
of the Integral Model that is critical for the foundation of Integral Permaculture is represented by this diagram of the four quadrants, which emphasizes the importance of always remembering that the internal structures of a design (left-side quadrants) are as important as the external elements (right-side quadrans), and totally inter-connected with each other, in the same way that the individual (quadrants above) and collective (quadrants below) structures are, also. 

And practice demonstrates it 

- in our work we keep finding in supporting people in transition that it is nearly impossible for anyone to try to make real changes in our "outside world" projects 

(external quadrants - whether restoring an ecosystem, creating a business or enriching our family or community) 

if we don't also work on re-designing our internal lives and beliefs, or if we keep being surrounded by people who don't share our most basic values.    

We have to re-design at all levels - and this often works better if we do everything at once (and, ironically, it's even easier that way) .

People in Transition

People in transition are the hope for the future: they are the many people who are thinking on how to change their life and actions so that they are more coherent with their values, but who also are often afraid to leave a job that doesn't fulfill them or unable to get out of unemployment and have the courage to take the first step to build something that fulfills them (because they don't have enough information or support in creating new habits), like launching their own micro-business, going to live closer to Nature, or taking leadership in a transition project.     

And these new initiatives you can see below (courses, free conferences and support groups) were all inspired by our most pro-active students, and are some of the support structures that we offer for this very important collective that we serve.

Many more are included in the action learning courses that we have been offering for a while, and also in the Integral PermaCulture Designer's Manual, which now has a growing number of pages with discussion threads in our Facebook Group, where anyone can add interesting materials about each topic, and also discuss the contents.  

Designing your Life

Living within the destructo-culture
, we are pushed to abandon our greatest dreams and let ourselves be dragged by the system's current.  Many of the people who are attracted by Permaculture are youngsters who oppose that current, or who are waking up from going every day to a job that doesn't fulfill them, or frustrated and trapped in unemployment after years of studying. 

Through many years of teaching Integral Permaculture, especially the most advanced parts of the complete curriculum (Option C and above), we have seen the effectiveness and transformational capacity that having good design tools brings us, especially to help us find our personal life mission  (because even when we identify as Permaculture designers, we sometimes have a hard time in finding our particular niche, especially because conventional permaculture is, in some aspects, limiting).

And the most important design we can possibly develop is without a doubt our lives - but we rarely think of applying the Permaculture design tools to these invisible structures, even those that are very big and primary, although it's very effective when we do.

That's why, in the Academy's courses we have helped many students in their transition by facilitating them the different support structures & tools that we have available when they actually need them (most are in the e-book, but it's much quicker when a mentor can point you to the ones you actually need at the right time!)

So in order to also support the people in transition who are not doing the iPDC courses, as we can't walk besides them and offer them tools continuously in our private support groups, we are creating an on-line walkthrough (in the form of a minicourse) with these tools, so that each person can have them available to use when they need them).

So we are delighted to present you with 
Integral Permaculture Life Design".

This course will provide you with a selection of design tools we teach in the full Integral Permaculture Design certificate course that are useful for the task of designing the most important 'invisible structure' you will ever create: your own life.

It is a course designed to un-block anything that might be getting in the way of you bringing the fullness of your gifts & talents to the world, and clarify your way.

"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time. This expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it.

It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open."

If you want more information about the course and how to enroll, join us in the IPCLifeDesign Facebook group.

Covey's Habits

In one of the first courses of the Academy (in 2004), a bank manager (in transition) who participated told us that he was very surprised and excited about us including Covey's Habits in our curriculum, in the People Care module.

And in fact we included it in our courses because it's a classic manual for personal empowerment used for decades in small and big businesses and in professional coaching programs, and it has a very permacultural content - even though in alternative communities it hasn't been traditionally recognized, it is an extraordinary tool and very aligned with the design techniques, values and ethics of Integral Permaculture. 

It was Carolina, one of our new students
in the Diploma program, who decided to take as a personal challenge (and action-learning exercise, in one of her course's practical designs) the task of facilitating a study circle on Covey's Habits.

We started by encouraging her to create a presential circle in the city where she lived, in Italy, but through a few months, and with the help of various tools from the course, she started to clarify her values and vision while she reconsidered some aspects of her life. The result of this was a dramatic change of direction: she returned to her home country, Spain, & start doing many things more aligned with her vision.   That's why she finally decided to facilitate the Covey's Habits support group online and offer it to the other students in the Academy.

This study circle on the 7 Habits started in February, studying a habit each month, and we have a discussion thread about this here in the spanish Integral PermaCulture FB group, which is also open to (spanish-speaking) people who are not in the Academy, so if you want you can join at any moment and explore with us how we can face daily challenges in a more pro-active and conscious way, and re-design our lives with the support of more people who are doing the same.  

¡Thank you so much Carolina for your initiative!

Some of our english-speaking students are thinking of making this also available in english soon, so if you're interested in participating, let us know here in the english FB group.

Women and Men Groups

Juan, another diploma student, was the one who inspired the creation of the Men's Support Group that has been working within the Academy from January, as he had already facilitated men's groups in Spain.

And we celebrated Women's Day 2016 by launching this series of materials for study groups where we can encourage and support all people who want to truly fight for justice and equality, because doing this requires us to challenge a lot of limitations we hold without realizing - and it's much more effective (and fun) if we do it together.    You can enroll for free in the FB Group "Integral WomanNet" - also open to interested men! 

For women it's impotant to know that we have great allies in the men who choose to be more conscious of the mechanics of oppression, so we have designed Women and Men Circles to work in parallel and get together to share our insights and challenges.    
See, a resource we have been working on now for several years (under continuous construction) 

And this is also part of a global movement formed by various groups of people in many parts of the planet, united against oppresion, to which we have added our point in order to join the movement.

DeColonizing PermaCulture

posted Dec 21, 2015, 9:38 AM by Stella Ne   [ updated May 7, 2016, 11:47 AM ]

Stella & Jose of the Integral PermaCulture Academy contributed to the latest Permaculture Design Magazine which was all about Decolonizing Permaculture, a very important consciousness that is now emerging with more force in the permaculture movement, and something we are proud to have incorporated into the Integral Permaculture curriculum since its beginnings.  See some of the story of that, below.

Also included is an interview of Stella by our dear colleague Derrick Jensen for his Resistance Radio Program, all about Integral Permaculture.  

Permaculture = Relationship

We are writing this from colonized Benawara (renamed La Palma after the Awara people were exterminated and absorbed more than 500 years ago in the Spanish conquest of the Canary Islands).  In this article we mention a few of the cultural patterns we noticed we carry as colonialist people.  There are many, but one way of describing several of them, in terms of how we think and act in the world, is that

  • a root colonialist attitude is to ask "what can I get out of / extract from this person / resource / situation / place, etc.?",

  • whereas an indigenous, or non-colonialist, basic attitude would ask "how can I enter into better relationship with this person / resource / situation / place, etc.?"


At one end of that spectrum is an extractive way of being, where nothing but our own wants and perceived lack are sacred, whilst at the other is a relational way of being in which everything is sacred.  Where we sit on that spectrum determines whether we live more in separation, individualism and fear (which is also what fuels consumption), or more in a way that enables community & interdependence, and with those our sense of security in the world, as we reconnect to the web of Life.

Because of the critical importance of shifting collectively from an extraction to a relationship paradigm, we are delighted to see the subject of de-colonization getting some attention in Permaculture circles, and we offer our deep respect and gratitude to all the people co-creating this issue of Permaculture Design Magazine, and for the opportunity to add our perspective and what we've learned so far about this fascinating subject.

We have put social justice at the core of our life missions from a very young age, so we are passionate about deeply studying the mechanics of systemic oppression in order to understand its foundations and dismantle them. 

As Latino activists living in a Latin country we have a particular interest in, and perspective on, how the globalization of the Anglo-Saxon cultural Empire is affecting us all at different levels, and how this is currently reflected within the Anglo Permaculture movement - which most people reading this article will probably identify as ”the Permaculture movement”.

De-Colonizing Bodies, Hearts & Minds

Much of our decolonization work is done within our community of students and interns, most gratifyingly with those who have mustered the trust and courage to do deep personal change work. This requires some 180-degree turnaround of deeply held beliefs installed by the Destructo-Culture, and is essential if we are to design a Perma-Culture.

We see some arrive at our farm with heavy armors of doubts or beliefs that seriously limit their enjoyment, freedom and effectiveness in the world, and leave as much more powerful designers.    The most significant things they learn here are usually how invisible structures imprison us personally and collectively: essential for learning to trust our own instincts and intelligence, which is critical for real designing - creating something new and original - instead of copying others’ designs.  

We learned that it's crucial to help people to not take systemic oppression personally, to notice and contradict it when it is being perpetuated, and to understand how very debilitating it actually is for individuals and communities.   

Many young people, especially if they are also women and non-Anglos, are crippled by systemic oppression without being aware of it at all.   This, apart from creating a lot of unnecessary suffering, represents a huge reservoir of human resource lost to the cause of sustainability - if we don’t liberate it - as all of these people long to create a more just and rational society.

The damage of oppression, coupled with the post-modernist fog under which western young people have been brought up in, plus the insecurity and confusion that comes from being deeply cut off from soil, nature and other species, means we have much baseline healing and consciousness-raising to do before we can begin to design a saner society.


It is even uncomfortable for most of us in the environmental movements to consider that agriculture might be the very origin of our “colonizing genes”. 

Agriculture has enslaved us politically (it makes colonization practically inevitable) but also biochemically (by radically changing what we ate and thus the way our bodies and minds work).  

There is a deeper meaning to the "bread and circuses" techniques used by all empires to keep the masses controlled: most civilized people only know the daily mood and energy swings of carbohydrate dependency. 

This is our ‘normal’. But, as we recently heard a traditional shaman saying, that is an inherently separating and fear-inducing state, and the good news is that we can revert to our natural state, if we get some information and support.   We have seen students who struggled with long-term depression or various addictions notice very welcome changes within a few weeks of changing their diets here.

These are experiential things, but having a good basic theory that questions our old models is essential to start the journey.  We have learned that creating more effective “life rafts” and  maps to navigate the choppy waters of transition is critical design work we need to be doing in order to accelerate the natural succession from “crazy civilized humans” toward “sane indigenous humans” - because if we don't radically change the models, paradigms and mythologies that we think with and we live by, we can't hope to change society very much.

This is why we have taken on the big job of widening and deepening the PDC curriculum over the last 15 years, an ongoing international and multi-lingual project that we invite all designers who identify as “integrals” (same as “de-colonizers”) to join.   It includes many powerful models by a great variety of activists and thinkers which are coherent with each other as well as with the ethics and aims of Permaculture, and it is designed to be constantly revised.

But to understand what caused us to take this design focus, maybe we should backtrack fifteen years to some earlier Permaculture design experiences.

Urban Permaculture Origins

In London, a decade of activism pre-permaculture enabled Stella's group to create - between 1994 and 1999 - an early successful example of community Permaculture with a cross-cultural, multi-generational and inclusive culture and reach.

The project was called Green Adventure and it empowered people to make a difference in their neighborhoods, in their own and their children’s lives, by participating in real physical changes that impacted the local economy.

There were several interconnected projects happening at the same time. One was making organic vegetables affordable to low-income people in inner-city neighbourhoods by giving an option to pay for the weekly box partly in local currency. This also added variety, more people and credibility to the LETS scheme, which tripled its turnover during the first year of our box scheme joining.

Since the core people had been youth workers who were also well trained in anti-racist, anti-sexist awareness, our approach was to put the children's opinions and ideas at the center of the design process. This educated many adults and empowered a lot of children: we were doing liberation theology and calling it Permaculture design.

Interestingly, several Permaculture groups that copied this work didn't have much success. We realized later that it was because our (unusual) political awareness actually formed the base of our work.

An example: a project we assisted in Spain fell victim to adultism when a group of parents participating in a permaculture design course chose to disregard a design we had previously facilitated with the neighborhood’s children.  

Their forest garden was subsequently vandalized, its trees damaged and stolen. It is very ironic that we tend to blame these design mistakes on “human nature”, when we know better: the Green Adventure forest gardens, despite being in the middle of a high-crime area in London, were actually protected by the children who created them.stool2.png

Green Adventure also empowered a lot of marginalized people in our community through positive action.  

We had a very young Chinese woman as chairperson for 2 years, our staff was 50% black, we had gay and lesbian people in leadership positions and we were mostly led by women.  None of this happened by chance: it was basic anti-racism and feminist awareness designing the core structures.  All of us understood what unaware exclusion looks and feels like, so we were clear about the need to practice active inclusion - something that is very difficult to explain to people who are born with privilege and never politicized / de-colonized.

The many fertile edges we created by designing-in this real diversity was very satisfying for everyone, including the more privileged amongst us - it was the source of the vitality and creativity we all enjoyed, as we were excited and energized by the realization that we were creating a different culture together.

We also trained in the inclusive meetings techniques developed by Jane Hera and Andy Langford, as our PDC curriculum included their great people-care models.  We decided to study these further in order to ensure our meetings were interesting and productive, which is as critical for success as having good people on the team.

Transition to Rural Permaculture Work

Since 2000 we have been running Permaculture action-learning courses in the countryside of our Latin island culture.  Since these also attracted many privileged white middle-class Anglosaxon people, it turned out to be a very in-depth study for us of how culture shapes both our perception and our learning capabilities, as well as a fascinating action-research project in how to teach Permaculture design to Westerners more effectively.

With most of these students we witnessed a quintessential pattern of colonialism play out: an attitude of “Now I’ve arrived, the designing starts”, which naturally brings with it a particular kind of cultural and historical blindness.  

It makes it impossible to do the “prolonged, detailed observation” that we know all good permaculture design needs to begin with: it doesn’t matter how great our other design tools and skills are if we start with very partial data - good observation is fundamental.

Since all these skills are also best learned with protracted and detailed mentoring, we re-designed the entire teaching style to support long-term action-learning, and this, combined with the much more radical curriculum, has been a very challenging, but also liberating and enormously exciting journey for all of us.

We think it’s essential to greatly increase our pattern literacy (or models literacy: skillfully understanding and working with mental models and invisible structures) as Permaculture designers, because complex system design requires this, and good systemic thinking is key for Permaculture to be effective.  

It is also equally important for us to visibly honor the contributions of women, native peoples and people of color to the wealth of knowledge we enjoy nowadays - a precious resource which is too often appropriated, usually by the white men we then think of as “the experts”.  

This appropriation of intellectual, spiritual or material wealth from other creatures is another key pattern of colonialism, closely connected to entitlement (the feeling that we have some unquestionable right to have or take as ours whatever we want), which is also typical of a colonial mentality.

We playfully honor the novel Ishmael by Daniel Quinn as “a pre-text” for Integral Permaculture because it very cleverly dismantles the mythology and cosmology that civilized people are all brought up with.   We need to be aware of the cultural air we breathe from birth (and ours is particularly riddled with big contradictions and glaring omissions of both facts and logic) otherwise, our efforts to do “alternative” things invariably ends up reproducing the same old story.   We do ‘greenwashing’ instead of re-designing.

So after that great introduction, we flesh a new possible story by continuing the re-configure more of the pieces of the puzzle that Ishmael blew up for us. The feedback we get most frequently is that students gain a profound feeling of empowerment from a new clarity and consistency in ideas.

But we still have much to learn about supporting this de-colonizing transition to a more indigenous, connected and rational way of being, and we especially need more trained supporters to help with the quite difficult midwifing that needs to happen when people give birth to their new selves.    

As former city people ourselves, we have learned to see - and sometimes heal - some of these things. Our daily intimate contact and mutual care with many plants and animals, living on a farm as an extended family of other species, helps a great deal. This process was accelerated by living with more civilized interns and guests and noticing the gap in our ways of thinking and being.


Our civilized lives (from “civitas”, city), with “realities” created by mass media instead of nature's cycles, create chronic separation and dis-embodiment that are deeply traumatic.

Most of us have only experienced contact with other species as pests (which we try to kill or avoid), as pets (still objectified, but in a different way), or through the horror footage of animals tortured for the benefit of industrial food or medicines.   No wonder we spend decades searching for ‘other forms of life’ in the cosmos, whilst we annihilate 200 entire species every single day right here on Earth.

Our disembodied city lives have also caused a great confusion about the place of death in the wider scheme of things: most city people have never seen or heard of a “good” death, much less a clean, compassionate, peaceful and sacred “giving of death”.  Instead, we have powerlessly witnessed plenty of dramatized and glamorized violence in the news and in movies, so it is easy to come to believe that death, trauma and violence are one and the same thing.   Living closely with other species we come to see death as a part of the life cycle, and to associate harmony and the sacred with death,  rather than violence.

Some Conclusions

At the root of our consumerist culture is a deeply ingrained dishonesty, and a cultural acceptance of dishonesty as normal. There are many expressions of this, like the focus on valuing appearance over content, creating superficial contact instead of real intimate relationship, pretending to agree instead of arguing out differences, or not even admitting to ourselves what we truly value and want.  This habitual dishonesty also makes us quite blind to underlying patterns, or ‘invisible structures’.

We see that it’s easy to say we want to “live close to nature”, “have a simple lifestyle” and ‘change the world’… but then we don’t want to deal with some ‘uncomfortable’ part of nature, like rats, flies, cold or hot weather, or our dependance on comforts like fridges, daily hot showers or industrial foods, even when we have the sustainable alternatives at hand and support for dealing with these - mostly emotional - transitions.  


This deep dishonesty is a pattern that native people have noticed when they come in contact with westerners - it’s often a big shock for them to realize that even the chosen leaders of a group can make promises and treaties that they don’t honor. We carry this dishonesty virus in our colonialist make-up, and it hurts us just as much as it hurts all the creatures and other cultures that we destroy with it.

Through all these experiences, we have learned to notice a series of patterns that most civilized people have, and we have learned how to contradict them in practice.  But there’s a whole imperialist culture which justifies & enslaves us to these ways of thinking and being, so it is difficult to make the commitment needed to really explore them.  And we really need to make that choice.

Unfortunately, collectively we also bring these same patterns to how we design our groups’ permaculture organizations.   For example, we see permaculture conferences recreating the elitism and centralization we say we want to avoid, when we refuse to address the fact that the vast majority of us can’t attend international or even national gatherings - meaning they are just for the privileged few.  Yet we are skilled designers: we could design our important meetings quite differently, if we wanted to, especially nowadays with all the internet tools we have.   But - despite making proposals and experimenting with this for nearly a decade - we see huge resistance to taking seriously the concepts of inclusion or privilege: we just want to keep doing what we’re familiar with.

We get attacked sometimes for even mentioning these issues, so the last free online conference we organized was on the subject of horizontal hostility (HH) because we realized over the years just how very debilitating this HH virus is to our work and to the effectiveness of all movements for change.  Instead of discussing ideas collectively, we individualize: people are shunned, ridiculed or attacked.   Mostly HH rears its ugly head when someone “steps out of line” and challenges some unwritten rule of the destructo-culture: to the extent that we are unaware of oppression dynamics, we are co-opted as agents of its immune system, attacking each other instead of the real problems.

The bottom line is, if most of our (civilized, colonizing) mental models are unconscious, we cannot replace them with healthier ones, even when we end up realizing that they don't achieve the results we hoped for.

But we can be - and have been - successful in helping people to decolonize parts of themselves, and in starting to decolonize the Permaculture curriculum.  And when we are able to remove the big barriers that block us emotionally and intellectually, then we can make the big move from copying recipes to truly designing.


Stella & Jose are permaculture researchers, designers, teachers and activists.IMG_20140101_015633.jpg

They work for the Integral Permaculture Academy, which launched the Networked iPDC and the EcoEscuelas network last year.  They coordinate the co-creation of the free online Integral Permaculture Designers' Manual and yearly free online conferences and mini-courses. They are also founder members of the 8thLife EcoVillage project, where they live.

This is our Winter Solstice Newsletter, we hope it inspires you to work together with renewed strength and joy, towards a much more radical 2016!  :)

(click on image to expand)

The Permaculture Activist / Design magazine

The Permaculture Activist / Design magazine, born in 1985, is the world's longest-in-print permaculture periodical. 

Their aim is to help people everywhere provide for their own & their communities' food, energy, and shelter from the smallest practical area of land, & to design a decent life without exploitation or pollution.

Dialogues  in our FB Group

We decided to make the Integral Permaculture FB group more of a dialogue-based learning resource by linking some of the e-Book* pages with this lovely icon designed by Fer, one of our spring intern students:

There's a dialogue related to this page in the Integral Permaculture FB group (click icon to go there)

There's a dialogue in our FB group about the DeColonizing PermaCulture article (click icon to go there)


*The e-Book

"The e-Book" refers to the free online Integral Permaculture Designers Manual, which you can access by clicking on this "harvest only sunshine" icon whenever you see it in the Academy menu or pages:

We realize that '"the e-Book" is a rather general name but it is what we've always shortened the name of this huge (and growing) collectively-compiled resource.

Now you can treat yourself to a mini-interactive-course by going to our FB Group and contributing to the dialogues which are linked to various of the pages.

If you start a dialogue about any page in the e-book that doesn't already have a dialogue icon, we will add one, and link that page with the thread you started.

Interview by Derrick Jensen

Just before the Decolonizing Permaculture article was published, Stella (coordinator of the Academy) was interviewed by Derrick Jensen, for his Resistance Radio programme.

Vídeo de YouTube

There's a dialogue related to this page in the Integral Permaculture FB group (click icon to go there)

and there's a dialogue in our FB group about it  (click icon to go there)

Thank you Stephanie McMillan

The wonderful cartoon illustrations we chose for our article are from our dear colleague Stephanie McMillan's wonderful series "Daily Affirmations for the Revolutionary Proletarian Militant" ... which she has now made into a calendar.

Highly reccommended! 
To keep our faith and sense of humour during trying fighting times.

Get one here

Other De-Colonizing Articles

These are other articles from this issue of Permaculture Design Magazine & others on this very important subject.

Seeing off the Patrix

- a free course

To celebrate this issue of Permaculture Design magazine and to further this exciting opportunity to deepen work on decolonizing permaculture, Gaia U is offering a free online introduction to Seeing off the Patrix, a 5-week course using insights from RC. 

To find out more about this course and to sign-up send an email to 

Existing practitioners of RC are particularly welcome as, together, we will be able to provide our colleagues with a deeper resource.

This is from one of the other articles on Decolonizing Permaculture, by Andy Langford, one of the directors of Gaia University.  Click on icon to read the full article.

The RC Model is one of the wonderful evolutionary models we also teach and practice, because it is essential for understanding "why people can be so intelligent one minute, and so crazy the next"... and particularly for understanding how oppression works - against us and through us - to keep us all 'in our place' and perpetuating the DestructoCulture.

The basic theory and practice of RC is part of the iPDC course, and you can read the chapter in the e-book about it here.

Some Design Presentations

posted Sep 14, 2015, 8:20 AM by Jose Lorenzo Zamora   [ updated Sep 24, 2015, 12:48 PM ]

We've been trying out the new EcoEscuelas Network project since November 2014, perfecting the monthly iPDC program as we go with the help of our adventurous first Interns. 

We're delighted with the results of having smaller groups, since it means the students can take real responsibility for actually designing a creative hands-on projects whilst they take the classes on site.

In this newsletter we focus on the experiences of some of the interns trying out the new course format
in the 8thLife project in the Canary Islands, and
some of the design work that has been done while they took their PDC* on site. 
(*Permaculture Design Certificate)

This is an ongoing programme now, and we will be starting these internships also in Al Haman, in Almeria soon.

Advice from Frida

Frida from Italy is the latest (and oldest, at 65) Intern at 8thLife, and we very much enjoyed her participation on the course from the beginning. 

Not just because of her positive attitude and excitement for learning, but also because, despite saying that she wasn't used to and didn't like using computers (needed for the online part of our courses), her enthusiasm for connecting & communicating was so strong that she made sure nothing would get in her way of building relationships.

And Frida has this advice she wanted to share with future students:

"At the moment you can come for an internship in 8thLife without having taken the theory classes, but my advice is to do the 20 classes before arriving on site, take the mind-maps you made during class with you and when you are here review or research in more depth the subjects that most interest you. 

In this way you will make much more of your time here, you will have much clearer ideas about what Integral Permaculture is all about, and with clearer ideas you will be able to understand the project a lot better, design more things yourself & make more focused & more precise questions, and so learn much more."

We agree with Frida, so we'd like to clarify that there are 2 options for doing the iPDC: 

1) the more conventional, shorter version, which can be done in 1 month: do the theory at the same time as the field work but not do so much of your own designs work - since real designing requires having a good grasp of the theory to start with, then ample time for observation, planning, doing, reviewing, etc. 

and the longer, more practical route
which can be done in 2 months or more, and means arriving on site already having studied all the 20 classes of the iPDC, and understanding what designs are most needed at the place you will be doing your practicals and clarifying what you would be passionate about working on, so that you can enjoy doing more in-depth creative work there, in the wider context of a complex Permaculture project being created for future generations.

Of course just living and working on a permaculture farm or project can be an education in itself, but that depends a lot on how much you engage.  For some it remains little more than eco-tourism. And the difference mostly depends on your preparation, which is why we encourage the online preparation, before arrival on site.

Everyone has the option of taking part in any or all of the regular farm maintenance tasks - working with animals, nurseries, gardens, forest gardens, repairing or building small structures .. which means interacting intimately with all the particulars of the complex design.    
But as an intern, you can also design them.  

Of course there is plenty of time to ask questions, solicit the stories behind each of the different parts of the design, but we are all limited (and especially the types of questions we think to ask are limited) by what we see and understand - by our previous knowledge, prejudices and filters.

The Integral Permaculture curriculum is particularly designed to help us question all sorts of things we don't normally question - and which prevent us from being good, flexible designers, and to be fully empowered in our own lives.     

This is what some of the latest interns made of their opportunities at 8thLife:

Daniele & Fernando

Daniele from Italy stayed for two months in spring, and said...

"I enjoyed the iPDC because it is amazing taking classes outside - as we can take the classes wherever and whenever we like, we re-designed these for ourselves to suit our personal wishes and the day we took this picture of me I was outside with Suzy doing her class in another language, instead of together inside like previous days, seeing the classes together, after I realized they were easier for me to follow in spanish.

The E-Book is so full of information.  I go there to look up whatever I am most interested in that I learn from the classes."

Daniele didn't do much online preparation beforehand so he didn't know what design practicals he was going to do.   Because of that, he spent his first month trying out a few wild ecobusiness ideas, which we all enjoyed following as they were very creative, but as time ran on we had to find him a small enough project that he could complete before the end of the course - so he took on building the water pump house.

The Water Pump House Design

After a client interview, taking measurements and trying out the ideas for various recycled materials we had around the farm, he made various sketches.

In the end we settled on wood as the main material, and tried to figure out how to give suitable space for all the tubes whist sheltering it both from sun and rain.   We also needed to leave the pump buttons easily accessible for starting and stopping it manually, and the whole structure had to be easy to move out of the way if necessary - and we are very happy with the results, as it looks good and is very functional.

Daniele pursued various creative ideas at first, with different materials, he was open to suggestions and asked various people for their opinions, didn't get discouraged when his first prototype didn't work out, persisted and knew when to ask for help although he worked mainly on his own - all good designer traits and skills.

He also had fun learning how to use new tools and being an artistic kind of person he then did his design presentation in the form of this video:

Daniele often entertained us with his beautiful guitar playing and singing,
and was always cracking jokes & pulling pranks. 
 But he also showed maturity in dealing with a few group conflicts, & was generally very helpful on the farm.     So we accepted - for his second design - a performance he organized with Fer: a song he wrote about the farm and his experience with us, with Fer cartooning as he sang.   We enjoyed it a lot and it showed a lot of imagination and resourcefulness - all also key qualities for designers.

A great proponent of learning to live simply, Daniele stayed the coldest months of the year in a
small tent, sleeping out even during quite bad rain and strong wind storms, and said he particularly enjoyed living close to nature like this.
     He is also a keen travel writer (see his travelling blog), and
entered an essay competition whilst staying with us.  
When he left, he traveled back home by hitch-hiking on sailing boats. 

We hope that some of the interesting experiments he made while he was with us for possible future eco-businesses will work out for him or inspire him further toward something that might work, since that is probably the most important personal design any of us will ever tackle: how to make an ethical, satisfying income (doing something we love) while being surrounded by the Destructo-Culture.

Fer from Spain did the course at the same time as Daniele, and said   "It is really a practical course, it's flexible & the environment is perfect".

Fer delighted us with his cartoons, which he included in all his design work.

<< He showed this one during his final design presentation, illustrating his 'client interviewing' (Fer is the guy to the right with the notepad & pencil) with Jose telling him about the importance of the chickens feeling safe.    Jose has exactly that green old jumper, goes around barefoot and plays with his long sleeves in that manner  - this kind of attention to detail is delightful, and the mark of an excellent cartoonist, as well as a very good designer.     

Although his main design project was the big chicken house - to which he made some important additions (THANK YOU!) - for the final part of the course Fernando found himself inspired to develop his artistic side during his stay, and after thinking about several projects to develop - one being a comic about his adventures transitioning to a more sustainable lifestyle - he started helping with the graphics for a bioregional design we are participating in, creating a beautiful poster and many illustrations for the project.

Fer had already started cartooning online several years ago with this blog, but didn't continue.   While he was here with us, he thought of how to return to his art and use his talents to tell the stories of transition, like those of many young people who are going through major life changes trying to
better align their values to their life path.  

So we hope that Fer will pursue his idea of a comic about his adventures transitioning to a more sustainable lifestyle, and thank him for his beautiful illustrations.

<< This 'Facebook dialogue' picture gave us the idea of linking the pages of the Integral Permaculture Designers Manual which are being discussed in our Facebook group.

Fer's drawing for the Moneda Demos leaflet

The Big Chicken House

This is a design project that many people have worked on for a long time here in 8thLife, with each person adding a piece of the puzzle.

Óscar from Mexico made this model >> 
in SketchUp, and 
<< this drawing made by Heloïse from France shows its structure and main functions.

This is part of a bigger chicken tractor design, where the chickens will move every day from their house, in the center of the farm, though a system of corridors to the gardens, so they can work on one of them each month to enrich and prepare the soil for the next crops.

This is a map of >>
the farm where you can see the placement of the chicken house and corridors, so the chickens can access the 6 big half-moon shaped gardens (left part of
sections red to blue
 - to the right are the forest gardens).

Daniel and Fer working on the structure in February (below).  Suzy & Jose finishing >>

Now we've finally managed to move the chickens there, so now they're enjoying their new house.

                                         You can see Fer's design presentation here

Fer's drawing for the Moneda Demos leaflet

A core part of our mission is to improve the soil, and one way to do that is to stop soil erosion.  By making mini-swales on the steep banks of the terraces we create little platforms were we put plants so their roots hold the soil.

Fer in the mini-swales workshop  >>
where we covered the steepest incline in
the finca with waste branches & compost.

Other workshops Fer participated in were fermenting foods, making chocolates & making interesting dishes out of green bananas (which became a bit of a passion, especially the salty banana chips) and also weaving shades from the plentiful cane we harvest nearby (for the chicken house roof).

Thank you Fer for your work and your inspiring art :)

Giselle, Emilio & Jessie

Giselle from Argentina & Emilio from Spain stayed for just a month, but managed to get 3 infrastructure projects finished as their practical design projects, while they took the classes for their Permaculture Design Certificate course, the iPDC.

<< Here they are helping to prepare a new larger potting area behind the library, where new cuttings and transplants start their way to the nurseries.  In this photo they are sifting soil, granzón & compost to mix in varying proportions according to the needs of each plant.

Jessie from Denmark also helped with designing the vertical greenhouse, as well as making some small beautiful changes around the new potting area, but had to cut her visit short due to illness in the family. 
We hope she will be back soon!

So, thanks to the recent interns, we now have three nurseries: a new one for vegetable seedlings, as well as an expanded one for other small plants, and another one for trees.   

This below is one of the working sketches for the new vertical seedling nursery.

The Vertical Nursery

This is where we had our seedlings nursery before >>>
 on a low wall that was not easy to shade in summer and prone to lizard attacks
(they can chomp through a whole tray of seedlings very quickly, and they love sunning themselves in stone walls).

Jessie, Emilio & Giselle set out to design the structure & logistics
for a vertical seedlings nursery that would multi-function as a green wall both for added privacy & extra shade for the Transition House patio.  
It is important to have     
the nurseries in Zone 1 where we can keep a constant eye on the seedlings, and this corridor is quite busy, so it's a perfect location.

This vertical nursery wall is something Celi had originally thought of and which we were keen to do also because it would provide a wall to prevent children falling off an unprotected part of the patio, as well as the other functions listed above.

They worked brilliantly as a team (Emilio wanted to practice team facilitation so this was his part of the design) and the structure made from the materials of the old nursery, which looked very different, was up in just a few days.

We are very impressed with what this dynamic team of young people achieved in such a short time, and very thankful that we now have a much larger and easy to shade area for our seedlings to grow in:  a lovely and very practical green wall.

In this video you can see them presenting this design

Tree Rescue with Tyres

Another of their design projects was rescuing a little Carob tree that had made very deep roots through its pot while it was in the old nursery that we moved, so we couldn't pull it out without damaging them and probably killing it,

but it was leaning to one side. so Giselle made a great tire structure around it to hold it in place, and she also added more plants & flowers to make it look even more beautiful.

In the video below you can see the presentation of this design.

The Pig Tractor Fence

And the third project completed by Giselle and Emilio was the new pig pen for our two lovely black Canarian pigs.

The pigs had already fully tractored their old home, so we needed a new space for them, and we were also looking forward to having them closer to the main house so we could interact with them more easily. 

Emilio used his excellent building skills to build a fence and welded two new doors, after a short welding workshop by Jose, and we all did our best to make it 'pig proof' by pinning tree logs around the fence to stop them digging the base. 

So now the pigs are now having fun in their new house, which we are all very happy about.

And in this video you can see Giselle & Emilio presenting this design.

Vídeo de YouTube


David in Spain, is a student of the online version of the course, who enrolled because he wanted support in developing his family farm and nursery ecobusiness.  He also presented two of his designs to complete his PDC and is now continuing on the Diploma pathway.

One of the designs he presented was the facilitation work he did to coordinate a group of students to do their Certificate presentations at the same time, where he showed a lot of proactivity, 

The second design he presented was the progress of his biointensive garden, where he has been busy regenerating the soil and also advancing the creation of a future food forest and nursery ecobusiness base.

David wrote beautifully this about his experience on our course in one of the previous newsletters, From Caterpillar to Butterfly, where he begins by saying:

"With a Permaculture design course of two months and a half under my belt, and an additional three months as a volunteer in the Montsant Permaculture institute, when I came back home I just wanted to keep learning Permaculture, especially when I realized that I still didn't know where to start.

I considered the possibility of doing a permaculture action learning course on the Internet, but my first feeling was of backing out, because I didn't think that learning Permaculture on the internet could be at the same level as an in-person course.

But I was partially wrong, because when I started the course with the Integral Permaculture Academy and saw its functioning and the community that's behind it, I've realized that the learning and personal growth that I can undergo are similar, if not better, than with an in-person one."

And for his design presentation, he researched some tools and made a great video.

And David now continues with his action-learning and Diploma pathway with several other designs
e is developing his EcoBusiness, Caliptra, with a mission to foster food sovereignty, design of aesthetic and productive environments, healthy local nutrition and knowledge dissemination,
and he is also researching and experimenting with his
diet for integral health and wellbeing, developing his knowledge & skills as a bee-keeper and as a grower of nursery plants and organic preparations

Suzy & the 8thLife Café

Suzy from England, stayed in 8thLife as an intern for 8 months and took on the challenging roles of being our very first Volunteer Coordinator and later Hostel Manager, as one of her aims was to develop her leadership and coordination skills.

All of this whilst working on a variety of designs with much enthusiasm and creativity.   She also started exploring a possible future career as a writer whilst with us, as she started selling some of her articles to the Elephant Journal, which were inspired by her experiences in 8thLife, her discussions with the people there and what she has been learning in the iPDC course.
In order to support herself financially whilst living with us, Suzy had the idea of selling home-made muesli bars to passing tourists (the farm is by a walking route).    This worked well enough for her to earn some regular weekly pocket money. and the idea organically developed into a Café experiment.

So one of the designs she presented for her PDC was her development on the idea of a Café for 8thLife as a small EcoBusiness, and - being a very creative person - she presented her design in waitress mode, after taking orders from us as the first clients :)

She steadily improved the infrastructure over the months, by making some small tables and cushions to sit on,
designing a menu and presenting it in a renovated blackboard, sowing some shades to protect the patio from the sun in the summer, and planting more herbs in the planter besides the café.    

She also made some good observations for the next person to take on this design to keep moving it forward and grow it into a budding EcoBusiness.

Before leaving Suzy had the idea of making a short documentary of the EcoVillage project.  She designed the storyline, interviewed people, made some animations and interspaced stills and video footage of farm routines in the whole.  She is now editing and the final draft will be published soon.

During her internship Suzy also built the foundations of one of the Hobbit Domes, completed a few tire staircases, and did other interesting experiments, learned to lay watering systems and installed the deep irrigation for young trees in nearly all of the forest-gardens, she made a very nice portable compost toilet and in one afternoon invented a new type of chair made from 99% recycled materials.

Suzy, like Fer, is one of the interns who took the opportunity to research and experiment with her eating habits whilst with us.  This led her to make some interesting discoveries about how to improve her health & wellbeing. 

All of this in between delighting us with her many other talents, like playing the guitar and piano, singing and teaching us songs.

Thank you Suzy for everything!  It's been wonderful to have you here, and we look forward to having you as an external facilitator for the next groups of iPDC students, and to see your progress as a Diploma student.


Certificate Presentations

We encourage students to propose their own original, multifunctional, educational and inclusive Design Certification presentation and ceremony, since this is a very useful practice in designing events.

And we love the surprises:  all of these were very different kinds of events and ways of presenting the adventure of each design process.   

Fer and Daniele's ceremony included a trip above the clouds, to the Roque de los Muchachos.

Congratulations for all your creativity and thank you everyone for sharing your process and results.  Welcome to the world-wide community of Permaculture designers!

Horizontal Hostility Conference

posted Oct 31, 2014, 2:00 PM by Jose Lorenzo Zamora   [ updated Sep 14, 2015, 8:39 AM ]

  and share your comments, questions, experiences...

Link to the newsletter
, thanks for sharing it!

(which could also be called Collective Stupidity) & how it operates so effectively as the greatest obstacle in re-designing the oppressive systems that are currently threatening Life on Earth.

For this conference we are interviewing activists that will share their personal experiences of Horizontal Hostility & their observations on how it works in detail, so that we can recognize it when it happens, & re-design more intelligent systems, in order to cooperate more effectively & eliminate this plague once & for all.

Also, about a year & a half ago
we did a conference on
Collective Intelligence,
which complements this one.

New Economy Week

posted Oct 31, 2014, 1:37 PM by Jose Lorenzo Zamora

The New iPDC Network

posted Sep 30, 2014, 11:25 AM by PermIntegral   [ updated Oct 2, 2014, 12:36 PM by Jose Lorenzo Zamora ]

Integral Permaculture

offers radical & doable solutions for a Planet in Crisis

and now there is a growing network where you will be able to study
the basic certificate course locally,
with an international network of integral permaculture projects.

This community will be offering a networked Integral PermaCulture Design Certificate

The First Courses

During November & December 2014 will be trying out this networked iPDC for the very first time simultaneously in Italy, mainland Spain & the Canary Islands, both in english & spanish: in the Damanhur Federation, Finca Caracol & the 8thLife EcoVillage project respectively.     (Subscribe to the email list or the Facebook group in order to get news of future courses)

More permaculture projects are getting ready to come on-line during 2015!  And if you'd like to facilitate one of them in a permaculture project near you (or your own), make sure to join us as a student during October or contact us via skype as soon as possible.


for more details

Why iPDC?

We are calling this the iPDC because in many ways it is a great innovation in terms of permaculture design teaching:

1) you will benefit from a radicalized version of the traditional PDC, which includes all the essential 72hour internationally agreed curriculum but within the expanded integral perspective (read the 'What is Integral Permaculture' article on this website for more details on this)

2) you will immediately plug into a wide network of support - which you can access online anytime - that you can use to integrate all the wonderful tools you will be introduced to during the course into your real-life projects

3) you can take the course at the site you prefer in an expanding network of permaculture projects, all working together to join forces to provide you with a truly unique experience

4) and you can also do the same course at home if you prefer, but connenecting every night of the course with all the other students doing the course in different locations simultaneously.

... and you can see more Added Advantages on the site ...


Chaordic science + Collective Intelligence models + P2P & Hacker Culture mixed up with a bunch of Permi- Cultural Creatives who thought "how can we turn the best of gaming culture to ethical ends"?

TransMedia is something corporations are busy perfecting in order to distract us with more appealing virtual reality (mostly) ... but we are hacking these technologies to make changing the real world more compelling, and realistic for most ordinary people.

Our Journey to this Network ... in Pictures

You may not know that this Integral Permaculture Academy came about primarily as an excercise in designing for better collective intelligence. First, in 2004, by designing a more complete PDC action-learning curriculum (the colours in our paw icon represent the 5 modules)
In 2005 we held a workshop
on Chaordic Organizations at IPC7
in Croacia (International Permaculture Convergence) in order
to encourage us to design our PC
networks a lot more consciously. 
We proposed a Chaordic Permaculture Institute but it was too early as most people said 'what's chaordic'?

Then in 2008 we presented a follow-up workshop at IPC8 in Brazil  where (from convergence report):
"Stella consistently opened
the door wider and wider into
the world of Chaordic systems and
the possibility for evolving
from the confusion of
current organizational
management and growth". 
This resulted in a pilot
for a Chaordic PC Institute ...

... & later a "Version 4" for the Permaculture Diploma, in 2010,
which is what we now offer
as an Academy + so much more..
especially a world-wide cooperative
of integral permaculture designers
working together to learn
to design the collective intelligence
we need to really change society. 
Join us!

New Free MiniCourses

posted Jul 22, 2014, 5:58 PM by PermIntegral   [ updated Aug 27, 2014, 5:41 AM ]

Direct mini-link to this page:
Link to newsletter, to share & forward it:

The Mission of the Academy is to offer high quality training in Permaculture Design.
   To that end we have created a series of unique action learning programs in Integral Permaculture which cover all aspects that we need to understand (& especially how to connect them all) for a transition toward a sustainable society.

For this reason we especially enjoy making ever more accessible & inclusive this wonderful science which is so critically important today, & we are delighted now to have these three free initiatives to broadcast this knowledge as widely as possible:
*** NEW ***
The Integral PermaCulture Designers' Manual online,
started in Spanish in 2007,
now bilingual,
to which we are constantly adding new multimedia content.
The Study Circles Network,
launched with 6 groups during 2012,
in which we are currently experimenting with various designs, like PermaVerano (currently only in Spanish)
 The Free MiniCourses
in Integral PermaCulture, designed together with some of
our Diploma students,
which we are launching
in July 2014.

Free MiniCourses

With this new iniciative we have expanded again the free resources offered by the Academy, thanks to the work of a very dynamic & creative team from our diploma students community, who will also act as facilitators of these courses.

We have created these free minicourses mainly by collecting the contents of the conferences that we have been creating over the last years (we've always tried to share as much as possible provocative materials in order to create dialogue with which to expand knowledge in the international Permaculture community), & in this way we facilitate access to these important subjects for re-designing our lives & the society in which we live.   We have also added various elements to encourage interaction & dialogue.

A summary by Jose & Stella of the central team of the Academy:

In July, we start with these MiniCourses:

A. Introduction to Integral Permaculture
B. Food Freedom
C. Introduction to EcoEconomy

In August/September, we plan to finish preparing more MiniCourses:

D. Collective Intelligence
E. Re-Designing Eros
F. Facilitation Basics


These MiniCourses are very multi-functional
(good permaculture principle), in that we invite you to:

1) discovering some of the rich multimedia educational material created so far by the Academy,

2) while trying out if studying permaculture online might work for you (although these are quite different form to how our action-learning courses work, which are based on your real-life desigs, this is a way of 'starting small' - another good permi principle - by trying out a little of how we dialogue with the ideas).

3) you can begin to get to know our community of students and practitioners (in a small way, but we hope you will enjoy having a taste of the supportive & professional environment we have co-created here), 

4) & if you like, you can also co-create with it (by improving these same mini-courses with your contributions - all of our work to date is the result of a big collaboration with lots of people passionate about these subjects)

5) You can use these materials to start your own small study circle, simply by sharing the classes with a friend or family member, to start with (we will offer more support with this with course F. of Basic Facilitation)

6) The MiniCourses can serve as a very good preparation if you want to later progress to the action learning courses at a higher level (eg. the PDC+++ course easily reaches university level if you already have some previous base, & many of our graduate students comment that they found it much more useful than their degree, as it is so integrated & very practical)

Also, you can earn Permis* depending on your interventions in the dialogues (the service you bring to the community - that you can later use as discounts for any of the Academy's courses, if you wish to further your Integral PermaCulture training).

* Permis are the complementary currency we use to value exchanges in the Academy.

8) & finally, if you wish to do something different in order to help yourself re-design your life (or you want some time & support in order to reflect on what is happening in the world, & maybe to think of how you can contribute to the Great Transition that we are living), these MiniCourses are an ideal start.

See web of

MiniCourses Facilitators

The MiniCourses also serve as a training ground for online facilitation, starting small, for some of our apprentice-teachers.

Here Cécile & Bérénice, two of the facilitators in English, present themselves in their own words:

YouTube Video

I have a Masters in Sustainable Development & I have been following with great interest all about the Integral Permaculture Academy since I first became acquainted with them, back in 2011.

On my way to designing a sustainable lifestyle for myself, I highly value all of the knowledge & practical help I am getting, now on my way to the Diploma..

I am excited to start on the apprentice teacher path by facilitating these MiniCourses because I always thrive when I can share with others and learn from others.

What I find most interesting with these courses is that they are designed to be highly interactive, so I am looking forward to engage in lots of colourful conversations with the participants!

YouTube Video

Hello! I am Bérénice. I am french and I live in a  small town in Catalonia – Spain.  Now I am about to finish my PDC with the Integral Permaculture Academy and I’m already enthusiastically looking forward to the next steps.

This course is being very beneficial for me. I first thought that permaculture was like a huge catalogue of patterns and alternative techniques to design a more sustainable… more “self”-sufficient life.  

But now I understand that it’s something much deeper:  behind the word PermaCulture, there is the need of a global, collective and urgent change… which should engage our responsibility and personal commitment, & take us way beyond individualism.

This is one of the reasons why I want to be involved with these minicourses introducing Integral PermaCulture.  As a student, but also as an apprentice teacher, to learn with you how to facilitate, and encourage to keep on this wonderful path to action learning. Because sharing our questions, doubts, reflexions, experiences and mistakes, is a GREAT opportunity to keep on advancing collectively.

Launching PermaVerano

PermaVerano is an experiment for now only in spanish.  It invites you to join in a variety of things, in 4 places in Spain, to spend a summer full of surprising, informative and permacultural activities - courses, workshops, holidays, events, talks... - in Sevilla, Alicante, Granada and LaPalma

This initiative has sprung from the creativity and needs of some of the most pro-active students of the Academy, & of the network of projects that we form between all of us, that we use mainly for mutual support, & we liked the idea of doing something new together, in a network.

In fact the series of free MiniCourses (article above) wer proposed in order to offer a more accessible part of this programme as we wanted that absolutely nobody would be excluded by lack of money or time, & especially we wanted to also offer something for people (proably the majority) who can't afford to leave their families or farms, in order to go on a permacultural holiday.
So anyone who wishes to participate can take some permacultural vacations to their home :)

More information (for now only in Spanish) here: 

The Academy in Facebook

This year we will limit our Facebook presence to two groups where we can discuss and explore the different aspects of how to design sustainable societies, where you can also get to know about all the things we do and new projects you can participate in.

You can join the groups:

and in Spanish: 

EPT Partnership Workshop

posted Jun 4, 2014, 3:28 PM by PermIntegral   [ updated Jun 4, 2014, 3:34 PM ]

direct mini-link >>

We were delighted to have an opportunity, at the end of May 2014, to be invited to participate in one of the European Permaculture Teachers' Partnership workshop on Inclusion, via internet connection.

This is Sandra (one of the participants in our workshop who helped to include us in the meeting) showing some of the results of a widening participation for permaculture courses survey that the EPT Partnership conducted. 
<< Click picture for article of that day's work.

We hadn't been able to go to any of the EPT site-meetings because it required a lot of travel which we aren't able to engage in, as all of us who are involved in the core team of the Academy are mostly locally-based permaculture activists doing intensive projects at home.   
Which describes quite well also the kinds of students we tend to attract, as we explained in this 12 minutes presentation about Inclusion for permacuture courses:

Vídeo de YouTube

We had an interesting Q&A session at the end of this presentation, & as the 5 people in this workshop then had to feed back a summary of an hour-long conversation to the bigger group, they very creatively decided to do it in this fun way:

Vídeo de YouTube

Thanks Katka & Peter!   We were delighted to see it all translated in this way.   So we added this video to our Frequently Asked Questions page as it beautifully summarizes some of the questions we often hear from interested people.

Thanks a lot also to Artūrs & Sandra for making this happen!

Unfortunately it is our experience that too many permaculture designers still have difficulty in seeing internet technologies as appropriate technologies (especially appropriate for inclusion), & even less people then have the willingness & patience to arrange the technical details to use them in practice to help others participate in their meetings & events.  This is great people-care in action!

Congratulations on all of your work.

International PermaCulture Day 2014

posted Apr 30, 2014, 2:50 AM by Jose Lorenzo Zamora   [ updated Apr 26, 2015, 12:10 PM by Stella Ne ]

We celebrated International PermaCulture Day
again, with a bilingual talk (in English & Spanish)
that takes an integral perspective on this year's topic:

Food Freedom 
- now available as one of our

On Sunday the 4th of May we started exploring this important topic in a more integral (radical, & for some, controversial) way than usual, exploring these different facets:

Direct mini-link to this page: 
Newsletter link, to share and forward it:

We had a great conference during which

we  questioned as many 

permacuture 'holy cows' as possible 

(which we called 'holy legumes' for the purpose of this conference, for reasons that will be revealed!)

in order to evolve the dialogue 

that we believe has gotten a little too stuck

around 'do gardening' as a proposed

solution to the most pressing problems

we face today, like climate-change.

We don't believe it comes even close,

& that more realistic solutions in fact are

available, & that they are 

even more exciting,

more hopeful &

a lot more fun than we ever imagined.

& the most exciting part is that we get to question

some very deeply held beliefs 

(in fact our whole cultural paradigm).

This conference is now available

1) The food freedom of other species
2) The food that most liberates our environment
3) Food that liberates the human mind and body
4) How not to be enslaved to addictions
and of course (the perspective usually focused on)
5) How to free our Food from the Multinationals

& refers to
many resources
already available
in the Integral PermaCulture
Designers' Manual

This is how we contributed to International PermaCulture Day
last year: Grow Local Live!

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